Junior rugby action moves to Saturday this week-end with the quarter finals of the Energia All-Ireland Junior Cup down for decision. Limerick has no involvement but Kilfeacle and District, current leaders of MJL1, are at home to Kilkenny.
On Sunday Abbeyfeale, Richmond and Newcastle West are all in action in the Munster Junior Challenge Clubs Cup (kick-off in both 2pm). From a local point of view the big game is the meeting of the latter two clubs in Richmond Park.
This one promises to be real humdinger of a cup tie and will be well worth the trip to the Canal Bank. Newcastle are just a point off top slot in the current MJL1 race and will be fancied to advance. They have a decent squad with a good spread of willing runners and players like Sean Herlihy, who is one of the division’s most reliable place kickers; the experienced Dave Foley and the in-form Sean Neville and Alan O’Riordan.
They are dangerous on the counter-attack and while their pack was slow to get going last week in Clonakilty, they will be hoping for an improvement up front for this derby game.
Richmond had a poor start to their league campaign and are in a mid-table position. They have been sharper in recent weeks and with home advantage and a good attendance expected, they will certainly run the county side close.
Out-half Sean Considine has been impressive both as a kicker and in open play while Keith McCarthy, who scored a great try in the win over Abbefeale last week-end, is always dangerous ball in hand. Richmond have had a problem with their pack this season but they are sure to sort that out over the coming weeks.
The other cup game with local interest is the meeting of Abbeyfeale and Mallow in The Grove. These two teams met at the same venue on October 6 with the Cork side scraping a 17-18 win with a late score. ‘Feale will be aware of what they are up against. Mallow are a good side and they are currently fourth in the MJL1 table, three points behind Thomond and five rungs in the table better off than Sunday’s opponents.
Abbeyfeale had a 55-0 win over St Mary’s to reach this quarter final while Newcastle West beat Thomond in Liam Fitzgerald Park 24-11 on their way to this stage of the competition. The Abbeyfeale v Mallow cup tie is a difficult one to call but with home advantage ‘Feale might just shade it.
All games on Saturday are scheduled to kick-off at 2.30pm.
Junior Fixtures, Saturday 16th November:
Energia All Ireland Junior Cup Quarter Finals:
Ballyclare v Crosshaven, The Cloughan;
Dromore v Grosvenor, Barban Hill,
Gorey v Ashbourne, Clonattin Road,
Kilfeacle v Kilkenny, Morrissey Park;
Sunday 17th November
Munster Junior League Division 2:
Tralee v Charleville, Tralee;
Munster Junior Challenge Clubs Cup:
Abbeyfeale v Mallow, Abbeyfeale, 2pm;
Clanwilliam v Waterpark, Clanwilliam Park, 2pm;
Richmond v Newcastle West, Canal Bank, 2pm;
Munster Junior Challenge Clubs Shield Quarter Finals:
Ballincollig v Thurles, Tanner Park, 2pm;
Kanturk v Dungarvan, Kanturk, 2pm;
Kinsale v Old Christians, Kinsale, 2pm;
Muskerry v Cobh Pirates, Ballyanly, 2pm;
Martin O’Sullivan Cup Quarter Finals:
Ennis v Dunmanway, Ennis, 2pm;
Scariff v Killarney, Scariff, 2pm;
Waterford City v Mitchelstown, Waterford, 2pm;
Youghal v Killorglin, Youghal, 2pm.