By Eoghan Cormican
The camogie side’s bid to add the league crown to the recently captured Purcell Cup ended in bitter disappointment when they were outgunned by a stronger and more skilful UL side at Ballykelly on Wednesday week last.
On reflection, DCU – no matter which way they look at it – will view this as opportunity lost. A solid first half showing ensured DCU held the initiative at the interval, but failure to register a single score in the second period enabled UL to run out 1-6 to 0-4 winners.
Probably the most frustrating aspect from a DCU perspective was their inability to establish a more substantial lead when in the ascendency. Failing to tighten the noose around UL’s neck left them vulnerable to an onslaught which is exactly what materialised at the change of ends.
Although of little consolation to DCU’s stickwomen, they can take heart from their ability to more than compete with arguably one of the best sides in college camogie at the moment. Furthermore, it bodes well for next season where DCU will embark on their maiden voyage in the Ashbourne Cup.
In any event, it was DCU who made the early running and capitalised by raising the first white flag of the contest through Catriona Regan. Though Julia White equalised for UL, DCU subsequently established a 0-4 to 0-1 lead in their most productive spell.
Regan added a second before Orlaith Durkan sniped a pair of points. Though very much the dominant team, Niall Williams’ charges struggled in front of goal, spurning a number of opportunities.
Added to this, the Ashbourne finalists slowly crept back into proceedings with a second point from Julia White, followed subsequently by a Devane free.
UL upped the ante in the second half and a fabulous point from Devane signalled their intent. Within two minutes Devane was to land the crucial score, her long range free somehow managing to nestle itself in the DCU net.
Credit to DCU who continued to battle bravely, but insurance scores from Niamh Richardson and Cait Devane rubberstamped victory for UL.
DCU have made huge progress this year, strides forward have been taken and they should draw invaluable experience from their season’s exploits. On the day, they were best served by Emma Brennan, the Twomey sisters, Catrionia Regan and Orlaith Durkan.