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Croke Cup Quarter-Finals & O'Sullivan Cup Semi-Finals Previews

posted 13 Mar 2015, 10:36 by Post Primary

When It comes to the Masita GAA All-Ireland Post Primary Schools competitions, the Croke Cup (SH 'A') is right up there at the top of the bill.

This weekend the quarter-finals of that Cup are down for decision. At Fraher Field, Dungarvan at 2pm on Saturday, the famed St Kieran’s College of Kilkenny will take on this year's success story in Post Primary games -  St Francis College, Rochestown.
 
For most of the academic year, St Francis have been chasing honours in both hurling and football, and only last weekend were defeated by Corca Dhuibhne in the Corn Ui Mhuiri. Just before that they were defeated by Thurles CBS in the Harty Cup decider.So heartbreak all around, but the prospect of facing the giants of the senior hurling 'A' competition will surely galvanise them again.

It has also been a busy spring for Kieran's, though they have taken all three games in their stride.

 "In the championship so far we have played Kilkenny CBS ( they won 1-14 -2-3), Good Counsel  (they won 1-18 -0-5) and St Peter's in the Leinster final which they won 1-14. 1-6," says team mentor Liam Smith.
 
 "We have nine lads starting from last year's team and that brings a bit of experience. Our captain is Sean Morrissey from Bennetsbridge who recently won a junior club All Ireland title so it's been a great year for him so far. We have 10 lads from the Kilkenny minor winning panel of last year but two of them are out with cruciate injuries."
 

They will be tested against Rochestown who have battled so gamely all season and deserve more for their toil and won't want to drop out of the hurling fare without a right battle.
 
Like most schools there have been a lot of good people involved in the progression of the Cork school, like Liam O Murchú with the football side of things, and Denis McDonnell, who re-started hurling in the school just over 10 years ago.

From there, other staff members have really dug in to develop both codes and it's those staff members and the players who are still driving the momentum as there are no outside coaches. It was a long and arduous route to get to where they are now. Only thirteen years ago they managed to string enough players together to take part in a Cork Colleges C competition.
 
By 2008 they were playing at 'B' level and gathered silverware at U14 level.
 
Progression continued the following year when they played in the 'A' grade. With numbers swelling around the Rochestown,Passage, Carrigaline, Shamrocks, Tracton, Nemo Rangers, Ballygarvan and Douglas areas, the school's population has swollen in tandem, helping them reach both those Harty and the Corn Uí Mhuirí deciders.
 
To get through that hectic schedule they went from game to game  – football one week, then hurling. 
 
The other quarter-final of the weekend will also be played on Saturday at Ashbourne, again at 2pm, with this one between St.Peter’s College of Wexford and St Brigid’s Vocational School, Loughrea  
 
St. Peter's College advanced to their first Leinster Senior hurling 'A' championship final appearance since 2004 when they saw off the persistent challenge of surprise packets Borris Vocational College by 2-18 to 0-15 but they were defeated by Kieran's in the provincial final.
 
 Still, they will be hoping to bounce back to winning ways and players like Matthew Joyce, Joe O'Connor, the classy Billy Dunne and Jack Pettit are all capable of shooting the lights out on any given day. Also capable of inspiring the side are John Lee Meyler, Rowan White, Conor Hearne, Jake Firman and Rory O'Connor. Their clash with St Brigid's will be just as tight as the other quarter-final.
 
There is also football action on the Masita GAA All-Ireland Post Primary Schools programme this weekend with the semi-finals of the Dr.O’Sullivan Cup (SF 'C') taking place.
 
Ardscoil Rath Iomgháin beat Confey College in the Leinster final by 2-17 - 2-6 and now take on Our Lady’s Secondary School, Belmullet.
 
 "We have a proud tradition," says teacher and coach John O'Reilly. "Our players are taken from four different GAA clubs in the Erris area; Kiltane, Belmullet, Cill Chomain and Ballycroy. 
 
 "Chris Barrett is a past pupil of our school who is a current member of Mayo Senior team and ex Mayo Minor Tommy ‘Goals’ Conroy graduated just last year. 
 
 "Indeed, Our Lady’s had no fewer than three players on last year’s Mayo Minor team; Gary Boylan, Eoin O’ Donoghue and Mikey Barrett. 
 
 "Last year, the senior gaelic football team created history by capturing the school’s first national crown, when they defeated Crossmaglen Community College. There are eleven of that All-Ireland wining team, in the current starting fifteen.  
 
 "We have beaten some stiff opposition on their way to this All-Ireland semi-final," O'Reilly said.  Our Lady’s accounted for both Gortnor Abbey Secondary School and Davitt College in the group stages. Then Dunmore Community College and Balla Community College. In the semi-final, we produced a great performance to again defeat Davitt College, Castlebar, on a score line of 5-09 to 0-03 before overcoming Colaiste Iognaid in the Connacht final, following a gruelling extra-time battle.
 
 "The current group of players are unbeaten in championship football for over two years, but today’s match represents a step-up in class."
 
It certainly does. Meanwhile in the other semi-final Coláiste Ghobnatan, Baile Mhic Íre, who have a very special place in this competition, take on St.Louis Grammar School Kilkeel, the former school of Down star Marty Clarke.
 
We'll have all the reaction to those games early next week when we round up another hectic series of the Masita GAA Post-Primary Championships.

 

14-03-2015 (Sat)

Masita GAA All-Ireland Post Primary Schools Croke Cup (SH 'A')

Quarter-Finals

Fraher Field,

Dungarvan

14:00

St.Kieran’s College, Kilkenny

 

V

 

St.Francis College, Rochestown

 

Referee:  James Owens

Ashbourne

(Meath)

14:00

St.Peter’s College, Wexford

 

V

 

St. Brigid’s Vocational School, Loughrea

 

Referee:  Brian Gavin

Masita GAA All-Ireland Post Primary Schools Dr.O’Sullivan Cup (SF 'C')

Semi-Finals

Elphin

(Roscommon)

14:00

Ardscoil Rath Iomgháin

 

V

 

Our Lady’s Secondary School, Belmullet

 

Referee:  Paddy Neilan

 

Round Towers

(Kildare Town)

14:30

Coláiste Ghobnatan, Baile Mhic Íre

 

V

 

St.Louis Grammar School Kilkeel

 

Referee:  Brendan Cawley

 

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