DCU kick off sigerson defence at home to ait
DEFENDING champions DCU will get their bid for back-to-back Independent.ie Sigerson Cup titles underway with a knock-out tie at home to Athlone IT after yesterday's draw in Croke Park threw up some intriguing contests.
Niall Moyna's side were well beaten by UCD in the League final last month, however, and the Belfield side have a formidable outfit featuring Footballer of the Year Jack McCaffrey, Tommy Moolick and Paul Mannion.
They could face a dangerous trip to Dangan against NUIG, who must first overcome Trinity in a preliminary round, while the all-Munster pairing of the University of Limerick and IT Tralee is the pick of other first-round games.
The 2016 Sigerson Cup weekend will be hosted by Ulster University, Antrim on February 19/20.
Meanwhile, reigning Independent.ie Fitzgibbon Cup champions UL, with 2013 Hurler of the Year Tony Kelly in tow, face a tricky opening away to Dublin IT on January 28.
They will then travel across the city to face neighbours Mary Immaculate College in a Limerick derby before finishing at home to NUIG, a tie which may decide the group winners.
A trio of big hitters feature in the 'group of death' with UCC, Limerick IT and UCD all vying for two available spots from Group A, with NUI Maynooth drawing the short straw.
Hosts Cork IT and GMIT will be expected to account for Ulster University in the three-team Group D, while League winners IT Carlow will be aiming for a first Fitzgibbon Cup success with DJ Carey's side pitted against DCU, St Pat's Mater Dei and 2014 champions WIT.
The Fitzgibbon Cup weekend will take place on February 26/27.
See Factfile for full draw