BY KIERAN McCARTHY
TOM Ferguson and his Bandon teammates are leaving no stone unturned ahead of Sunday’s Munster Junior Cup home semi-final against Clonmel in Old Chapel (2.30pm).
The Bandon captain scored the crucial try in the quarter-final win against Cashel (10-3) and the West Cork men are hoping that home advantage can help them topple the reigning Munster Junior League Division 1 champions.
‘It’s a help that we’re at home but Clonmel are league champions for the third year in a row and they won this competition a few years back so they’ll still be favourites on Sunday, even though the game is in Bandon,’ Ferguson said.
‘We already beat Clonmel at home in the Challenge Cup this season, we have a strong home record but we won’t be taking anything for granted.’
Bandon’s home form has been impressive, they won all six league games at fortress Old Chapel and their cup home form has been equally inspiring, so that gives them a good chance this weekend.
Bandon are already after wins against UCC (45-17), Galbally (19-7) and Cashel in this run to the last four of a cup competition that they have never won, and they’re currently second in Division 1 and got to the Junior Clubs Challenge Cup final where they lost to Kilfeacle and District last month.
Two years back in Division 1 and Bandon have established themselves as one of the top teams – they finished second in the league last season – and Ferguson wants them to kick on and win some silverware.
‘We want to win something, have a cup to show for our efforts,’ he said.
‘It’s all well and good being consistent and being one of the top teams but we want to win something; that’s what the top teams do, they win cups and silverware.
‘After the disappointment of losing the Challenge Cup final we want to win the junior cup – but we know the challenge ahead.
‘Everyone is doing everything they can, the players, management, the backroom staff, they sacrifices people are making is unbelievable.
‘We need everything to go right on Sunday, everything we have trained for and planned for has to go right. Clonmel are the team to beat, they’re league champions for a reason, their loss last Sunday was their first loss in the league all season, so we’ve it all to do.’
While Clonmel lost to Clanwilliam last weekend, Bandon were thumping already relegated Old Christians to the tune of 75-14, with tries from Christian Mulcahy (4), Philip Murphy, Gearoid Crowley, Olan Crowley, Gareth Burton, Scott Mogford, JP Lucey and Mike Murphy, and Olan Crowley added ten conversions.
Ferguson would have preferred a tougher test than what Old Christians provided, as Bandon look to repeat their 21-6 home win against Clonmel in the Challenge Cup earlier in the season.
‘This is where we want to be,’ he said.
‘This is the first time Bandon have had a home semi-final in this competition. And we want to make it count. And get into the final and a chance of winning some silverware.’