UL braced for derby test in defence of Fitzgibbon Cup
REIGNING Fitzgibbon Cup champions University of Limerick have been paired with city rivals Limerick IT and St Patrick's Drumcondra in Group C as they look to defend their crown in the centenary year of the blue-riband third-level hurling competition.
The Fitzgibbon Cup continues with the round-robin format of recent years, with four groups of three teams each, and the first round of matches is to be played on Thursday, February 2.
Cork IT, Waterford IT and UCD are in a strong Group A, with DIT, IT Carlow and NUI Galway paired together in Group B. Group D will see UCC, DCU and GMIT do battle.
There will be a high-profile casualty in the first round of the Sigerson Cup after 2010 winners DCU were drawn at home to Cork IT, while reigning champions UCC host Galway-Mayo IT.
UCD kick off their campaign with the visit of Athlone IT to Belfield. Carlow IT also visit Dublin for a clash with Dublin IT.
The first-round games in the Sigerson Cup will be played either on Tuesday, January 31 or Wednesday, February 1, with NUIG to host the Sigerson Cup semi-finals and final on February 24/25.
The Fitzgibbon Cup final will be hosted by UCC in the Mardyke on the weekend of March 2/3.
2012 HIGHER EDUCATION FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP DRAWS
Sigerson Cup -- Round 1: NUI Galway v St Mary's, Belfast; UUJ v UL; DCU v Cork IT; DIT v IT Carlow; IT Tralee v IT Sligo; UCC v GMIT; Queen's University Belfast v NUI Maynooth; UCD v Athlone IT.
Trench Cup -- Round 1: Mary Immaculate College v IT Blanchardstown; Letterkenny IT v IT Tallaght; Waterford IT v BMC; St Pat's, Drumcondra v Dundalk IT; UU Coleraine v Limerick IT. Quarter-Finals: Mary I/ITB v UUC/LIT; LKIT/ITT v WIT/BMC; Trinity College v St Pat's Drumcondra/DKIT.
Corn na Mac Leinn -- Round 1: Mater Dei v UU Magee; GMIT Castlebar v GMIT Letterfrack; LIT Tipperary v NCI; The Law School v St Pat's, Thurles. Quarter-Finals: Mater Dei/UUM v LITT/NCI; Marino College v GMIT Castlebar/GMIT Letterfrack; Cadets v RCSI; Law School/St Pat's, Thurles v Froebel College.
Further Education Football Championship -- Quarter-Finals: SRC v Carlow IFE; Drogheda v Colaiste Ide; O Fiach Col v NWRC; Cavan Inst v CCFE.
2012 HIGHER EDUCATION HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP DRAWS
Fitzgibbon Cup -- Group A: CIT, WIT, UCD Group B: DIT, IT Carlow, NUIG. Group C: UL, LIT, St Pat's/Mater Dei. Group D: UCC, DCU, GMIT.
Ryan Cup - Round 1: Mary Immaculate College v Trinity College; IT Sligo v NUIM; AIT v IT Tralee; Queen's University Belfast v UUJ.
Fergal Maher Cup -- Round 1: IT Tallaght v Marino College; Dundalk IT v IT Blanchardstown; GMIT Letterfrack v Cork Colleges of Further Education. Quarter-Finals: St Pat's, Thurles v DKIT/ITB; GMIT Letterfrack/CCFE v IT Tallaght/Marino College; St Mary's University College Belfast v LIT Tipperary. Semi-Finals: St Pat's, Thurles/DKIT/ITB v Napier University; GMIT Letterfrack/CCFE/ITT/Marino v St Mary's/LIT Tipperary.