GMIT to Host Historic O’Connor Cup Weekend.

GMIT to Host Historic O’Connor Cup Weekend.

The 2017 O’Connor Cup weekend will be hosted by the Galway Mayo Institute of Technology next March and now the competing colleges know their paths through to the biggest weekend in colleges football.

The delegates from all of the competing counties came together at the GAA museum of Croke Park as the Ladies Higher Education Committee met to make the draw for the 2017 competitions and they announced that the finals of the competition will take place in the famous Elvery’s McHale Park in Castlebar.

The race to succeed University College Dublin has now begun in earnest following the drawing of the teams in the various competitions by Con Moynihan and Chairperson, Fiona Hudson. For the first time the draw was seeded with the University of Limerick, Dublin City University, Maynooth and defending champions UCD all guaranteed home matches in the first round on February 15th.

Last year’s beaten finalists, UL, will welcome St. Pat’s to Limerick on February the 15th. NUIGalway will make the trip across the country to take on Dublin City University with the tie of the round seeing Maynooth University hosting University College Cork. Queen’s University Belfast will be the first team to take on the defending champions, UCD in what should be a stiff test for the champions.

The O’Connor Cup itself will take place over the weekend of March 10th/11th with Elvery’s McHale Park set to host the finals.

It will be a massive undertaking for the host college as, for the first time, all 6 colleges competitions will be hosted on the same weekend making for a feast of Ladies Higher Education Football.

Nigel Jennings, the Sports Officer for host college, GMIT, spoke at the draw about the challenge that lies ahead for the college ‘it will be an amazing occasion, GMIT are honoured to host the tournament, it’s a bit of a challenge for us to logistically manage it but we are looking forward to it and are well able to rise to the challenge, it will be a celebration of Ladies Gaelic Football.’

The Giles Cup draw was amongst those made at the GAA Museum where the 2nd teams of both DCU and UL: have been drawn to face each other in what is sure to be a great contest. Mary Immaculate College Limerick will play Cork IT in their opening round with IT Carlow taking on IT Sligo. Athlone IT and Trinity College Dublin will clash in the final game of the opening round of fixtures as the colleges all compete for a place at the weekend.

In the Lynch Cup there will also be 8 competing colleges. Waterford IT have been drawn against Dundalk IT, Ulster University Jordanstown will take on IT Tralee, Dublin Institute of Technology must play University College Cork and Garda College have been drawn against University College Dublin.

In the Moynihan Cup, LYIT will face the second team from Mary Immaculate College. IT Blanchardstown will play the second team from Maynooth, UCD’s third team will face DCU’s third team and NUIGalway will take on St. Mary’s Belfast. In the Donaghy Cup IT Sligo will meet Trinity in a preliminary round with the winner meeting the Royal College of Surgeons. Athlone will take on Marino, St. Pat’s will play ITT and the Limerick Institute of Technology will take on Queen University Belfast.

The journey into the West now gets fully underway as the battle for the prestigious Colleges Cups commences next February. As the Leagues draw to a close and exams loom large soon thoughts will turn to football and the promise of glory that lies ahead.

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