By Damian Dolan.
Hope University head to Belfast next weekend with one goal and one goal only – to bring the Trench Cup back to Liverpool. If they can, it will be only the second time the cup has left Irish shores in its 38-year history, after the heroics of St Mary’s University College, Twickenham, in 2004.
Hope came close to emulating that feat two years ago, only for Trinity College Dublin to deny them in the final, and if they are to go one step further this time around they’ll have to first overcome 2005 winners Letterkenny IT, who last week saw off Mary Immaculate College Limerick in their quarter-final.
If the Liverpool university negotiate that hurdle, St Patrick’s College or DkIT/Marino Institute of Education await in Saturday’s final. Manager Colm Gallagher is under no illusions as to the size of the task that stands before Hope.
“It will be a tough test alright; it’s always tough when you go back as a British University,” he said. “They’re usually very strong. They got Anthony Thompson from Donegal and some county U-21s playing for them.”
For more see this week’s edition of the Irish World