Leinster’s U-18 boys are going for a fourth successive interprovincial crown but know that Ulster, in particular, provide a formidable road-block and probably hold the pre-competition’s favourite’s tag.
Irish Under-21 midfielder Sean Murray will compete for Ulster in a specially designed protective glove following a nasty hand injury sustained in All-Ireland schools final action for Wallace against St Andrew’s.Up to that point, Murray had been the dominant force in that final and his limited movement cut short a potent and classy midfield force. He is one of a half dozen Wallace players included with sharp-shooter Andrew O’Hare.
Banbridge’s Sam Farson is another striker to watch for while Kyle Marshall has also been making waves in the club’s first team in recent times. Peter McKibbin, meanwhile, captains the side and is a strong portion of the Annadale’s first team defence.
Munster, meanwhile, have five of the Ashton side that reached the All-Ireland semi-finals while Julian Dale is a great attacking fulcrum. Bandon’s David and Matthew Jennings as well as Ben Keoghan-O’Keeffe add to a side that can cause plenty of problems for both Leinster and Ulster.
For the hosts, they have a decent amount of experience to hand. Midfielder Daragh Walsh was part of the Irish U-21 European championships panel while Freddie Morris, David Nolan, Keith O’Hare, Ziggy de Boe Agnew and John Mullins all played some part in the national U-18 training panels last summer.
They all bring a smattering of first team experience while Mateusz Nowakowski has been lining out for Railway Union since arriving in Ireland. It is a side that draws heavily from the St Andrew’s All-Ireland schools winning side with nine players from the school included.
Three players move up straight from the Under-16s to Under-18s – Ben Bradley, Conor Empey and John Guilfoyle.
A quartet of players are back for a second year with Denham’s Under-16s, Wesley’s Jack O’Grady and St Andrew’s trio Josh Little, Mateo Romoli and Ben Walker.
Captain Guy Sarratt missed last year’s competition due to a late injury but returns and is a big boon for the panel. He was one of the Irish Under-16s top performers during the summer.
The panel has eight players from Three Rock Rovers – making their total across the two teams 13 – while Monkstown tally 14 players in the two panels. As always, the younger age group is more unpredictable with players involved in their first representative competition.
Elsewhere, Railway Union advanced to the semi-final of the Railway Cup with a 5-1 win over Rathgar on Wednesday night. They raced into a 3-0 half-time lead and while Stu Malcolm pulled one back in the second half, Railway netted twice more in the last five minutes to win the tie
Mills Cup, second round: Railway Union 5 (K Carroll, C Moore, S Pearson, R Abbott, M English) Rathgar 1 (S Malcolm)
U-16 Interprovincial Tournament, all at Grange Road
Friday, November 21: Leinster vs Munster; 1pm; Leinster vs Ulster, 5pm
Saturday, November 22: Munster vs Ulster, 10am; Munster vs Leinster, 2pm
Sunday, November 23: Ulster vs Munster, 9am; Leinster vs Ulster, 1pm
U-18 Interprovincial Tournament, all at Grange Road
Friday, November 21: Leinster vs Munster; 3pm; Leinster vs Ulster, 7pm
Saturday, November 22: Munster vs Ulster, 12pm; Munster vs Leinster, 4pm
Sunday, November 23: Ulster vs Munster, 11am; Leinster vs Ulster, 3pm
Leinster Under-18 squad for interprovincials, November 21-23, Grange Road: Leo Micklem (GK, Wesley College/YMCA), Ben Bradley (GK, St Andrews/Monkstown), Mateusz Nowakowski (Mount Temple/Railway Union), Conor Empey (High School/Three Rock Rovers), Robert Browne (St Andrews/Monkstown), John Guilfoyle (St Andrews/Monkstown), Rory Nichols (St Andrews/Monkstown), Patrick Temperley (St Andrews/Monkstown), David Nolan (St Andrews/Monkstown), Andrew Fogarty (St Anderws/Monkstown), Ziggy De Boe Agnew (St Andrews/Avoca), James Walker (St Andrews/Three Rock Rovers), John Mullins (Mount Temple/Clontarf), Keith O’Hare (Sutton Park/Pembroke Wanderers), Daragh Walsh (Wesley/Three Rock Rovers), Geoff Cole (St Andrews/Monkstown), Sam Grace (Kilkenny College/Three Rock Rovers), Freddie Morris (St Columba’s/Three Rock Rovers)
Coach: Gareth Borland
Assistant Coach: Scott Beattie
Manager/GK Coach: Ronan Walsh
Physio: Clare Cooke
Leinster U-16 squad for interprovincials, November 21-23, Grange Road: Nicholas Judge (St Andrews/Three Rock Rovers); Alex Henry (goalkeeper, St Kilians/Corinthian); Harry Craig (St Andrews/Monkstown); Alex Flynn (High School/Three Rock Rovers); Josh Little (St Andrews/Monkstown); Peter Lynch (High School/Three Rock Rovers); Robert McCollum (Wesley/Three Rock Rovers); Tom McLoughlin (Wesley/Three Rock Rovers); Daniel Ellison Wesley/YMCA); Ben O’Grady (Wesley/YMCA); Jack O’Grady (Wesley/YMCA); Alex O’Regan (High School/Three Rock Rovers); Ewan Ramsay Newpark/Monkstown); Matteo Romoli (St Andrews/Monkstown); Guy Sarratt (captain, St Andrews/Monkstown); David Shanahan (St Andrews/Monkstown); Ben Walker (St Andrews/Three Rock Rovers); Mathew Walker (Wesley/Three Rock Rovers)
Coach: Niall Denham
Manager: Brian Cleary
Assistant Coaches: Ronan Hickey, Michael Styles
Physio: Clare Cooke