Wednesday 21 March 2018

Champions Clongowes face testing Belvo opener

Tony Ward

Tony Ward

Last year they created their own little bit of history when making it back-to-back Senior Cup titles for the first time ever.

Now, 12 months on, Clongowes Wood College 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 standout 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. For sure, both first-round ties will attract massive crowds to Donnybrook.

Responsibility can be laid firmly at the feet -- or rather the hands -- of Eoin O'Malley (ex-Belvedere) and Fergus McFadden (ex-Clongowes) for drawing together their former schools.

These two plus ex-Newbridge College No 8 Jamie Heaslip did the duties for all four Powerade-sponsored competitions at the Aviva Stadium last night.

In the junior competition, reigning champions Blackrock will face Belvedere in the opening round, with the winners set to meet Clongowes or CBC Monkstown in the quarter-final.

With perennial runners-up St Michael's also in the same end of the draw, the champions will be expected to emerge from the upper half.

As CUS have already qualified for the main competition, there will be a new name on the Vinnie Murray trophy, while St Gerard's School face a difficult tie against Kilkenny College in their opening defence of the Fr Godfrey Cup.

Irish Independent

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