Martin the martial as Munster seek interpro glory
After a magnificent victory away to Leinster last week, Munster will be confident they can claim the Junior Interprovincial crown with two home games remaining against their other rivals. First up is a clash with Ulster at Kanturk tomorrow before they take on holders Connacht in Castleisland the following weekend.
There are three Kanturk players involved and the local supporters will be keen to see how Dan McCabe, Peter Earlie and Brian O’Neill get on. These players have been instrumental in a very successful season for Kanturk where they pushed Richmond all the way for the league title and will hope that winning habit can carry through to their remaining games.
Munster will be looking to replicate the start they made from last weekend as they really put Leinster under pressure. The vast experience and quality of Ben Martin at full-back was a component of the side’s success while his accurate goal-kicking proved crucial. His Clonmel club-mate Morgan Lyons had a strong game at out-half and also took a crucial drop-goal and he will be keen to direct matters.
The importance of the squad is also very much emphasised with many of the players who came off the bench having a significant impact. None more so than Ian Fitzgerald, who scored what proved to be the winning try.
Ulster lost at home to Connacht but it was a very close affair with little between the sides and the team from the west probably started out as favourites for this competition.
If the visitors can build on that performance they will certainly push Munster hard and will be eager to bounce back from defeat themselves and will not be easy pickings. Gary Clotworthy will be one player that the Munster team will need to keep an eye on after scoring a superb solo try last weekend.
In the other Interprovincial game, Leinster will be hoping to bounce back but will need to play to their ability to overcome Connacht in Loughrea.
In other games, the Dave Dineen Cup Final which was scheduled to take place this week at Musgrave Park had to be postponed due to the weather. This game has been rescheduled for next Wednesday at the same venue where Carrigaline and Dolphin will battle it out for to lift the trophy.
Carrigaline will be looking for their second piece of silverware they will lift in a week as they take on a strong Old Christians outfit in the Kelly Cup final tonight at the same venue.
In Tipperary, there is a big clash tonight as the Gleeson League final takes place. Kilfeacle and Clonmel will battle it out in a tie that always produces plenty of passion and skill.
There is one other game on tomorrow, as UL Bohemian take on Young Munster in a bid to claim the North Munster U21 cup title.
© This appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Friday, May 04, 2012