The Annual General Meeting for 2019 was held at the Clubhouse at Templehill on Wed., 22nd May with President, John O’Mahony, presiding.
The Hon. Secretary, Conor Clune read the minutes of the last AGM and reported on the season’s activities: On the playing front there was a high level of participation: at Under-age, where teams were fielded from 10 to 18 years; and at Senior, Junior 1 & 2, and Under 20.
Once again the Senior XV performed to the highest level, winning the Munster Senior Cup for the 29th time, with a 26-23 victory in the final over Garryowen on January 5th. And that qualifies for next season’s Bateman Cup, which was won by Garryowen this season. The Cork Charity Cup was retained with victory over UCC in September.
The All-Ireland League series began in October with a home victory over Shannon. The team won their next two fixtures against University College Cork and Dublin University, before suffering their first reversal away to Lansdowne. The team, however, went on to win their next five fixtures to lead the table by five points over Lansdowne by the Christmas break.
After Christmas the team won seven of nine AIL matches, only losing to UCD at home, and to Dublin University at College Park. Thus, they gained a home semi-final against Dublin University, who finished fourth. They duly won that 28-3, and in the final secured the All Ireland League title for the 6th time with a decisive 28-13 victory over Clontarf at the Aviva Stadium on 5th May.
Overall the Senior XV played 26 matches, winning 23 to claim the All Ireland League, Munster Senior Cup and Cork Charity Cup. Credit is due to Captain, Niall Kenneally, Team Manager, Ken Murphy, Coaches Brian Hickey and Paul Barr, who were assisted by Paul McCarthy and Jonathan Holland; and also Ralph Keyes, Declan McGinn, Alan Keane and Don Mullins.
The Junior 1 XV played fifteen matches, which is less than satisfactory, due to a combination of weather, but mainly poor competition organisation at Branch level.
They played a mere five Seconds League fixtures before Christmas. After Christmas, they won a further five League fixtures, but sustained losses to Shannon and Garryowen. These were interspersed with Munster Junior Cup fixtures where they had home wins over Kinsale and Mallow; and Newcastlewest away. Followed by a good win over Clonmel, who had been recently-promoted to AIL status, at Templehill in the semi-final.
The final was played on the all-weather surface at Musgrave Park for the first time, and while Highfield won the day, it was only after a typically tight contest, that went to extra time and try count, before they took the Cup. The match had ended 23-23, with Highfield edging it 3-1 on try count-back. It was a disappointing end to a fine effort by the team and coaches, Paul Barr and Paul McCarthy.
The Junior 2 XV were competitive throughout the season; although losing their opening Dennehy Cup fixture. They won four and lost four of their pre-Christmas League fixtures; and won five, while losing one afterwards. They defeated Midleton to win the J2 South section, but lost to Shannon in the Munster Final. In the Junior 2 Cup they lost in the Final 5-25 to Highfield, after a good semi-final win over Dolphin.
The Under 20 XV played nine League fixtures before Christmas, with just three successes.
At National level, Peter O’Mahony has now won 57 International caps, as Ireland finished third in the Six Nations, with three wins and two defeats. John Ryan won three caps to total 18 caps overall, and Billy Holland was also a squad member.
Ireland U21’s won the Six Nations Championship winning all five matches, including defeating England at Irish Independent Park, Cork in February. Constitution players Jonathan Wren and Sean French were capped.
Munster won 23, drew 1 and lost 9 of their Guinness Pro14 fixtures, finishing second to Glasgow. They lost the semi-final to Leinster 9-24 at the RDS in May. In the ERC, Munster won their home fixtures with Gloucester, Castres and Exetrer – all played at Thomond Park; while they drew away to Exter, but lost to Castres and Gloucester. Constitution players Peter O’Mahony, Stephen Archer, Billy Holland, Liam O’Connor, John Ryan, Darren Sweetnam, Darren O’Shea and Duncan Williams participated during the season. Billy Holland has now made 212 appearances for Munster.
Once again, due to the exemplary management of the Hon Treasurer, the financial report was satisfactory reflecting a busy season’s, and while there was a net deficit, it will be manageable for the incoming committee.
Election of Officers:
President: Kevin Fielding
Deputy President: Donal Lenihan
Junior Deputy President: Ray Clarke
Hon.Secretary: Conor Clune
Hon.Treasurer Jim Murphy
Chairman Management: Michael Daly
Vice-Presidents: Declan McGinn & David Fitzgerald
Two additional vice-presidents: Jim Barry & Barry Fitzgerald.
Two members to Executive Committee: Dave Cagney & Finbarr Jeffers
Club Trustees: G.D.Horgan, T.J.Kiernan, O.E.Hill, N.A.Murphy, A.O’Leary.