BOHERBUE Comprehensive School have a date with destiny when they bid to land the Edmund Rice Cup, the All-Ireland Colleges D title, at the Kildare GAA Centre of Excellence in Newbridge on Saturday.
Boherbue have been impressive to date. They got the verdict over Coláiste an Chroí Naofa from Carrig na bFear before a polished effort overcame Beara CS as did a slick and sharp performance against Schull Community College.
That set up a Munster semi-final against St Josephs of Spanish Point, Clare, where they secured a two-goal victory. In a thrilling decider, Boherbue held their nerve to overcome the stiff obstacle provided by Colaiste Ghobnatan from Baile Bhúirne.
The two Cork sides served up a terrific advertisement for the game but with the outcome up for grabs, Boherbue gained the momentum, with scores from Luke Murphy, Jack Curtin and Cillian Murphy sealing the deal.
In the All-Ireland series, Boherbue CS had an easier than expected win over Leinster champions Coláiste na hÍnse from Meath. From the outset, Boherbue enjoyed clear dominance. A tight rearguard dominated and with a range of scorers they weren't going to be defeated.
BJ Dunstan mans the posts and outside him is a strong defensive unit led by Jack Daly, Jack O'Connor, Seán Murphy and Shane Curtin. At midfield, Francis Cronin and Gerry O'Sullivan link up to allow the attacking flair of Liam Moynihan, Alan O'Connor and Luke Murphy capitalise on opportunities.
From a long way out, their opponents this weekend Ballybay were considered hot favourites to emerge from Ulster. Underage football is flourishing in Monaghan and the schools' players featured in a side that landed the county’s fifth Ulster minor crown last season.
Star player Aaron Mulligan bagged 4-3 with county minor colleague Darragh Dempsey clocking up 0-11 against Moville of Donegal in the semi-final. Mulligan made it onto the 2018 All-Ireland Minor Team of the Year. His pedigree surfaced in the provincial decider when a 2-7 tally was key against St Aidan's from Cavan.
Midfielder Joel Wilson is another link from the 2018 county minor team.
However, they were hard-pressed to overcome Galway side Scoil Chuimhsitheach Cairáin in the semi-final. Having jumped 1-6 to 0-2 ahead at the interval, Ballybay endured a ferocious comeback from the Connacht champions with just two points separating the sides at the finish.
On paper, Ballybay CC may parade some of the most talented players in the business yet Boherbue are a hugely balanced side. It certainly has the makings of a fascinating contest.
It's going to be close.
Boherbue possess enough in attack to fire them to All-Ireland silverware.