With the Sigerson Cup safely stored away until the turn of the year, the primary focus of the DCU footballers, for the time being at least, is the Irish Daily Mail Division 1 League which commences this week.
DCU’s opening fixture is away to city rivals UCD on Thursday, October 18 (throw-in 2pm) and while the panel has suffered the loss of big name players such David Kelly, Philly McMahon and Sigerson winning Captain Kieran Gavin, a number of last year’s Fresher side are expected to feature, such as Galway’s Tom Flynn and Dublin’s John Small, not to mention All-Star nominee Michael Quinn – a welcome addition to Niall Moyna’s set-up.
NUI Maynooth and DIT complete the Group A line-up with the top two teams advancing to the knockout stages.
In hurling, the Fitzgibbon side begin their Division 1 League campaign today (throw-in 4pm) as they welcome DIT to St. Clare’s. The college’s stickmen will be keen to improve on last year’s league endeavours, where they suffered five consecutive defeats and were subsequently relegated. Their Division 1 status was restored in the interim period and Paul O’Brien’s charges will hope to justify this with an opening round victory.
It’s a double bill of hurling at the DCU GAA venue as the Fresher side play hosts to UCD (throw-in 4.15pm). James Donnelly’s troops will be hoping for better fortune than they enjoyed in last Thursday’s trip to Galway, where they suffered a 3-22 to 1-7 defeat at the hands of NUIG.
Elsewhere, the camogie team travel north today to play UUJ in their second league outing, having fallen heavily to UCD in the opening round. Under the management of Brian Lawlor and Sean Flynn, the college’s stickwomen will be keen to avoid a second successive defeat, which would almost certainly rule out any chance of progressing to the knockout stages.
Centre-back Emma Brennan is relishing the challenge of the Northerners. “Our current aim is to make the semi-finals, but we’re already under a bit of pressure after defeat to UCD. UUJ will be no easy feat, but we’re looking forward to the fixture and are most definitely up for the challenge.”