Key dates for Ulster and All-Ireland games

March 14, 2017

The Ulster Schools’ GAA season reaches a high point over the next couple of weeks and yesterday secretary Seamus Woods indicated some key times and dates.

Friday’s St Patrick’s Day showpiece senior football finals in Armagh will both go to extra-time if necessary and this has meant that there is a slightly earlier throw-in time for both.

The Danske Bank MacLarnon Cup final, between 2015 champions Our Lady’s Castleblayney and first time finalists St Ciaran’s Ballygawley, will start at 10.45am.

The 95th edition of the Danske Bank MacRory Cup will come to a close with a 1pm throw-in between record 19 times’ champions St Colman’s Newry and a St Mary’s Magherafelt side attempting to bring the famous trophy back to the Castledawson Road site for the very first time.

BBC TV will cover the MacRory Cup final as usual with coverage beginning at 12.45pm.

With the All-Ireland semi-finals of both competitions set for Wednesday 22nd March against the Leinster champions, the Schools’ Council is hoping to avoid a replay.

The Masita Hogan and Paddy Drummond Cup finals will be a double-header in Croke Park ten days later on Saturday April 1st.

St Patrick’s Maghera defeated St Mary’s Edenderry after extra-time in Sunday’s Masita Paul McGirr under 16 All-Ireland semi-final and they will now play Kerry’s Pobalscoil Chorcra Dhuibhne, the school that defeated them in the 2014 Hogan Cup decider.

Pobalscoil, under the stewardship of current Kerry manager Eamon Fitzmaurice, defeated St Attracta’s Tubercurry by 1-16 to 1-12 on Saturday and they will now face the Rannafast Cup champions on Saturday 25th March.

That is the same day that Mageean Cup champions St Mary’s CBGS play St John the Baptist CS from Hospital in Limerick in the final of the Paddy Buggy Cup, having held off a stiff challenge from Naas CBS in last Friday’s semi-final in Darver.

That final is in Thurles and will be followed by the Croke Cup final (Schools’ Senior A hurling), the semi-finals of which are down for decision tomorrow (WEDNESDAY).

The two Kilkenny city schools are in opposite semi-finals. St Kieran’s, bidding for a fourth successive title which would bring their haul to 22, face St Bridget’s Loughrea in Tullamore.

Kilkenny CBS (1981) and Our Lady’s Templemore (1978) with one All-Ireland each will meet in Portlaoise tomorrow.

And on Saturday Cross & Passion Ballycastle under 16 team will attempt to bridge a nine year gap to their first All-Ireland Junior A camogie title when they face a Loreto Kilkenny side aiming for a three-in-a-row and an ninth title in 11 seasons. That game is in St Peregrine’s GAA grounds in Dublin with a 2pm throw-in.

Elsewhere the Ulster football finals for both the Danske Bank Nolan and Ward Cups have been deferred to next week. De La Salle Downpatrick and Lumen Christi Derry face each other for the Nolan Cup, while another Derry school, St Joseph’s, and St Patrick’s Bearnageeha will both be in search of a first Ward Cup at senior level.