Leinster look to impress again at Interprovincial series

September 30, 2015

The Interprovincial series is the first step in the process of selecting the FAI Schools International squad for next year's Centenary Shield competition so as well as provincial honours, there is plenty at stake with sixty four of the top players in Irish schools taking part. The three day event will see a series of six matches played with Provinces awarded two points for a win and one point for a draw.

Leinster are defending Champions but the withdrawal of a number of influential players, due to club commitments, may curtail John McShane (Dublin Oak Academy) and his management team of Al Sugg (St. Kilian's DSD, Clonskeagh) and Fintan Sheridan (St. Kevin's CC, Clondalkin) on reaching back to back victories in this competition. The management trio are a formidable force as they captured 11 titles in 14 years. Munster got the bragging rights in 2006 and 2012 and more recently, the inform Connacht secured the victory in 2013. Who will secure the silverware in 2015, only time will tell?

The talented youngsters will be looking to impress International Schools Manager, Paddy O'Reilly (Trinity Comprehensive School, Ballymun) as he uses the tournament as a trialling process for the Centenary Shield campaign. O'Reilly had an exceptional year securing the Celtic Cup and Centenary Shield after just three competitive fixtures. He will be striving to maintain his impressive stats as he watches over the six games this weekend.

William O'Connor (Scoil Mhuire SS, Buncrana) and Ollie Horgan (St. Eunan's College, Letterkenny) will assist O'Reilly this season with the departure of the experienced Dave Archbold (Palmerstown CS) following a wonderful 8 year stint with the International setup. Archbold managed the team to International glory in 2010 when the squad won the Shield in Pirelli Stadium, Burton Albion defeating the English on their home patch. Archbold will have a keen interest in the Leinster setup this season as his son, Tony (Salesian College, Celbridge) togs out for the province.

Connacht will have Alan Murphy return as Manager alongside colleagues Alex Lee and brother Kevin Murphy, the three teach in St. Joseph's College in Galway who have a wonderful history at schools level. Alan himself played in the competition in 98/99 and 99/00 and was capped at Schools level. Murphy took the competition by storm as he managed the side to tournament success in his first year at the helm back in 2013. His ambitions may be hampered by the loss of Aaron Connolly (Calasanctius College, Oranmore) who will be on trial at Brighton. Also missing from the squad will be Michael Molloy (Ballyhaunis CS) who was ruled out due to injury.

Opening the series of games on Friday will be Ulster kingpins against a much fancied Leinster line up. St. Eunan's teacher Paul Browne was involved last season and will take a lot of positives from the previous campaign. The squad looked in the running to take something from the weekend with a scoreless draw against Connacht, followed by a 1-0 win over the reigning Champs Munster and they finished with a 1-1 draw to eventual winners Leinster. Strengthened by the return on Lee McColgan and Jason McGee (both PCC Falcarragh), Adrian Delap (Loreto CS, Milford) and Sam Todd (Carndonagh CS), it will be interesting to see what Leinster can produce against a robust Ulster side. Could this be the northerners season?

Munster's Derek O'Brien (Ardscoil na Mara, Tramore) also sees a welcome return from six of last year's panel including goalkeeper David Coffey (Colaiste Muire, Cobh), Conor McCarthy (Scoil Mhuire gan Smal, Blarney), Seán Cooke (Carrigaline CS), Adam Horgan (Glanmire CS), Ross Welch (Ashton CS) and Mark Buckley (MICC Dunmanway) who was capped at Schools level last season. All eyes will be on Munster as they go in search of full points in their opening encounter against counterparts Connacht.

Following the tournament on Sunday evening, a training squad will be selected by the Irish Schools' management with dates at the Halloween break in October and November pencilled in to assess the players. A finalised squad will then be announced after Christmas for the first International fixture on St. Patrick's Day against neighbours Northern Ireland.

In keeping with the long-standing tradition of maintaining the interest in the competition until the final matches on Sunday, the draw for Saturday's and Sunday's matches will be made following the games on Friday evening.

Leinster: Liam Scales & Thomas Rowan (both Gaelcholáiste na Mara, Arklow), Conor Kearns (St. Mac Dara's Community School, Templeogue), Ciaran Kelly & Conor Kane (both Coláiste Phádraig, Lucan CBS), Owen McCormack (CBS Kilkenny), Kevin Coffey (St. Colmcille's CS), Dylan Grimes (Marino College). Tony Archbold (Salesian College, Celbridge), Jamie Aherne (Confey College), Gavin Howard, Stephen Hanley & Cathal Gillen (all Clonkeen College), Andrew Brennan (St. Benildus College), Ryan Byrne (Colaiste Lorcain, Kildare), John Martin (Presentation De La Salle, Bagnelstown).
Management: John McShane (Dublin Oak Academy, Bray), Fintan Sheridan (St. Kevin's CC, Clondalkin), Albert Sugg (St. Kilian's Deutsche Schule), Stephen O'Reilly (GK Coach)

Munster: David Coffey & Charlie Fleming (both Coláiste Muire, Cobh), Garan Manley (Midelton CBS), Killian Brouder (Desmond College, Newcastle West), Conor McCarthy (Scoil Mhuire gan Smál, Cork), Seán Cooke, Aaron Drinan, Andrew Kingston & Alec Byrne (all Carrigaline CS), Ross Welch (Ashton Community School), Adam Horgan (Glanmire CC), Mark Buckley (MICC Dunmanway), Justin Croke (Mount Sion, Waterford), Alan Murphy (Scoil Mhuire agus Íde), Kyle Doherty (Comeragh College, Carrick on Suir), Clyde O'Connell (Crescent College Comprehensive, Limerick)
Management: Derek O'Brien (Ardscoil na Mara, Tramore), Gary Power (FAI DO, Waterford), Conor Coad, Jamie Buckley, AJ Murray, Seamus McWalter (Physio)

Ulster: Jason McCallion (Moville CC), Seán Friel (Deele College, Raphoe), Ciaran Kelly, Luke Nelis & Shane Blaney (St. Eunan's College, Letterkenny), Lee McColgan & Jason McGee (PCC Falcarragh), Sam Todd & Cathal Farren (Carndonagh CS), Gareth Doherty & Seán McBride (St. Columba's College, Stranorlar), Adrian Delap & Conor Gormley (Loreto CS, Milford), Eoin Slevin (Abbey Vocational School, Donegal Town), Stephen Corrigan (St. Macartan's College, Monaghan), Billy Joe Banda (Royal & Prior Comprehensive School, Raphoe)
Management: Paul Browne (St. Eunan's College, Letterkenny), Paddy Carr (Scoil Mhuire, Buncrana)

Connacht: Adam Byrne (St. Louis CS), Evan Murphy (Coláiste Éinde, Gaillimh), Oisin Connolly (Ballinrobe CS, Mayo), Paul Doyle & Fintan Borotto (Davitt College, Castlebar), Shay Doherty & Ruadhan Feeney (both Summerhill College, Sligo), Thierry Baba (St. Gerald's College, Castlebar), Brian Morley, Garry Higgins, Cathal Carney (Ballyhaunis CS), Kevin Cahalan (Scoil Iognaid, Gaillimh), Evan Coyne (Coláiste Chroi Mhuire, An Spideal), Dara Mulgannon (Colaiste na Coiribe), Ryan O'Donoghue (Our Lady's SS, Belmullet), Lorcan Callaghan (St. Mary's College, Ballyasdare)
Management: Alan Murphy (St. Joseph's College, Galway), Alex Lee (St. Joseph's College, Galway), Kevin Murphy (St. Joseph's College, Galway)


Friday, October 2
4.00pm Leinster v Ulster
5.00pm Connacht v Munster (under lights)

Saturday, October 3
2.00pm Draw will be made on Friday evening
3.30pm Draw will be made on Friday evening

Sunday, October 4
10.00am Fixtures TBC
11.30am Fixtures TBC