St Mary's to kick off bid to retain Cup against big Belfast foes UU
The draw for the first round of the Sigerson Cup has thrown up a fascinating all-Belfast clash between holders St Mary's University College and University of Ulster.
The match will take place at the end of next month and will see champions St Mary's, who won the title for only the second time in their history back in February, aim to get their defence up and running.
Coach Paddy Tally, who trained the Tyrone side that won the All-Ireland title for the first time in 2003, is under no illusions about the test which the Jordanstown side will pose.
"They have a number of county players in their side and they will obviously be keen to claim our scalp," stated Tally.
His own side is missing a number of the players who brought them to a new peak, while Tyrone duo Ronan McNamee and Mark Bradley head the impressive UUJ cast.
Queen's University, meanwhile, have been favoured with home advantage against a strong Tralee Institute of Technology side.
Preliminary Round: Jan 23/24: (1) Athlone IT v Garda College; (2) Trinity v DKIT (First-named team has home advantage).
Round 1: Jan 23/24: NUIG v IT Sligo; DIT v IT Carlow; Maynooth University v UCD.
Round 1: January 30/31: Preliminary Round Winner 1 v UCC, Queen's University v IT Tralee, St Mary's University College v University of Ulster; University of Limerick v Cork Institute of Technology, Preliminary Round Winner 2 v DCU DE.