DCU v Jordanstown the pick of Sigerson and Fitzgibbon Cup draws

Both weekends held in Munster with UCC and Limerick IT respective hosts

Higher Education GAA Senior Championships at Croke Park, Dublin. Photograph: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Higher Education GAA Senior Championships at Croke Park, Dublin. Photograph: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

 

This year’s Sigerson Cup draw has scheduled one of the year’s most anticipated third level duels for the very first round, as 2012 champions DCU take on the star-studded selection of University of Ulster Jordanstown.

Never short of big names themselves, DCU are in pursuit of a fourth title in ten years, hosting the likes of Laois defender Colm Begley, Galway’s Tom Flynn, Dublin’s Davy Byrne and Tipperary’s Steven O’Brien in their league winning team.

Whereas five-time champions Jordanstown boast a team containing Mayo’s Cillian O’Connor, Donegal’s Paddy McBrearty, Cavan’s Killian Clarke, Monaghan’s Kieran Hughes and Tyrone attacker Ronan O’Neill to name but a few.

Last year’s beaten finalists are also reported to have the services of the returning AFL duo of Caolon Mooney and Martin Clarke.

In the competition’s preliminary round in January, 41-year-old ex-Meath All-Ireland winner Graham Geraghty will represent IT Blanchardstown as they face NUIG.

All-Cork

Meanwhile reigning champions UCC will take on Cork IT in an all-Cork first round derby. UCC have been the dark horses in recent years, despite appearing in four of the last five finals.

In the Fitzgibbon Cup the teams have again been separated into four groups for the opening rounds. Reigning champions Waterford IT are in a group with recently crowned league champions IT Carlow.

They overcame the might of UCC to claim that historic first Division one title. The Cork university, whose forward line includes Cork’s Alan Cadogan and Conor Lehane aswell as Clare’s goal-getter Shane O’Donnell, are grouped with both NUIG,GMIT and UL.

Over in Cork IT though and they can avail of the talents of Tipperary’s John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer, while amongst the other big names in this year’s compettion are UCD’s Wexford dualstar Matt O’Hanlon, and Limerick’s Declan Hannon who will feature for Mary Immaculate.

Munster venues

Both championship weekends will be held in Munster with reigning champions UCC hosting the HE GAA Football Championship Finals weekend in the famous Mardyke. The hurling weekend will be hosted by Limerick IT in their Moylish Campus with the Fitzgibbon Cup final taking place in the nearby Gaelic Grounds.

The weekend blitz format comes into action in both tournaments from the semi-final stages onwards. Before that fixtures will correspond to a regular home and away format with the advantage decided upon by either the draw or existing arrangements between the various universities.

February throw in

All 18 Sigerson entrants will be hoping to make the trip south on February 20th/21st for what promises to be an exciting two days of action.

While all roads lead to Limerick for the Fitzgibbon weekend on Friday February 27th/28th.

Speaking on behalf of Cumann Lúthchleas Gael, Uachtarán Liam Ó Néill, said: “Our Higher Education competitions occupy a special place in the wider GAA calendar and foster some of the best emerging talent in our codes.

Sigerson Cup 2015

Preliminary Round -

NUI Galway v IT Blanchardstown

Athlone IT v Trinity College

First Round -

UCC v Cork IT

IT Sligo v Queen’s University

UL v NUI Maynooth

IT Carlow v IT Tralee

UCD v Athlone IT/Trinity College

Dublin IT v GMIT

St Mary’s v NUI Galway/IT Blanchardstown

Jordanstown v DCU

2015 Fitzgibbon Cup

Group 1: DCU, Cork IT, UCD, St Pat’s

Group 2: UCC, GMIT, NUI Galway, UL

Group 3: IT Carlow, Waterford IT, NUI Maynooth, Mary Immaculate Limerick

Group 4: Limerick IT, Jordanstown, Dublin IT

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