The draw for the 2019/2020 Danske Bank MacRory Cup has been made and as ever, it has thrown up a host on intriguing ties.
St Paul’s Bessbrook and St Mary’s CBGS Belfast have both dropped down from the Danske Bank MacRory Cup to be replaced by the Derry City and Inis Eoghain amalgamation teams.
Both Cathair Dhoire and Scoileanna Inis Eoghain have reached Danske Bank MacLarnon Cup finals in recent seasons. Indeed Cathair Dhoire was beaten by St Patrick’s Downpatrick last March and they will be aware of the demands of playing in the premier football competition.
They have both been drawn in the same MacRory Cup group as St Patrick’s Academy Dungannon and St Macartan’s Monaghan.
Meanwhile champions and first time Hogan Cup winners, St Michael’s Enniskillen find themselves like last season in the same qualification group as the two Newry schools, Abbey CBS and 19 times champions St Colman’s. The group is completed by Patrician High Carrickmacross.
2018 champions St Ronan’s Lurgan are also in a familiar group – with St Mary’s Magherafelt and Omagh CBS from last year – with St Patrick’s Armagh completing the group.
The final group has the St Patrick’s schools in Maghera and Cavan joined by St Eunan’s Letterkenny and Holy Trinity Cookstown.
The competition will operate on the same format as last year with the top team in each group going through to the semi-finals of the MacCormack Cup, while the bottom two teams in each group will be involved in cross-group play-offs to remain in the competition after the Christmas break.