Cup final time: Garryowen's Andrew Keating supported by Sean Rennison, will be in action on Saturday against Cork Con in the Munster Senior Cup final at Thomond Park
GARRYOWEN will look to retain the Bank of Ireland Munster Senior Cup title when facing old foes Cork Constitution in a battle of the competition’s two most decorated sides when they go head-to-head in Saturday’s final at Thomond Park, 2pm.
Garryowen will be looking to win the Munster Senior Cup for the 40th time in their history when they face-off with their All-Ireland League Division 1A rivals this weekend.
Saturday’s decider will be the third meeting between the clubs in the showpiece final in six seasons, with the Leesiders prevailing in both 2013 and 2014. Those wins were part of Cork Con’s impressive sequence of five-in-a-row Munster Senior Cup wins.
Garryowen ended the Temple Hill side’s six in a row bid at the semi-final stage last season, before the ‘Light Blues’ edged past UL-Bohemian, 18-3, in the final at the Markets Field.
Garryowen go into Saturday’s final on the back of a defeat to Young Munster in the Limerick Charity Cup final over the Christmas period when both sides were without several AIL ‘regulars’ due to a Munster A/Development selection facing the Ireland U20s in Cork last weekend.
Garryowen have defeated Young Munster and Shannon to reach this weekend’s final, while opponents Cork Con edged past UCC and Highfield.
Garryowen head coach Conan Doyle said: “We are focused on the final since the last All-Ireland League game finished. We see it as a competition we really want to win.
“The fact that it is Cork Con just makes it that bit of a bigger game in Thomond Park. It’s great.
“We will be making sure that we put everything into winning the game.
“The next four matches for us are huge with the Bateman Cup semi-final the week after and then two games in the AIL, but the most important one is the one coming next, the Senior Cup final.
“We want to make sure we retain the trophy.”
Doyle, who won two Munster Senior Cup medals as a player, including captaining the Dooradoyle side to their 2012 success, was head coach last season when they eased past UL-Bohs in the final.
A run of four wins on the bounce in the AIL before the Christmas break has left Garryowen in the top four play-off places in Division 1A.
Doyle says the winning run will boost confidence ahead of their date with All-Ireland League Division 1A table toppers Cork Con.
“Our performances in those four AIL games were all good. They were tough games to win, each one of them was very tight, one score games and even one point games.
“The lads really dug deep to get wins there and I think in the type of games they were will stand to us in the Cup final.
“It is going to be a tight game against Con, it will be hard fought, like it always is.”
Meanwhile, Young Munster claimed the Sporting Limerick Charity Cup for a record 26th time as they defeated Garryowen 40-6 in the final at the Markets Field on Friday last.