BY KIERAN McCARTHY
THEY’VE hit top spot in Munster Junior League Division 1, but this Sunday Bandon turn their attention to the Munster Junior Cup and a third-round meeting with West Cork rivals Skibbereen.
Last weekend’s 13-10 home win, coupled with Clonmel’s shock defeat to Clonakity, sent Bandon three points clear at the top of the table. Kieran Essex scored a first-half try while Richard Walsh kicked two penalties and a conversion. Bandom had led 13-3 at the break.
While Bandon are on top they have only one league game left this season – away to Galbally on March 20th – and even though Clonmel have a game in hand, they take on fellow title challengers Richmond this weekend.
Bandon’s Director of Rugby Conor Slattery commented: ‘We are in a very good position but we are conscious that Clonmel have a game in hand and we’d expect them, considering the amount of final rugby they have played in the last few seasons, to close out the season. Still, we’re very happy with our league position when you consider we were only promoted from Division 2 last season.’
This Sunday, Bandon entertain Skibbereen in the third round of the Munster Junior Cup (2.30pm). While Skibb struggled early in the season, they have found form of late, and they did win in Bandon (28-26) on the opening weekend of the Division 1 season.
Skibb manager John Hayes: ‘Bandon are having a great season, and the fact they are at home too will make them favourites on Sunday.
‘We will be quietly confident going over there. We did beat them in Bandon at the start of the season but they have strengthened their squad since they last played us. We have got better as the season has gone on – we won six games in a row up until last weekend.’
Skibb have recorded big wins over Waterford and Ballincollig to reach this stage of a competition they have never won, while Bandon beat both Kanturk and Cobh Pirates in earlier rounds.