Leinster Post-Primary Schools Senior ‘A’ Football Championship First Round
St Mel’s meet Maynooth PP in the opening round of the Leinster Post-Primary Schools Senior ‘A’ Football Championship at the college grounds this Wednesday, November 23, (throw-in 2pm) and the Longford side will be fancied to cross the first hurdle in the race for the provincial title.
Little is known about the Co Kildare opposition who are competing in the ‘A’ championship for the first time but St Mel’s senior team manager Jimmy Gacquin is looking no further than the first round.
“We won a couple of games in the North Leinster League and are shaping up quite well for the championship. Home advantage is a definite plus and the team has the potential to make further progress,” said Gacquin.
The St Mel’s team are backboned by Padraic Halpin (Tarmonbarry) at centrefield and defenders Brian Harte (Killoe), Paddy Duggan (Longford Slashers) and Gavin Hughes (Killoe) while the key players in attack are Robbie O’Connell (Longford Slashers), Daniel Connell (Killoe) and Gerard Flynn (Longford Slashers), the latter an injury doubt.
A draw with St Joseph’s Rochfortbridge and wins over Athlone Community College and Marist, Athlone was mixed with a narrow defeat against Moate Community School and has put St Mel's through to the North Leinster league semi-final in a good build-up to the championship.
TOP OIL SPONSORS
For the next two years Leinster GAA’s thriving Post Primary Schools sector will be sponsored by Ireland’s leading fuel supplier, Top Oil.
The announcement was made in Croke Park last week in a launch attended by inter-county stars Cillian Buckley from Kilkenny and Dublin’s Eoghan O’Gara.
The new partnership will see Top Oil throw their support behind every level of the post primary schools programme in Leinster which sees more than 220 schools across all 12 counties take part in more than 1500 matches every season.
The flagship events are the prestigious Senior A Football and Hurling Championships with the battle for the football crown beginning this week and the Corn Uí Dhuill hurling competition starting early in the New Year.
John Horan, Chairman of Leinster GAA, said: “This is a special set of competitions with a prestigious history.
“In addition to our major programme of games in schools, there are specific first year blitz days that target more than 3,000 students every year. This initiative plays a crucial role at keeping young people involved in sport and enjoying all the physical and mental health benefits that have been so proven to be attached to having a healthy and active lifestyle and in learning from the discipline of a team environment.
“It’s a great endorsement of the hard work that is done at schools level by our dedicated team operating through Aras Laighean that Top Oil have come on board and we look forward to working with them to do something really special with these great competitions.”
Gerard Boylan, Chief Executive of Top Oil, said: “We have had great success in Top Oil, through our association with Connacht Rugby and also at local level sponsoring club teams in the GAA.
“Just as the GAA makes an incredible contribution to the health of communities across the country, Top Oil has a growing network of outlets that seek to also champion quality, service and reliability and we look forward to working with Leinster GAA to continue to support the communities in which we serve.”
Also present at the launch were representatives of reigning football champions from St Benildus in Dublin and St Kieran’s College, Kilkenny who are also the All-Ireland hurling champions.