With DCU’s fresher hurlers beginning 2013 competitive action last week, it seems as if the slate has been wiped clean. With four losses from five games in the league, it was very much a first semester to forget. One of the teams who swept DCU aside in that freshers hurling division was DIT who came out victorious by six points at Grangegorman in November. That fixture was to repeat itself last Tuesday as the sides were paired together in the first round of the championship.
On this occasion, however, it was DIT who were looking ashamedly upon the scoreboard as Niall English’s side crushed their city rivals on a scoreline of 1-17 to 0-07. English saw the result as redemption.
“We got beaten [by DIT] in the league and it was probably a game we felt we should’ve won, so it was nice to go back and make amends for that, but championship and league is completely different. It’s a different level. We stepped up the intensity in training leading up to that. The lads did very well, they worked really hard and they deserved it.”
This, unquestionably the most important win of their season so far, came not as a result of spectacular individual performances, but as a product of a Trojan team effort, according to the manager.
“They [DCU] only conceded two points in the second-half against a strong wind and one of those was from a free so we did very, very well in the second half especially in very tough conditions. Overall, the team worked really hard and even the subs that came on did very well. The team worked as a unit so I wouldn’t single anyone out.”
After what seems a significant reversal of fortunes, perhaps the biggest challenge now facing this team is staying grounded, something which Niall English is focused on.
“I wouldn’t be getting carried away, it’s only one result, one win. The team has set out with the aim of going as well as we possibly can in the championship, so we’ve been working very hard since October with that in mind but it’s very early days, first round and we’ve plenty more to do.”
Moving forward, English is totally aware of the harsh fact that the University will struggle to compete with the elite hurling colleges.
“We [fresher hurlers] are always going to be underdogs. DCU are always going to be underdogs.”