UL must get past tricky DCU to reach O’Connor Cup Final

DCU stand in the way of UL getting to the O’Connor Cup Final

After an exceptional win over UCC two weeks ago UL will now go onto play in the O’Connor Cup weekend. They are into the Semi-final where they will play against DCU this Saturday at 1pm in Bekan at the Connacht Centre of Excellence in Mayo.

UL won their round two game with strong performances from Caoimhe McGrath, Joanne Cregg, Eimear Scally and Aisling McCarthy.

It was UL’s ability to create and score goals that really separated them from their opponents with Scally, Shauna Howley and Roisin Howard all raising the green flag.

UCC were simply denied the chance to implement any type of gameplan despite having many members of the Cork Ladies team such as Doireann O’Sullivan, Roisin Phelan and Mairead Corkery on their side.

The wolves were the much stronger team, and deserved to get through to the O’Connor Cup Semi-final.

DCU their opponents in the Semi-final have not won the competition since 2011 so they will be hoping to give UL a good run for their money.

The Dublin University won their first round of this year’s competition in February with a strong win over NUIG beating them 9-15 to 0-6. Brilliant performances from Mayo’s Sarah Rowe, Dublin’s Lauren Mcgee and Siobhan Woods and Cavan’s Aishling Sheridan being the decisive factor in their impressive win.

They went on to play last year’s O’Connor Cup champions UCD in their second round match but lost to them on a score line of 2-07 to 0-5. UCD being too strong for their neighbouring college on the day.

That loss meant DCU had to now play St Pats in a Quarter Final in order to get into this weekend’s Semi-final. UL played St Pats in their first round game and won the match well beating them well by 7-16 to 1-05.

DCU won the match which was played last week beating St Pats 0-16 to 1-04, putting them into the Semi-finals.

DCU have a very strong panel full of county players such as Rowe, Lamb and Sheridan. They also have Tipperary forward Aishling Moloney, Sligo’s Geraldine McLoughlin and Mayo goalkeeper Aisling Tarpey.

UL played DCU in last year’s Semi-final and beat them. UL also played them in the League Semi-final beating them as well. DCU will be looking get revenge but that cannot be allowed to cloud their judgement.

If the Dublin team are to have any chance of beating a powerful UL outfit then, they must approach the game in a calm and constructive manner. UL for their part will be looking to enforce their style of game plan early on like they have done to date with great success.

One gets the feeling that if DCU are going to get passed UL then they will have to come with something special up their sleeves.

The UL Panel is extremely strong going into this weekend’s semi-final.

They are captained by Kerry Senior Footballer Anna Galvin. Players in the panel include Laurie Ryan, the Clare Senior Ladies Captain, last year’s collage’s all star goalkeeper Lisa Crowley, Galway’s Louise Ward, Cork Senior Eimear Scally, Tipperary dual player Aisling McCarthy and Kerry Senior and College All Star Laura Rogers among others.

The panel consists of many county players. They have Roscommon’s Joanne Cregg, Mayo’s Shauna Howley, Natasha Gaughan, sister’s Rebecca and Nicola O’Malley and Emma Needham, Galway’s Shauna Molloy, Tipperary’s Sarah Everard, Maria Curley, Emma Buckley, dual player Roisin Howard and Elaine Fitzpatrick. Kerry’s Leah Henry and Ayesha Roche and Cork’s Caoimhe Moore and Aisling Kelleher.

With an experienced manager on their side, who was over UL win they won the O’Connor Cup in 2014 and 2015 DJ Collins and trainer’s Tipperary All Ireland Winning Hurler Niall O’Meara and Colm Canning, UL will be hoping to get into the final for the fourth year in a row.

The winners of the Semi-final will go onto play UCC or UCD in the final which will be played in McHale Park in Mayo on Sunday a 4pm.

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