Hurling & Camogie

Red High face testing group in defence of Mageean Cup title

St Patrick's, Downpatrick won the Danske Bank Mageean Cup for the first time last year. The draw for this year's competition has put them in a group with Our Lady & St Patrick's Knock, Cross & Passion Ballycastle and St Mary's CBS Belfast,
St Patrick's, Downpatrick won the Danske Bank Mageean Cup for the first time last year. The draw for this year's competition has put them in a group with Our Lady & St Patrick's Knock, Cross & Passion Ballycastle and St Mary's CBS St Patrick's, Downpatrick won the Danske Bank Mageean Cup for the first time last year. The draw for this year's competition has put them in a group with Our Lady & St Patrick's Knock, Cross & Passion Ballycastle and St Mary's CBS Belfast,

Danske Bank Mageean Cup 2022-23

THE 70th version of the Danske Bank Mageean Cup will feature seven schools – but the competitive nature of the competition is illustrated by the fact that the trophy has been won by six different schools over the past seven years, while a seventh, St Killian’s Garron Tower has also reached the final in that time-frame.

Last year's first time winners St Patrick’s, Downpatrick hosted the Danske Bank Ulster schools’ GAA launch on Wednesday afternoon where the draw was made and the defending champions were drawn in a group featuring 2019-20 champions Cross & Passion, Ballycastle, record 29 times champions St Mary’s CBGS ,Belfast and Our Lady’s & St Patrick’s, Knock who still have yet to win the blue riband trophy of schools’ hurling.

Group B will feature last year’s beaten finalists St Patrick’s, Maghera and the two schools that fell at the semi-final stage, St Killian’s and St Louis', Ballymena.

Last year’s winning Red High coach Darren Swail was philosophical about the draw.

“The reality is that we have lost 17 of last year’s squad. That was our first season in the Mageean for maybe a decade or more. We knew we would be competitive, but we didn’t really know where we were this time last year.

“We were in the group of three last year and it worked to our advantage. I am probably happier to be in the group of four this year, because we really need more games at this level to bring through those players that are stepping up to this team for the first time.

“We have really been on a high since that night at the Dub before Christmas and it would be fantastic to experience that again.

“It will be a huge challenge for us,” adds the Kilclief Beann Dearg clubman.

North Antrim rivals Cross & Passion and St Killian’s competed in the finals of the rest of the Grade A hurling cups last season with the Tower collecting the Foresters’ Cup in an emphatic victory in Ballymena.

Both schools should be up there among the front runners while Maghera and St Louis Ballymena are also expected to be competitive.

The Danske Bank Mageean Cup gets under way with the first group games during the week beginning October 10. Those group games will be completed by the Halloween break with the quarter-finals scheduled for mid-November and the semi-finals a fortnight later leading into the final which once again will take place at the QUB Dub Arena on Friday 16th December.

Group A

Our Lady & St Patrick's, Knock

Cross & Passion, Ballycastle

St Patrick's, Downpatrick

St Mary's CBS, Belfast

Group B

St Patrick's, Maghera

St Louis', Ballymena

St Killian's, Garron Tower