IT has the potential to be a cracking opening to a great day of hurling as Hamilton High School take on St Francis College, Rochestown, in the Munster Colleges Senior B hurling final on Saturday at Páirc Uí Rinn.
Despite enjoying success at various grades there has been only one win between them in this competition – Hamilton in 1993.
In a bumper day of hurling these two are first into action at 12pm and it will be followed by the Harty Cup final at 2pm, with Cork playing Clare in the national hurling league at 7.15pm.
Hamilton High started their campaign with a good win over Scoil Phobal, Roscrea, by 3-26 to 1-12 and in their second group tie got the better of Poball Scoil Trionide, Youghal, by 0-21 to 1-13.
In the quarter-final, they had a 2-14 to 1-11 win over Doon.
On to the semi-final and again the west Cork side were in top form as they saw off Cashel Community School, but by a much tighter margin, 1-13 to 0-14.
Key players for them include the likes of Oliver Plunketts’ Cian McCarthy, who was on the Cork minor side that lost out in the All-Ireland final, along with Colm O’Donovan, Sean Sexton and Tim Twohig.
Rochestown had wins over the likes of Kinsale Community School, Abbey CBS and Scoil na mBraithre, Rathluirc to qualify for the final.
They will look to Dylan Murphy, Sean Brady, Cian McCarthy, Alan Connolly, Piaras O’Halloran, Alan O’Hare and Conor Russell.
They are coached by current Cork senior player, Alan Cadogan, a teacher at the school and he said they are all looking forward to the game, but are well aware of the challenge they face.
“In fairness to the lads they have put in a massive effort to reach the final and of course it would be great to win it,” said Cadogan.
“However, we have a massive challenge in front of us as Hamilton High have a quality side and it’s going to be a right battle."
The main task Paul (O’Reilly, his fellow selector) had was to try and blend them into a unit.
“They are all hurling away with their respective clubs so we had to try and get them to play as a team.
“I would also like to thank school principal, Marie Ring, and vice-principal Liam Ó Murchú for their help during the year and hopefully we can return that favour tomorrow,” concluded Alan.
Munster Colleges Senior Hurling Tom Collum Cup final (U19 B hurling): Hamilton High School v St Francis College, Rochestown, Páirc Uí Rinn, 12pm.