Brogan’s bank on Rebel stars to seal final spot

ST BROGAN’S will field eight members of the Cork All-Ireland Vocational inter county winning team for tomorrow’s schools SAFC semi-final against St Brendan’s (Belmullet) in Lahinch.

Brogan’s have been the dominant school in Cork and Munster at this level over the years but it has not been reflected at national level where they have lost successive semi-finals to Virginia College (Cavan) in 2006 and ‘07.

They last won the All-Ireland title in 2004 and made it a double the same year by taking the hurling crown as well. Saturday’s teams met at the same stage of the competition in 2005 when victory went to the Mayo school.

According to Belmullet mentor Declan O’Reilly, they are an average team but with plenty of football. “We beat Athenry earlier this week in the Connacht final by five points (3-12 to 2-10) and we have done well to get this far.

“Brogan’s have a very good team with several members of the victorious Cork team. It’s going to be very difficult for us but we’ll give it our best shot and hope for the best”.

The Bandon school will include Roy Payne, Jason McCarthy, Maurice Sexton, Daniel Twomey, Liam Long, Peter Daly all of who figured on that Cork team while Gary Twomey and Dominic Creedon were subs, all of which makes them firm favourites to reach the All-Ireland final.

Damien Doherty and Rory Ginty will spearhead the Belmullet challenge but it’s likely to come up well short.

The second semi-final at Drogheda, pits together Ashbourne CS and St Malachy’s HS Castlewellan also on Saturday. Both schools have come through the harder side of the draw and there should be very little between them as a result.

The Meath side will be without Gavin Kennedy. He was one of three players who were red carded in last week’s Leinster final which ended in a mass brawl. Ashbourne win the game by six points to take their first provincial title at this level.

St Malachy’s High School won their fourth Ulster senior title this year but so far have failed to add the All-Ireland crown. They lost the 1997 to Coláiste na Sceilge. They had high hopes of making the breakthrough this year as they had won the junior title two years ago, but because most of that side have left school, there is only four available, Philip Bonny, David McDonald, Ger McNulty and Jarleth Brannigan.

They were comfortable winners over Holy Trinity College Crookstown in the recent Ulster final, but according to team official PJ McGee, they are up against a very good team in Ashbourne.

In the All-Ireland junior vocational semi-final, Boherbue Comprehensive face Athenry VS at Croagh on Easter Monday, and if they can repeat the form show in the recent Munster final, the Cork school should make it to the final.

The second semi-final involving Dunshaughlin CC and DLS Downpatrick, has been put back to April 1.

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