When Laura Twomey prized her hands onto the Purcell Cup last February, the dream had finally become a reality. Ashbourne Camogie had been secured.
DCU’s stickwomen spent two years teetering on the brink of top level camogie without ever making the breakthrough, but their performances during that glorious weekend in Waterford ensured their place at the Ashbourne table was now guaranteed. Not quite.
College View Sport, upon speaking to Shane D’Arcy, President of Comhairle Chamógaíochta Ard-Oideachais, can reveal that, as it stands, DCU’s participation in the Ashbourne Cup is subject to a play-off match against NUIG.
Though the EGM of the CCAO will take place this Friday, October 19, to finalise the championship structure, according to section 5 of the CCAO competition guidelines, DCU are required to play NUIG to determine which side secures the sixth and final spot in the Ashbourne Cup.
The eligibility ruling to participate in the Ashbourne Cup competition is outlined as follows: (i) All Ashbourne Cup semi-finalists from the previous year’s competition (ii) Ashbourne Shield winner from the previous year’s competition and (iii) The winning team from a play-off between the previous year’s defeated Ashbourne Shield finalists and the previous year’s Purcell Cup winners.
Taking this into account, WIT, UL, UCC, UCD and UUJ are guaranteed their Ashbourne status with DCU and NUIG left to scrap it out for the remaining place.
Aisleen Ní Shíocháin, DCU Camogie Chairperson, told College View Sport that a motion was put forward at the AGM on October 29 to extend the number of teams competing at Ashbourne level, though no vote on this was taken.
“Last year it was voted that only the top six teams would compete in the Ashbourne Cup. This is what cut DCU out of the Ashbourne Cup.
“At the AGM, a motion was put forward that it would be put to eight teams. This would mean we would get to compete in the Ashbourne Cup without a playoff. No decision was made on this and an EGM must now take place as a result. We’re putting forward the motion that we are promoted and backing the motion that the Ashbourne Cup moves back to an eight-team competition”, continued Ní Shíocháin.
It was speculated that the six Ashbourne teams for the 2012/13 season would be determined based on league performance, but D’Arcy ruled this out as entirely false.
“There is no link between league and championship. However, it was discussed at the AGM that some of the colleges do not know what sort of a team they will have and that they would have a better idea of their strengths once they have played some league games. There may be a possible regarding of championship grades, though this would apply more to the weaker teams.”
Centre-back Emma Brennan said it would be a huge boost if DCU were promoted automatically as it would guarantee the team at least one year at Ashbourne level. “It’s all about bridging the gap between being Purcell Cup champions and hopefully, in the near future, Ashbourne champions.”
Eoghan Cormican is our Sports Editor.
Image Credit: Sportsfile