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Tough start for 'Rock in bid for three-in-a row

rugby: Blackrock College will bid to become the first school to complete the Leinster Senior Cup three-in-a-row since it accomplished the feat back in 1964.

Peter Smyth's 'Rock boys will have to do it the hard way as they have drawn old rivals Terenure in the pick of the first round ties.

However, St Michael's are the pre-competition favourites on the back of winning out in the Bicentenary Festival at Clongowes Wood and they will take in a huge side, led by last season's Ireland Schools captain James Ryan, against St Mary's in the first round.

Clongowes will have to take a wait-and-see approach about the identity of their opponents as they have been paired with one of the qualifiers from the Vinnie Murray Cup. Cistercian Roscrea will come in as dark horses on the evidence of their 42-12 demolition of Gonzaga in the Leinser League semi-final ahead of the final against Newbridge this Friday night.

leinster Schools Cup Draw

pFr Godfrey Cup: High School (BYE), Scoil Chonglais (BYE), Skerries Community College v CBC Monkstown, St Andrews College v St Fintans, Maynooth v CUS, Templeogue College v De La Salle, Churchtown, Wesley College v Newpark, CBS Naas v St Patricks Classical School

pJunior Schools Cup: Belvedere College v St Gerards School, Fr Godrey Qualifier 2 v St Michael's College, Castleknock College v Fr Godrey Qualifier 1, Terenure College v Kings Hospital, Cistercian, Roscrea v St Marys College, Gonzaga v Newbridge College, Kilkenny College v Presentation College Bray, Clongowes Wood College v Blackrock College

pVinnie Murray Cup: CBS Enniscorthy (BYE), Templeogue College (BYE), Kings Hospital v Gorey Community School, Presentation Bray v St Patrick's Classical School, St Columbas College v St Fintan's, The High School v Skerris Community College, Tullow Community School v Castleknock College, Wilson's Hospital School v St Gerards School

pSenior Schools Cup: Wesley College v Roscrea, Kilkenny College v Newbridge College, Gonzaga College v Belvedere College, Vinnie Murray Qualifier 1 v St Andrews College, Clongowes Wood College v Vinnie Murray Qualifier 2, Terenure College v Blackrock College, St Michael's College v St Mary's College, CUS v CBC Monkstown

Games will kick off as follows (subject to change):

pFather Godfrey Cup - 1st Round: Week Beginning 11th January. 2nd Round: W/B 18th January. Semi-Finals: W/B 25th January. Final: TBC

pVinnie Murray Cup - 1st Round: W/B 4th January. 2nd Round: W/B 11th January. Semi-Finals: W/B Jan 18th. Final: TBC

pLeinster Schools Junior Cup - 1st Round: W/B 1st February. 2nd Round: W/B 22nd February. Semi-Finals: 8th & 10th March. Final: Sunday 22nd March (KO 3:30 pm)

pLeinster Schools Senior Cup - 1st Round: W/B 25th January. 2nd Round: W/B 8th February. Semi-Finals: 3rd & 4th March. Final: Tues 17th March (KO 4:00 pm)

Meadow narrowly misses out

golf: Stephanie Meadow narrowly missed out on a earning a full tour card at the LPGA qualifying tournament in Florida.

Meadow, who hopes to represent Ireland at the 2016 Olympics, was involved in a remarkable play-off at the event at Jones & Hills Courses in Daytona that ending up stretching over two days.

Seven players were involved in the play-off for three cards, two of which were claimed by Laetitia Beck and Garrett Phillips after birdies on the first sudden-death hole, the par-four 10th on Sunday.

Four players, Meadow, Casey Grice, Karlin Beck, and Julie Yang played on, though Yang was eliminated on the sixth play-off hole, leaving three to resume yesterday. Grice fell by the wayside on the first hole after a bogey, leaving just the Irish golfer and Karlin Beck for the one remaining spot.

Karlin Beck birdied the 18th after chipping from off the green in spectacular fashion. It left Meadow also needing to hole from off the putting the surface, which, unfortunately, she failed to do, meaning the American had secured the last full-time, Category 12 card. Meadow did qualify for a limited, Category 17 card.

Trump gunning for O'Sullivan

snooker: Judd Trump (pictured) wants it to be third time lucky against Ronnie O'Sullivan at next month's Masters.

The swashbuckling left-hander Trump has fallen to O'Sullivan in two finals over the last month. He was edged out 10-7 in a high-quality Champion of Champions showdown at Coventry in November, and came back from 9-4 adrift to force a deciding frame in Sunday's UK Championship title match, only to be squeezed out in a gripping finish.

Trump has yet to reach a Masters final but will be going all out to put that right at Alexandra Palace, and would then love another shot at the man he rates second to none. "He's definitely the best player to ever play," Trump said of O'Sullivan.

Harrington rockets up rankings

GOLF: Three-time Major winner Pádraig Harrington has climbed over 100 places in the World Golf Rankings after securing victory at the Indonesia Open. The former world number three is back up to 260th after his win in the event, which came after a tense final hole that saw rival player Thanyakon Khrongpha hit his ball into the water.

The victory was Harrington's first at a full field tournament since the 2010 Johor Open title. Following that victory the 43-year-old had plummeted to 371st in the world.


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