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Tough opener for Clongowes

DEFENDING Leinster Schools Senior Cup champions Clongowes Wood begin the quest for three in a row with a difficult first-round tie against sister school and great Jesuit rivals Belvedere College.

It is one of two stand-out fixtures in a somewhat lopsided draw, which has five of the traditional top six schools bunched together at the top end.

By contrast, St Michael’s will be red-hot favourites to make it through to a second final in three years at the lower end. The other plum pairing sees heavyweights Blackrock College and Terenure set to lock horns at Donnybrook.