Douglas’ high level debut against St Brendans sets a stern test

DOUGLAS Community School break new ground tomorrow when they play in the Irish Examiner-sponsored Corn Uí Mhuirí (Munster Colleges SFC) for the first time.

A splendid victory over St Augustines in the Munster "B" final last year won them the opportunity to compete at the higher level and how they fare out will be watched with interest.

Their opponents tomorrow are St Brendans from Killarney, a college steeped in the tradition of the Corn Uí Mhuirí, but one which has fallen on lean times in recent years.

They have won the title 18 times, but it's been eight years since their last victory, a lifetime for a college with such standing in this particular championship.

Team boss Paul Barden who played his college football with St Colmans (Newry) is a bit concerned about facing an unknown opponent, and is further hampered by the loss of Patrick Moloney and Diarmuid O'Carroll.

Moloney picked up an ankle injury in a recent Kerry Colleges (O'Sullivan Cup) clash with Tarbert which they struggled to win, while O'Carroll has opted out to concentrate on his international soccer career at under-16 level with Ireland.

"We won the Moran Cup (under-15) for the last two years but failed in last year's Frewen Cup (under-16½) final which means we are not making the kind of progress we would have liked," said Barden.

"Hopefully our tradition will carry us through but from what I hear Douglas are a very good side built around the local club which is always good for team work and morale. I'm very wary of them."

It's a huge match for Douglas but one they are quite capable of winning provided they have the belief. Players such as Stephen Bermingham, Paddy White, Mark O'Callaghan, David O'Connor, Eoin Cadigan and Mark Harrington are all capable footballers, but this is the big time and it remains to be seen if they can cope with the occasion.

Criost Rí and St Fachtnas clash out in Bandon tomorrow and here the issue is wide open between two colleges who always have high hopes of ultimate victory every year.

The Skibbereen side were highly fancied last year but came a cropper in the semi-final to tomorrow's opponents, while the Capwell school were beaten in the final. With both teams able to call on most of the same teams again, it promises to be a lively encounter with Criost Rí getting the nod to take the spoils.

Title holders Coláiste na Sceilge face a tricky opener on Thursday when they take on Limerick Colleges in Glin. The Caherciveen school are nowhere near as strong as they have been in the past two seasons when they won back-to-back titles.

This is the second year in the championship for the Limerick Colleges a combined team of city schools and are in for the long haul. Last year they pushed Intermediate School Killorglin all the way and were only beaten by the lack of experience.

Because of obvious circumstances it hasn't been easy for Limerick to train collectively, and for that reason the champions, who don't have any problems in that regard, should get the defence of their title off to a winning start.

Clonmel houses the Dr Harty Cup clash of Our Lady's and Midleton CBS tomorrow, with a 1pm start. This game had to be abandoned recently when a Midleton player took ill. Thankfully he has fully recovered.

At that time of the abandonment the game looked to be developing into a great contest. Tomorrow should be no different with the Templemore school again the fancied side.

Defending champions St Colmans, hot on the trail of a hat-trick of titles, travel to Ardfinnan to take on De La Salle Waterford in the opening round, and with half of last year's team still available, including the brilliant Andrew O'Shaughnessy who will captain the team this year, they will be hotly fancied to win. This game has a 2.30pm throw-in.

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.