Bateman Cup debut for City of Armagh RFC


Bateman Cup debut for City of Armagh RFC

In a season that has already seen history made at the Palace Grounds with the winning of the First Trust Senior Cup, City of Armagh Rugby Club continue to break new ground this Saturday, when they make their first ever appearance in the All Ireland Bateman Cup.

The Bateman Cup is contested by the senior cup winners in the four provinces and was first played in 1922. The cup was presented to the IRFU by Dr Godfrey Bateman, a member of a

well-known west Cork family in memory of his two sons, Reginald and Arthur who were killed in the First World War.

This week’s semi-final fixture sees Cork Constitution, representing Munster, making the long journey to the Palace Grounds to face hosts, City of Armagh. Cork Constitution not only played in the very first final in 1922 when they lost 6-5 to Lansdowne, but they have won the cup for the past five years, a remarkable record. The Cork club play in Division 1A of the Ulster Bank All Ireland league where they currently sit in second place behind leaders, Lansdowne. The club, founded in 1892 is coached by former Irish international, David Corkery who played 29 times for Ireland.

Current Ireland and Munster stars, Peter O’Mahony and Simon Zebo started their playing careers at Cork Constitution and former players include Ronan O’Gara and Donncha O’Callaghan. Indeed the club has produced eleven Irish internationals since 2000 plus British and Irish Lions representatives.

Playing their first season in Division 2A of the All Ireland League indicates the mammoth task facing City of Armagh as underdogs on Saturday. The coaching team, headed by Willie Faloon says the players are looking forward to the game immensely and will go out on the pitch to give their best effort. This is a really special occasion for our club and we are delighted the President of the IRFU, Philip Orr is attending the pre-match lunch. Kick off on Saturday is 2.30pm.

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