BY CHRIS MCNULTY
ST EUNAN’S College and Colaiste Inis Eoghain are cranking up their preparations for their forthcoming Danske Bank MacLarnon Cup quarter-finals, which are expected to take place at the beginning of February.
St Eunan’s have been drawn against St Columb’s of Derry in a North-West derby, while Colaiste Inish Eoghain will meet St Patrick’s, Downpatrick.
St Eunan’s were last winners of the MacLarnon during the Michael Murphy-led campaign of 2007, while they were beaten by St Michael’s College, Lurgan in an absorbing semi-final last year, 1-15 to 1-12.
They are managed by the Glenswilly senior team manager Gary McDaid. Having been beaten by St Mary’s, Belfast, St Eunan’s have since beaten Holy Trinity Cookstown – managed by Tyrone legend Peter Canavan – and St Pius X Magherafelt to advance into the last eight.
There they will come up against near rivals St Columb’s from Derry. McDaid can call on the likes of his club-mates Cormac Callaghan and Ryan Toner, as well as Termon ace Daire McDaid and a strong contingent from the St Eunan’s club that includes Sean Hume, Darragh McWalters and Jordan McBride.
Colaiste Inis Eoghain, an amalgamation of schools in the Inishowen peninsula, are MacLarnon newcomers, but they have had a superb campaign that has included wins over St Pat’s, Keady and St Louis, Kilkeel.
Donegal senior panelist Darach O’Connor is their key man, but the Inishowen boys are not short of game changers, with Danny Monagle, Tony McClenaghan, Caolan McGonagle, John Campbell, Sean McHugh and Georgie Kelly not short of big-game experience.
Danske Bank MacLarnon Cup quarter-final draw: Holy Trinity Cookstown v St Malachy’s Belfast; Coláistí Inis Eoghain v St Patrick’s Downpatrick; Our Lady’s & St Patrick’s Knock v Patrician Carrickmacross; St Eunan’s Letterkenny v St Columb’s Derry.