Rugby will be played at the Markets Field for the first time in for over half a century when the Sporting Limerick Charity Cup Final between Garryowen and Young Munster takes place on Friday, October 21.
A deal was struck between Munster and representatives of the Markets Field to bring rugby back to the venue in January, and yesterday it was decided that the final of the 92nd Charity Cup would be the game to reintroduce the oval ball back to a venue steeped in rugby history.
A game between Munster and the All Blacks was played there in 1905 and it was where Garryowen called home in their early days.
A spokesperson for Garryowen said that the club’s ties to the ground bring back feelings of nostalgia and he is looking forward to seeing the crowds come out for the game.
“Even though most of the team wouldn’t know that the Markets Field was our former home, there is still a historic feeling attached to the game,” the spokesperson said.
“The Markets Field has been a great venue over the years for soccer, rugby and greyhound racing and I’m sure plenty of people will come out to support the game and raise money for charity.”
Young Munster’s Honorary Secretary Brendan Collopy is delighted that his team will be a part of this historic game, and hopes that there will be more games played in the Markets Field in the coming years.
“We’re thrilled to have gotten to the final and we’re thrilled to be a part of this game in the Markets Field, because we don’t know if there’s going to be another game played there again,” Mr Collopy said.
“I would like to see the finals of local competitions being played there, and for schoolboys to get the chance to play there, instead of playing on the back pitch in Thomond Park.”
This is something that was echoed by the Garryowen spokesperson, saying that the Markets Field would provide a much more intimate setting for schoolboy finals.
“The crowds aren’t the same as they used to be for the Munster Junior Cup and Senior Cup, and Thomond Park has a capacity of over 25,000 so the crowd gets lost.
“The Markets Field is a much more intimate setting, where you’re closer to the game and you can hear the fans roar.”
The Limerick Charity Cup Final will benefit local charities such as Milford Care Centre, Parkinsons Association, Redemptorist Fathers Christmas Poor Campaign and Limerick Marine Search and Rescue.