Big Rugby Action on Saturday

This coming Saturday, all eyes are on a titanic struggle for the ultimate accolade.

Amlin Challenge? Munster vs Brive?  Pshaw!

Heineken Cup?  Leinster vs Leicester?  Pfff!!

No.  Neither of those.  On Saturday, we see Bruff travelling to Templeville Road for the final of the  Bateman Cup against Dungannon.

The last time a Limerick team won the Bateman Cup was in 1928, when Young Munsters beat Lansdowne 6-3, and a scurrilous rumour is doing the rounds that they never gave the cup back.

When you ask Young Munsters supporters about this, their faces cloud over and they mutter unintelligible grunts.  In other words, they show no unusual behaviour.

I put it to a man of advanced years, who played for Young Munsters back in the late fifties.

Did your crowd steal the Bateman Cup?


Did your crowd steal the Bateman Cup?

What?  Speak up.


Mind your language you young pup.  And there’s no need to shout.


I sent an email to a regular commenter on this site who also happens to be a fervent YM true-believer.

Did Young Munsters give the cup back?

He replied:

My lips are sealed, well and truly, with the fat from a pigs hock.

Oh beautiful beautiful Munsters. Star of my own fade away.

You’re wasting your time.  One old campaigner claimed that UCD stole the cup just before World War 2 broke out, and that was the last anyone saw of it.

I don’t know.  It’s a wall of silence and obfuscation, but anyway, here we are again, with a Limerick team vying for the Bateman Cup.

Interestingly, the game is being played in the grounds of St Mary’s, a team who lost an epic encounter with the wild men of Young Munsters in 1993 for the AIL title.  Brent Pope played for St Mary’s and he broke Brossie’s jaw with a punch, but unfortunately for him, Young Munster had no shortage of extravagantly talented Brossies, and another one came on to replace his injured brother.  Ger Earls, father of Keith, played for Young Munsters that day before a record crowd of 20,000, and I was one of them.

Tomorrow, we hope to see Limerick reclaim the Bateman Cup after 83 years, so forget Munster vs Brive in the Amlin Challenge.   Forget the Grand National.  Forget Leinster vs Leicester.

Tomorrow is a day in history.



Bruff 24 Dungannon 18.

After 83 years, the Bateman Cup returns to Limerick, or, eh, stays in Limerick legally, or …

ah, never mind.