Con and Cookies set for compelling cup showdown

Sunday’s Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Cup final between Young Munster and Cork Constitution (Musgrave Park, 2.30pm) has all the ingredients required to produce a thrilling spectacle.

The showpiece should be every bit as competitive as the enthralling Ulster Bank League semi-final these clubs served up last week.

Munsters put in a strong performance to defeat Bandon last time out. They will look to a powerful pack, led by Paul Allen in the front-row to dictate the tempo. Alan Ross and Dermot Gallagher are the other key men for the Limerick men.

Con have a young team that showed huge character to come out on top in a rip-roaring semi-final against Richmond. They will certainly be battle-hardened and their 8-9-10 combination is crucial to their success. Evan Mintern, John Poland and Jason Higgins will be all keyfor Con.

Meanwhile, Clonakilty’s Courtney Canning has the honour of leading out the Munster Junior side as they make the trip to Portlaoise to face Leinster.

Thurles players in particular have been rewarded for a strong season with four starting players and another one on the bench. The understanding between their half-backs Nicky Irwin and John Lillis could prove a crucial asset. The pack will want to impose themselves on the game with Mike Cronin and Aidan Weir among those who will be seeking to get the upper hand on the Blues pack. Out wide, there are plenty of quality finishers including Warren Kelly of St Senan’s and Muskerry’s Daniel Horgan

The Cork County Cup final should be a very interesting affair between two sides bidding to end the season on a high. Skibbereen meet recently promoted Cobh Pirates in Bandon and there will be very little to choose between them.

The East Cork outfit have bounced back after relegation to reclaim their place in the top flight. They are a strong powerful all-round team and won’t fear their West Cork opponents. Ruairi Geary, James Frahill and Shane Cullimore have been standout operators for Pirates this season while Denis McCarthy and Ritchie Byrne have led the way for Skibb in this campaign. Garryowen and Mitchelstown meet in Dooradoyle in the Munster Junior 2 League Cup final with the North Cork side hoping to win another trophy before going Junior next season.

Here’s a little extra sport. Watch the latest BallTalk for the best sports chat and analysis: An alternative Premier League team of the seson


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