The draw for the 2017 Lennon Cup was made at Darver Centre of Excellence this evening – and Ardee Community School have been handed a local derby with Dunleer’s Scoil Uí Mhuirí and a repeat of the 2012 final against St Marys Drogheda in the group stage.
The Ardee school have been drawn in Group C of the competition. In Group A, Bush Post Primary, O’Fiach College, Colaiste Rís and St Marys Dundalk will compete for a quarter-final place in the only four team group. Group B consists of St Olivers, St Josephs and De La Salle Dundalk.
Ardee CS won the Lennon Cup in 2012 and 2013, in a team that featured current Louth inter-county forward Ryan Burns. The Hunterstown Rovers forward made the All-Star team on both years and was joined in the All-Star ranks by the likes of Ardee St Marys duo Ryan Rooney and Conor Keenan and Sean McDermotts’ Emmett Duffy, who captained the side to 2012 success.
That year, Mark Gilsenan’s men easily saw off St Marys Diocesan by a score of 4-11 to 0-07 with Burns and Rooney hitting 1-06 and 2-02 respectively in the final as the Drogheda men proved no match. A year later, another comfortable 3-10 to 0-05 followed against Marist Dundalk. But since then, Ardee CS haven’t been able to replicate that success.
Last year, Ardee beat Dunleer’s Scoil Uí Mhuirí in the last eight but their bid for cup success was ended at the semi-final stage. The Ardee teens were beaten 2-9 to 0-12 St Josephs CBS Drogheda in the last four. Despite that loss, forwards Ciaran Keenan and Conor Gillespie (both Ardee St Marys) were voted onto the Lennon Cup 2016 All-Star team.
Those two players will return for another tilt at the cup in 2017 as part of Gilsenan’s panel with group games to come. Prior to the 2012 and 2013 successes, Ardee had to go back 42 years for Lennon Cup success. They won the inaugural competition in 1970 when the school was De La Salle. Ardee CS’ Neill Ker was in attendance at the draw tonight.
— Louth GAA (@louthgaa) September 20, 2017