Tricky start for DLS Waterford in Harty defence

CHAMPIONS DLS Waterford open the defence of their Harty Cup title with a tricky local derby clash against Waterford Colleges at Walsh Park tomorrow.

DLS can call on six of last year’s winning side, goalkeeper Stephen O’Keeffe, defenders Noel Connors, Philip Mahony, Stephen Daniels, along with forwards Stephen Power and Peter McCarthy and will be keen to get their campaign off to a winning start.

Waterford Colleges, who are an amalgamated side, have threatened to win this championship but have always come up short in the knock out stages. Talk is this year’s side is a well balanced one and having beaten the city boys in three of the last four meetings, they will fancy their chances again.

They are backed by Kieran Geary who plays senior hurling with Tallow; Cormac Curran; Karl Duggan who was a county minor last year; and Fionan Murray. If they strike form they could maintain their dominance over the champions.

Former champions St Colmans travel to Feenagh tomorrow to take on St Caimins and the Fermoy college will be expected to win this game despite the Clare school’s successes in the lower grade in recent years.

Carrigaline Community School enjoyed a good run last year and their profile has gone up a couple of notches. The excellent work of the local club has been a huge benefit to the school, and while their team is a bit on the young side this year, they will fancy their chances against Nenagh CBS in New Inn tomorrow.

Former kingpins of the Harty Cup North Mon will find the going tough against Cashel CS in Ballygiblin, but Glanmire CS should keep the Cork flag flying when they clash with Doon CBS in Mitchelstown. There is a local derby game in Fermoy between Rathluirc CBS and Midleton CBS, with the east Cork college the likely winners.

Thurles CBS and Árd Scoil Rís are involved in probably the game of the round in Nenagh. The Tipperary school wasn’t too far off the mark in last year’s competition, being beaten by two points in the semi-final by eventual winners DLS Waterford. The previous year they failed at the same stage to the eventual winners, Midleton CBS.

This year they have strengthened their challenge with a couple of newcomers and will be expected to again have a say in the destination of the title, but must play well to get the better of the Limerick side tomorrow.

The competition kicks off this afternoon with the meeting of Our Ladys (Templemore) and Pobal Scoil na Tríonóide (Youghal) in Ardfinnan at 1.30pm. This is the Cork side’s first outing in the competition since their amalgamation, and it will be interesting to see how they fare.

The North Tipp side will have Noel McGrath in their side for his third Harty campaign. Winner of back-to-back All-Ireland minor medals with the county, McGrath is one of the most talented underage players around, and he would dearly love to win a Harty Cup medal.

The Youghal side can call on players from both Cork and Waterford who have played at under 15 and 16 level with their respective counties. Brian Collins, Joe Budds, Patrick O’Brien and Brian O’Halloran will spearhead their challenge, but they will have to play extremely well to get the verdict.

All games have a 1.30 start except the game in Mitchelstown where the sliotar will be thrown in at 1pm.

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