Fr Godfrey Cup – First Round Preview
January 11, 2016 12:00 am client
The Bank of Ireland Fr Godfrey Cup kicks off this Tuesday with 14 teams competing in the first round.
(All games to be played on Tuesday, 12th January.)
Newpark Comprehensive v The Kings Hospital (Donnybrook, 2pm)
Newpark have had a really solid build-in to the Bank of Ireland Fr Godfrey Junior Cup first round.
They put together a fine winning run that took them past St Fintan’s, Skerries and De La Salle on their way to the B1 League final where they just came up short 14-10 against St Patrick’s from Navan.
Veteran coach Andrew Adams is a clever operator and he has two natural leaders in Matthew Jungman and David Murphy in what is a difficult first-up challenge for them.
The King’s Hospital finished up the Schools League with just one win in six.
This could be misleading as they have not delivered on their potential to this point.
De La Salle Churchtown v The High School (Donnybrook, 4pm)
These two met in the first friendly of the season when a 22-all draw was the outcome. While a lot has changed since then and the schools developed, it should be nip and tuck.
DLS went on a decent run in the B1 League and have a sound playmaker in fly-half Adam Nealon.
Centre Jake Finlay continues a family tradition of representing Salle and full-back David Clarke and powerful forward Mosa Al Saleh are influential.
The High School did not fair too well in the Junior League, losing their first four there, before a marked improvement to lose narrowly to CUS and beat St Andrew’s.
Coach Len McBride has a strong runner in centre Harry O’Donnell and will look to the tactical kicking of Cormac Lechurndi-Dempsey at fly-half to get them on the front-foot.
CUS v St Fintan’s High School (Clontarf RFC)
Catholic University School coach Danny Dent has had Leinster wing Mick McGrath on hand to help with preparations.
They did manage to get the upper-hand on St Fintan’s in a pre-Cup friendly which can be notoriously misleading.
The captain Michael Barrett will lead from number eight with able lieutenants in full-back Eoin Buckley and first centre David O’Halloran in what is a hard-working bunch.
St Fintan’s will be led by the ‘follow-me’ example of openside Shane Cox, a real pest at the breakdown and will look to their out-half Jack Usher to control the tempo of the game.
Scoil Chonglais, Baltinglass v Dundalk Grammar (Malahide RFC)
Scoil Chonglais came through against St Joseph’s Drogheda and CBS Enniscorthy in the Duff Cup to qualify.
Last year, Scoil Chonglais made it to the semi-final where they were taken down by Wesley.
Hooker Jason Sinnott is one to watch and second row Sean Doody is their main man in the lineout.
Captain Tadhg O’Toole is a strong carrier from number eight backed-up by attacking threats from full-back Jordan Deans and centre Puaric McMahon.
Dundalk have had a great season to this point, winning the McMullen Senior Cup for the first time, adding the Development Junior Cup and taking out Naas CBS 36-10 in the Duff Cup semi-final as part of their qualification path.
Centre David Murdock gives them the x-factor in midfield and Andrew Cox is a physical player in their back row.
Skerries Community College v CBS Naas (Garda RFC)
Skerries are always there or thereabouts in this competition.
The close connection with the All-Ireland League club of the same name can give them an advantage in collective spirit.
Naas would not lay claim to having their best side based on those that have gone before.
At the same time, they will be no pushover given how they defeated Marian College 53-0 in the Duff quarter-final before bowing out to Dundalk 36-10 in the last four.
St Patrick’s Classical School, Navan v Wesley College (Ashbourne RFC)
St Patrick’s Classical School were impressive all the way through to winning the B1 League final. This was used to build confidence.
They have experience from last year from their powerful ball carrier in prop Gary Faulkner and their influential out-half Keelan Murphy, a natural game-manager.
Wesley coach Eoin Stynes went down to Pres Bray, King’s Hospital and CBC Monkstown in the League.
Since then, they have got back on track on a weekend away in France, winning against local opposition and faring well away to Grosvenor Grammar School in Belfast.
Hooker Jamie Kavanagh is their team leader and captain with Harry Fanning making the decisions at ten.
Templeogue College v St Andrew’s College (Sydney Parade)
Coach Sarah Jane Cody is satisfied with the way the Templeogue boys have matured through the season.
Forwards Cillian O’Neill and Rory Dempsey are both involved in the Leinster Clubs Metro Area training group for this Age Grade, while centre Dara Gibson and wing Kevin Elwood are well capable of taking chances.
St Andrew’s were forced to regroup after not doing as well as they intended in the Schools League.
Centre Zane McClatchie has shown real promise and full-back Alexander Wallace is a handful on the ball, while the abrasive attitude of their leading forward Patrick Perrem sets the standards up front.