Cathal set for Heineken Cup showdown
Published 23/04/2013 | 05:40
A former Sligo Grammar School student will be at the heart of one of the marquee rugby games of the season on Saturday.
Twenty-four-year-old Cathal Sheridan from Ransboro is in the Munster squad for their eagerly-anticipated Heineken Cup semi-final clash with Clermont Auvergne at Stade Marcel, Montpellier.
Munster's march to the last four has captured the imagination of the Irish sporting public.
And the fact that they go in as underdogs against a highly talented Clermont outfit only serves to heighten the sense of anticipation.
"It's a huge challenge but you don't expect to get anything easy in a Heineken Cup semi-final," says Cathal.
The former Sligo Rugby Club player made his debut for Munster in February and has battled his way into contention for a regular start in the multi-talented side.
The scrum-half has clearly benefitted from playing alongside such legends as Ronan O'Gara and Paul O'Connell and is relishing the prospect of a Heineken Cup semi-final appearance.
Meanwhile, Sligo Rugby Club's great adventure in the U-17 All-Ireland Cup came to an end when they were beaten 30-18 by Navan in the final at Nass last Saturday.
"We were bitterly disappointed to lose but it was a great achievement to get to the final," said manager, Des Cosgrove.
"The boys won the Connacht League and Cup double this season so they have a lot to be proud of.
"We will learn from the experience and continue to make progress at under-age level over the coming years," he added.
There was better luck for Sligo's U-13 squad, who won the prestigious Pat Lawlor tournament in Limerick for the first time.
They beat a number of the country's top clubs on their way to the final before accounting for Enniscorthy in the decider.