Colm Kinsella previews the Munster Senior Cup quarter-finals involving UL Bohs, Garryowen and Bruff.
Games on Saturday, at 2.30pm unless stated otherwise
UL-Bohemian V Dolphin
Thomond Park Back Pitch
A MUNSTER Senior Cup quarter-final will come as a welcome break for a UL-Bohemian side which has been struggling in Division 1B of the Ulster Bank All-Ireland League.
A run of six successive defeats has seen UL-Bohs’ drop to third-from-bottom in the 1B table, four points ahead of bottom-placed Belfast Harlequins.
The Annacotty club has picked up losing bonus points in five of those six defeats, clearly indicating how competitive the side remains.
UL-Bohs will feel especially frustrated at their inability to close out a much needed league win over Buccaneers on Saturday last when the Red, Red Robins was undone by a late, late try.
With Munster A in British and Irish Cup action this weekend, UL-Bohs are set to plan without their excellent number eight Jack O’Donoghue for the home Cup tie with AIL 1A strugglers Dolphin.
Dolphin, firmly rooted to the foot of the AIL 1A table, are yet to record a win in the league after eight series of fixtures. The Musgrave Park will also be without their Munster contingent this weekend and will hardly be high in confidence for the trip to Limerick.
Saturday’s game provides UL-Bohs with a decent opportunity to break their losing run.
However, Colm Tucker’s charges will need to produce a better performance than the one they produced in their narrow win over Richmond in the previous round in order to stand a chance of progressing to the last four stage.
UL-Bohs, beaten Cup finalists two seasons ago, get a hesitant vote to make the last four at Dolphin’s expense.
Garryowen V Cashel
WHILE winning the Munster Senior Cup might be second on Garryowen’s ‘to-do’ list this season, it will still right up there on their ambition list as a result of their bitterly disappointing defeat to Cork Con after extra time in last season’s final at Thomond Park.
A controversial late penalty award with the last kick of the match helped Con record a dramatic 9-6 success.
Garryowen are sitting sixth in Division 1B of the AIL after eight series of games, eight points behind leaders Galwegians.
The ‘light blues’ edged past another Tipperary side, Nenagh Ormond, by two points to edge Saturday’s semi-final meeting with Cashel. For their part, Cashel sit in eighth place in Division 2A of the AIL, with four wins from their six league fixtures.
Garryowen have had a demanding run of AIL fixtures in recent weeks and face table toppers Galwegians and local rivals Shannon prior to Christmas.
The Dooradoyle side should still have enough reserves to reach the last four stage of the Cup again.
Cork Con V Bruff
Temple Hill, 7.30pm
THE draw could have been kinder to Bruff than handing the Kilballyowen Park side a trip to Leeside to face Cup holders Cork Con.
Bruff have made an encouraging start to life in AIL 2B, winning three of their opening six fixtures. And Bruff will have benefitted from a ‘rest’ weekend while Con played UCD in the AIL on Sunday. Having said that, the home side should edge this one.