The Hurlers of CBS Roscommon are among the latest batch of top quality GAA students look to make the grade in hurling and football following the launch of the 2016 Masita GAA All-Ireland Post Primary Schools Championships in Croke Park yesterday.
The next few weeks will mark a crescendo finish to an exciting season of Gaelic Games activity at Post Primary School level that began all over the country last September and has brought us to this exciting finale. There will be strong Roscommon interest in the competitions again this year and this time it’s the hurlers of CBS Roscommon that are taking centre stage. On Wednesday next, March 16th, they take on Scoil Mhuire Gan Smal Blarney in the Masita GAA All Ireland Post Primary Schools Michael Cusack Cup Final at 2pm in Templemore Co. Tipperary.
Looking at the other competitions, the history surrounding the Hogan Cup Final, where CBS Roscommon went so close last year, and the Croke Cup at All-Ireland football and hurling ‘A’ level are stitched into the fabric of the GAA and is a place where the inter county senior stars of tomorrow are regularly first seen.
Earlier this week Harty Cup champs Ardscoil Rís from Limerick kept their dream of a first ever All-Ireland alive with a win over Kilkenny CBS for the right to meet Presentation Athenry in the semi-final of the Croke Cup senior hurling competition.
Holders St Kieran’s College meanwhile meet Our Lady’s Secondary School from Templemore in the other semi-final on March 12. The All-Ireland final will be played in Thurles on Monday, March 28.
In football, the famous St Brendan’s College from Killarney will meet first time Leinster champions St Benildus from Dublin in their Hogan Cup senior football semi-final. The other semi-final will see Summerhill College meet either St Patrick’s, Maghera or St Paul’s, Bessbrook who meet in the McRory Cup final. The football final will be played at Croke Park on April 2nd.
In all there are nine trophies that will be up for grabs at All-Ireland level.
Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Aogán Ó Fearghail said: “The education sector has long played a pivotal role in the development of young talent through the GAA.
“We are indebted to the selfless dedication of teachers who have invested their time and energy into enriching the lives of their students by providing them with an outlet to play our Games.
“We all have great memories of playing for our Schools and Colleges and there has been many an instance where the success of a school has been an important foundation stone in what later transpires at inter county level.
“My sincere best wishes to all of those who have emerged from their Provinces to be on the All-Ireland stage, and my thanks to Masita for their ongoing support and valued commitment to this most prestigious level of competition.”
An official GAA licensee since 2009, Masita have been sponsors for the All-Ireland Post Primary Schools Championships since the 2012/13 season. Masita Ireland is a family run, 100% Irish business based in Kells, Co.Meath and has been involved as a supplier of equipment, clothing and kit to more than 250 Post Primary Schools across all four provinces since 1999.
Des Smyth of Masita Ireland said: “This is our fourth year as sponsors of the Masita GAA All Ireland Post Primary Schools Championships and the competition is a perfect fit for our business as an official GAA gear licensee. It enables us to showcase our range on the TG4 televised finals, whilst also giving something back to the schools involved.
“We are particularly pleased that we are also beginning to see some players from our earlier years as sponsors come through with their counties at senior level which is a great added dimension.
“The Masita GAA All Ireland Post Primary Schools Championships is something that we look forward to every year and we hope to see our partnership continue to grow and develop into the years ahead.”