Draws for major football competitions 2018-2019July 04, 2018
Ulster Schools’ football draws
THERE will be a baptism of fire for current Danske Bank MacLarnon Cup and Paddy Drummond Cup champions Holy Trinity College Cookstown when they dip their toes into a first MacRory Cup campaign in the autumn.
They have been drawn in Group B alongside recent winners Maghera and Cavan as well as St Macartan’s Monaghan, who have taken big strides at under-age level in the past few years.
Holy Trinity Director of Sport, Peter Canavan, wasn’t too perturbed by the outcome of the draw.
“When we decided to move up to the MacRory grade, we knew to expect a huge challenge in every game. And that is how we are treating the whole competition. So it doesn’t matter whom we are playing or in what group we have been drawn, every game is a big game for us.”
The other team moving up the grades, St Eunan’s Letterkenny, would look to have a more manageable programme with games against St Paul’s Bessbrook, Patrician High Carrickmacross and St Patrick’s Armagh – although all three schools were semi-finalists over the past couple of seasons.
Both last year’s finalists, Hogan champions St Ronan’s and St Mary’s Magherafelt have been drawn in the same group along with St Mary’s Belfast and Omagh CBS while Group A is already looking like the “Group of Death” with Enniskillen, St Patrick’s Academy and both Newry schools fighting it out for qualification.
The competition will run on the same format as last season
– the winners of each of the four groups will progress into the MacCormack Cup league semi-finals in late November
– the four runners-up will go straight through to the knock-out stages after Christmas
– the teams placed third and fourth will play a pre-Christmas knock-out game with teams finishing third having home advantage
Meanwhile there are developments in the Danske Bank MacLarnon Cup with two new entrants – both amalgamated teams from the north west.
St Columb’s College, Lumen Christi, St Joseph’s and Oakgrove College will come together under the Cathair Dhoire banner, while the combination team from Inis Eoghain schools that has been running at under-age level for the past five seasons will extend to senior schools’ competition.
Both the amalgamated teams are drawn in Group A alongside St Pius X Magherafelt, Our Lady’s Castleblayney and St Malachy’s Castlewellan who step down a grade after a season in the MacRory Cup.
The other group consists of St Louis Ballymena, OLSP Knock, St Patrick’s Keady and St Patrick’s Downpatrick – nine teams in total with a play-off between fifth place in Group A and fourth in Group B determining the last of the quarter-final places and league positions in each group feeding into the quarter-final line-up.
The first competition of the new autumn term is the Danske Bank Rannafast Cup and last year’s finalists, winners St Patrick’s Cavan and St Michael’s Enniskillen, have been drawn in the same group along with St Mary’s Magherafelt and St Eunan’s Letterkenny.
Cavan are also the holders of both the Corn na nÓg and Dalton Cups and will be favourites therefore to defend the Corn na nÓg crown.
The notable inclusion in this latter competition is Aquinas Grammar from the Ravenhill Road. The school lost narrowly to St Pius X in their Corn Cholmchille final in May, but have opted to push the squad through to A grade competition and they are grouped with St Patrick’s Armagh, Omagh CBS and St Macartan’s Monaghan
Danske Bank MacRory Cup groupings :
Group A : St Michael’s Enniskillen, St Patrick’s Academy Dungannon, Abbey CBS and St Colman’s Newry
Group B : Holy Trinity College Cookstown, St Patrick’s Maghera, St Patrick’s Cavan and St Macartan’s Monaghan
Group C : St Ronan’s Lurgan, St Mary’s Magherafelt, St Mary’s Belfast and Omagh CBS
Group D : St Eunan’s Letterkenny, St Paul’s Bessbrook, Patrician High Carrickmacross and St Patrick’s Armagh
Danske Bank MacLarnon Cup
Group A : Cathair Dhoire, Inis Eoghain, St Pius X Magherafelt, Our Lady’s Castleblayney and St Malachy’s Castlewellan
Group B : St Louis Ballymena, Our Lady’s and St Patrick’s Knock, St Patrick’s Keady and St Patrick’s Downpatrick
Danske Bank Rannafast Cup
Group A : St Colman’s Newry, Patrician Carrickmacross, St Patrick’s Maghera and Omagh CBS
Group B : St Mary’s Magherafelt, St Eunan’s Letterkenny, St Michael’s Enniskillen, St Patrick’s Cavan
Group C : St Patrick’s Academy Dungannon, St Macartan’s Monaghan, Abbey CBS, St Patrick’s Armagh
Danske Bank Corn na nÓg
Group A : Omagh CBS, Aquinas Grammar Belfast, St Macartan’s Monaghan, St Patrick’s Armagh.
Group B : St Pius X Magherafelt, St Patrick’s Academy Dungannon, St Colman’s Newry, St Patrick’s Cavan
Group C : St Mary’s Magherafelt, St Patrick’s Maghera, Abbey CBS, St Michael’s Enniskillen