Tough draws for holders
BOTH the reigning Sigerson and Fitzgibbon Cup champions will find it difficult to retain their titles after the draws for the blue riband third-level colleges competitions were made in UCD yesterday.
Sigerson champions DCU face St Mary's, Belfast, for the right to reach the 'big weekend', with the victors meeting the winners of UCC and GMIT.
The competition will revert to the traditional three-day event across the weekend of March 3/4/5 to celebrate the centenary of the tournament, with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final to be played in UCD. However, GAA top brass have made Croke Park available to host the decider should it be requested.
The hosts -- who include Dublin's Michael Fitzsimons and Cian O'Sullivan, as well as Laois dual player John O'Loughlin and Westmeath starlet John Heslin -- face the winners of NUI Galway and IT Sligo.
Current Fitzgibbon champions NUI Galway have been paired with Cork IT and DIT in Group B, but it's Group A that catches the eye as it includes Waterford IT, UCD and Limerick IT. The semi-finals and finals are fixed for Waterford for the weekend of February 25/26.