The draw has been made for the first round of games for the 2017 Provincial Towns Cup, junior rugby’s top cup competition and its 92nd outing.
All first round games for 2017 will take place on 29 January with 2.30pm kickoffs. This year’s final will take place on Easter Sunday at the home ground of Athy RFC.
As usual, four teams get byes straight into the second round and this year those went to previous winners Ashbourne and Enniscorthy along with Navan seconds and Cill Dara. Carlow, Tullow and Kilkenny have all secured home draws with Kilkenny’s possibly the toughest of the exchanges going straight in against defending champions Wicklow.
Here’s the draw in full.
Mullingar RFC,Gorey RFC
County Carlow FC,Dundalk RFC
Portarlington RFC,Portlaoise RFC
Tullow RFC,Newbridge RFC
Longford RFC,Tullamore RFC 2nd XV
Midland Warriors RFC,North Kildare RFC
Boyne RFC 2nd XV, Arklow RFC
New Ross RFC,Athy RFC
Kilkenny RFC,Wicklow RFC
Edenderry RFC,Clondalkin RFC
Skerries RFC 2nd XV,Roscrea RFC
Wexford Wanderers RFC,Naas RFC 2nd XV
Locally, Kilkenny have enjoyed the better runs in recent years, winding up as beaten finalists in 2014 (Ashbourne) and 2015 (Enniscorthy). They last won the title in 2002, that year defeating Carlow 33-13.
For their part, Carlow have also tasted success winning on no fewer than five occasions in the 90s while Tullow’s closest was a 23-17 loss to Enniscorthy in the 2012 final.
We’ll be covering the Towns Cup in detail from January with extended local rugby coverage kicking off on the Fanzone in the new year.
Want to be a part of it? Email [email protected] to find out how.