Tullamore RFC host Armagh RFC in this year’s re-fixed semi-final in Spollenstown on Saturday, 2nd January at 2pm in what promises to be a great game to start the new year…

This competition is confined to the top 4 sides from each province from the previous years Provincial Leagues. Even though Tullamore are the holders of the Cup they would not have qualified this year without a good Leinster League finish. 

Tullamore travelled to Coleraine in the first round and beat the home side 27-24 in an entertaining game. They followed that up by defeating Sligo 22-15 at home on the 21st November. A worrying feature of both games was that Tullamore seemed to ease up on the hour mark and allow the opposition back into the game.

Two scores in rugby can count for 10 to 14 points and that’s what they conceded late on both days. Tullamore will have to play for the full 80 minutes and injury time to beat this Armagh side. 

Armagh meanwhile defeated Ballina away by 25-03 and followed that up by beating Leinster side Cill Dara 24-03 at home. When you consider that the same Cill Dara side had beaten Tullamore two weeks previously this is impressive form. They currently top the Ulster Qualifing League having won eight out of the nine matches played. 

Tullamore have four players, David Deering, Sean Brady, Colin Hughes and Aaron Deverell who were not available for for some weeks back in the squad for Saturday but this somewhat offset by the loss of three forwards; Eddie Brady, Colin Finnerty and Alvin Bracken. The call went out and was answered by Steve McQuaid to return to the front row for this match and he is a big game player. 

You need luck to win anything in sport and a home draw will hopefully be the difference on Saturday. While Tullamore’s league record would not be as impressive as Armagh they are a good Cup side and have won 9 of their last 10 matches in this competition. 

Why not come along for your first sporting action of the year and cheer the local lads on to a third final in a row.