Junior Rugby: Con hoping home comforts tell in Munster final

There are big games across the weekend with a number of finals to be decided. Clonmel’s bid for senior status continues on Saturday at home to Bangor while Young Munster await the winner of Sunday’s Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Cup semi-final between Cork Constitution and Richmond.

Richmond boast a well-balanced side. Their most notable asset is their battle hardened pack and they will seek to get the upper hand at set-pieces. They also possess several threatening runners out in the backs, led by Brián Bennett.

Con’s pack are very athletic but powerful with Gavin Duffy and Cathal O’Flaherty able to carry strongly. John Poland is likely to have a major influence at scrum-half with the U20 International shining in their quarter-final win. Home advantage could tip the balance in Con’s favour.

After being well beaten by Enniscorthy last weekend; Clonmel will need a win against Bangor, which would almost certainly seal a play-off at Sligo as they bid to enter the Ulster Bank League.

Enniscorthy should prove far too strong for Westport and that would put the pressure on both sides in Clonmel.

Bangor could seal top spot with a bonus-point victory and could still finish ahead of Enniscorthy on points difference with a regulation win. They can’t take anything for granted. Clonmel will be eager to bounce back and have the experience of defeating Instonians last season; which should give them a psychological boost.

There are also a number of trophies that will be handed out at the weekend. The Challenge Shield final takes place in Charleville and should be a pulsating game between Division Two Champions Abbeyfeale and Thurles. In the Junior Bowl final, Presentation will be favourites against Fermoy while in the Junior Plate, Waterpark must bounce back from the disappointment of relegation as they travel to Ballincollig.


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