Senior schools’ football has been a happy hunting ground for local post-primary schools in recent seasons, with Scoil Mhuire, Strokestown, St. Nathy’s College, Ballaghaderreen, and Roscommon CBS reaching All-Ireland championship finals over the last three seasons. James Fitzpatrick’s magnificent long-range point to win the Paddy Drummond Cup for CBS last April is almost ancient history now, although the Oran attacker will hope to repeat those heroics in his school colours in 2020.
A handful of Roscommon schools, and schools featuring Roscommon students, have already fallen by the wayside in this season’s campaign. Elphin Community College battled well but were undone by their need to call on a number of Junior Cycle students, with Ballygar and Glenamaddy also eliminated in the first term.
Abbey Community College edged out Castlerea Community School in what was effectively a knockout fixture a week before Christmas, while across the Shannon, Drumshanbo and Lanesboro Community College have also run aground.
For the rest, the action is about to heat up very soon. Roscommon CBS will fly the flag for the county in the top tier championship in Connacht after securing some landslide wins in B League, with significant numbers of Roscommon players also playing A football for Athlone Community College and the Marist in Leinster.
That leaves St. Nathy’s and Carrick-on-Shannon as the only local schools in Connacht B Championship, while Scoil Mhuire, Strokestown, Coláiste Chiarán, Ballyhaunis Community School and Garbally College all have Roscommon students hoping to pick up provincial medals over the next few months in the C grade.
Finally, there is the Abbey Community College and Roscommon Community College still standing at D level, where 16 teams remain in the overall race. A fascinating season is about to explode into life, and the Roscommon Herald has all you need to know to follow the action.
*Pick up a copy of this week’s Roscommon Herald to view profiles of schools’ teams left competing for championship honours.