Francis Brosnahan yearns for the good old days

Memories will be jogged today by the appearance of Young Munster in the Bank of Ireland Munster Senior Cup final against rivals Cork Constitution at Thomond Park (2.30pm).

Expect hordes of Young Munster fans to cross the city from the Yellow Road, led by a goat, the traditional club mascot.

Sadly, there will be no sign of the late Limerick character Dodo Reddan, who contributed handsomely to the colour and pomp of previous Munster Cup final occasions when she made her way to the stadium accompanied by her beloved dogs bedecked in yellow and black, the smaller ones sitting up proudly in a battered pram.

This final bring back special memories to one of the great servants of the Clifford Park (Greenfields) club, Francis Brosnahan. He is the proud holder of three Munster Cup medals, one as captain, and an All-Ireland League medal in the nineties.

“It was huge, it was our life, you were a hero if you just got to a final to represent the club, you were a super-hero if you won it,”

Brosnahan said of the Munster Senior Cup in its glory days.

“In Young Munster, it was extra special because we didn’t win it as often as the likes of Garryowen or Con, Shannon or UCC.

"Winning a cup medal was one of the biggest things I have ever achieved in the game.

"The way the game has gone it will never capture the imagination in the way it used to, but I think any big competitive match between Young Munster and Con will bring out the crowd.”

While the likes of Charlie St George, Tom Clifford, Peter Clohessy, and Paul O’Connell would be the stand-out names in the famed club, Brosnahan was one of an elite band of players who brought Young Munster into a golden age when he played in midfield alongside Pat Cross in the team that won the cup in 1980 for the first time in a staggering 42 years.

He captained them to success in 1984, went on to win his third medal in 1990 and was still around to partake in the club’s famous AIL final victory over St Mary’s College in 1993 with Tony Grant at the coaching helm and Ger Earls, father of Keith, a try-scoring hero at Lansdowne Road.

Brosnahan would have played with many Constitution players during his time in University College Cork and against them when he moved back to Limerick.

“There was always a healthy rivalry; we would knock lumps off one another on the pitch and have a couple of drinks together afterwards. I always have good memories of playing against Con in the cup; no matter what happened on the pitch it was forgotten (mostly) afterwards.

“This season has shown how intense that rivalry is, a couple of last minute wins for us in the league and then a Con win in the semi-final. “Con have been cup specialists over the years and they’ve been adding to their haul with successive wins of late

“ We won in 2010 but have to go back a decade before that, so we’re a bit short of titles and there is a huge desire to finish with a double this season (Young Munster beat Con recently in the Munster Junior Cup final).

“Winning, and getting through to the Bateman Cup next year is another carrot, it’s a historic thing for us. The Bateman Cup is part of our past and, hopefully, it can be part of our future as well.”

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