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Bray braced for Cup defence with O'Toole at helm

IT promises to be an action-packed month for the Dublin schools as the All-Ireland Cup competitions begin in earnest.

AND for former Evening Herald Sports Coach of the year, Marie O'Toole, this season marks a new departure having stepped down as Coláiste Iosagáin coach after a very successful 18 years in charge.

O'Toole's focus now turns to Presentation Bray who she guided to U-19A success last season.

The Wicklow school begin the defence of their cup title on October 18 against St Eunan's Donegal.

There is a good spread of talent at both U-19 and U-16 level. Dylan Terry who plays post is certainly one to watch out for and having recently won an U16A county hurling title with Bray Emmett's, is also looking to repeat that feat in the football.

Also included in this year's draw are newly promoted St Paul's College who take on Coláiste Choilm Ballincollig in the second round later on in the month.

St Paul's will again look to Paddy Sullivan for inspiration, the Irish underage international having made his Superleague debut for Killester against Marian at the weekend.

Sullivan returns alongside fellow starters Luke Givens, Greg Campion, and Alex Taipau.

Overall the sport is flourishing in the school and last week the under-16s recorded an impressive 49-22 win in the league with Jack Kelly (20 pts) and Rob O'Meara (14 pts) featuring prominently.

The tie of the round in the boys' U-19A section sees cup finalists St Malachy's up against league champions St Fintan's of Sutton. Malachy's enjoy home advantage here and with the Quinn brothers, Conor and Aiden, both again eligible, Malachy's should be favourites to progress.

Meanwhile, girls' league holders Holy Faith Clontarf take on St Angela's Waterford with last season's beaten league and cup finalists, Coláiste Íosagáin, away to Our Lady's the Bower from Athlone.