Cork Rugby: Bad weather sees AIL and Munster Senior Cup games off with fixture backlog looming

AIL breaks for three weeks in January until resuming on February 18, when the Six Nations will be up and running
Cork Rugby: Bad weather sees AIL and Munster Senior Cup games off with fixture backlog looming

Sundays Well's Shane Keevers gathers the ball from Skerries Ronan Mulcahy and Paul O'Loghlen on the way to scoring his try recently. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

JACK Frost once again played the spoilsport after games in the Munster Senior Cup and energia All-Ireland League were postponed due to frozen pitches on Saturday.

The cup semi-final between the holders Young Munster and Cork Constitution fell victim to the Arctic weather early in the morning handing plenty of time for the Temple Hill club to avoid an unnecessary journey.

Highfield, however, weren’t as fortunate because they were in Dublin for their re-arranged Division 1B game with St Mary’s College at Templeville Road only for that to be called off for the second successive week.

GALLING

Even more galling for the Cork club was the game was switched from the grass pitch of their host club to the all-weather surface of St Mary’s neighbours, Terenure College, who weren’t in action this weekend, but that, too, was considered too dangerous, the call coming half-an-hour before the 2.30pm kick-off.

The cup postponement added to the similar fate suffered by the teams in the other semi-final, too, Highfield travelling to play Nenagh Ormond which should have been played on Saturday but had been differed to January 7 instead.

However, that date has now been allotted to re-scheduled league games with St Mary’s-Field trying for a third time to play the first of back-to-back encounters and it also means the eagerly-awaited Munsters-Con tie cannot go ahead that day either.

That’s because the Temple Hill club have been pencilled for a Division 1A league game with Trinity College at College Park in Dublin.

The cup postponement meant Con had no game for the second week running, but, like Highfield, face into a hectic January, where they will be playing every Saturday.

Apart from the game against the Students, Con will be at home to Trinity the following week on January 14, followed by another trip to the capital to play the defending champions Clontarf on the 21st before completing the first month of the New Year with a visit from Ballynahinch.

Highfield are in the same boat. Hopefully, it will be third time lucky for their away game with St Mary’s, who, then, make the journey to Woodleigh Park a week later before the Cork derby between UCC and Field at the Mardyke on the 21st and Highfield wrap-up January, 2023, will a home fixture against Malone.

It was clearly a frustrating weekend for Highfield particularly as two other games on artificial pitches went ahead around the same area, Donnybrook, and the back-pitch at the Aviva Stadium, where Shannon continued their revival with a 41-31 win over Lansdowne. At least, Highfield can look forward to three of their next four games on Leeside.

 Alex Pope, Dolphin, is tackled by Cathal Monaghan and Jason Aylward, Old Crescent, in a recent game. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Alex Pope, Dolphin, is tackled by Cathal Monaghan and Jason Aylward, Old Crescent, in a recent game. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Finding suitable dates for the cup semi-finals is more problematic now. 

The AIL breaks for three weeks until resuming on February 18, when the Six Nations will be up and running, Ireland away to Wales on the fourth and home to France on the 11th.

Five other league games were postponed, three up north as well as Nenagh and Tullamore to create further headaches.

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