DUBLIN Colleges need no introduction to the challenge that awaits them at Parnell Park on Saturday when they lock horns with St Kieran's, Kilkenny in the Leinster SH A semi-final.
Last year the Kilkenny academy ended metropolitan hopes in both the championship and league finals but Dublin boss Colm MacSealaigh is hopeful that the experiences of those two defeats will stand to his team. Four of last year's starting team remain on board with another from the panel also involved and all played a central role in the Dubs defeat of Enniscorthy CBS in the quarter-final.
"Conal Keaney, Ian Franzoni, Stephen Fee, David Callaghan and Derek O'Reilly were all involved in last year's team.
"It gives the whole a thing a continuity that would otherwise be lacking. However, this year we are fortunate that the lads with that experience are right down the middle and that should lend some sort of balance and leadership to the team."
The combined team is based largely on players that have featured on the county's development squads and that is another advantage that MacSealaigh points out.
"All our lads know each other quite well. On past teams the first time they would meet properly would be when we got together. But these lads have all been together for three or four years." Dublin hope to have forward Stephen Fee back after flu and hope that the choice of the county HQ might swell their support.
On the other side of the draw Cistercian Roscrea face Good Counsel at Nowlan Park on Sunday.
The postponed semi-final meeting of St Pat's and Marist Athlone has been rescheduled for Saturday in Mullingar (2.0).
In MacRory Cup SF action Omagh CBS meet St Colman's in Clones on Saturday in Clones while St Michael's and Abbey CBS go head to head for a final spot at Monaghan Harps.
Three vocational schools' titles will also be handed out with Beara and Causeway contesting the Munster SF A final on Saturday and Ardscoil Chiaráin and Athlone CC clashing in Leinster equivalent in Mullingar on Sunday.
St Fergal's Rathdowney face St Rynagh's CC in the Leinster VS hurling final also at Mullingar.