A summer to remember for DCU GAA

As the curtain closed on the 2013 season, DCU men experienced both the ecstasy and the agony on All-Ireland Club final day as first Eddie O’Byrne and former hurling chairman Seamus Kelly’s Mount Leinster Rangers side’s heroic effort came up just short in Croke Park. However, DCU had medalists on the day as the St Vincent’s football contingent of Mick Concarr, Tommy Conroy, Gavin Burke, Shane Carthy and the Diamonds came good. As soon as the club season ended, the 2014 Championship got into full swing. Here are the top 10 DCU moments from the latest summer of GAA.

10. Willie Lowry introduces Hurling for Sky
We’ve all seen the tweets of how crazy a sport hurling is but Sky did have an introduction video for our neighbours across the Irish sea, and it was introduced by our very own dual star Willie Lowry, who has featured regularly on Sigerson sides and was on the Fitzgibbon team in 2013.

9. Kildare finally grasp U-21 “B” Hurling Championship
Having lost a thrilling final to Kerry the previous year, Kildare finally got the All-Ireland they craved and were helped by DCU star Liam Power who operated as a dual player in the college last year.

8. Boland breaks Westmeath hearts
DCU man Cian Boland’s goal in the 41st minute helped Dublin survive a major scare against Westmeath in the U-21 Leinster hurling championship semi-final as they ground out a one point victory over Westmeath who included DCU hurler Mick Heaney at wing back. Boland was aided by fellow DCU men Kevin O’Flynn, Cormac Ryan and Eoghan Smyth.

7. Flynn excels despite defeat
Galway trailed eventual champions Kerry by 7 points with 30 minutes on the clock in the All-Ireland quarter-final when DCU star Tom Flynn gave the game an injection of life. Flynn carried the ball from midfield before emphatically crashing the ball to the net for one of the goals of the season.

6. Brehony delivers perfect half
In his senior breakthrough year for Galway, last year’s Fitzgibbon captain Padraig Brehony delivered a scintillating performance for Galway in the U-21 Hurling Championship semi-final against Wexford, hitting 1-6 in total. Brehony destroyed the Wexford back line in the opening half hitting 1-5 and his performance earned him a place on the U-21 hurling All Star team having played just one game.

5. DCU players feature for Wexford in U-21 campaign
Having come up short against Antrim in the semi-final last year Wexford had a point to prove in 2014 and having toppled Kilkenny, Offaly and Dublin in Leinster Wexford defeated Galway in a thriller to reach the final. Unfortunately there was no happy ending for Wexford and their DCU hurling contingent Padraig Foley, Tony French and Gavin Bailley, as Clare captured three in a row.

4. DCU minors star for Donegal
Donegal pipped Dublin by one point in the minor semi-final to reach their first ever final in the grade in Croke Park. Unfortunately, like their seniors they came up short against the men from the Kingdom. That Donegal team contained three DCU men; Caolan McGonagle, Sean Daffin and Cian Mulligan.

3. Donegal defy odds to beat fancied Dublin in semi
Donegal were led by their former DCU star Michael Murphy and got one over on the bookies when they ended Dublin’s championship ambitions with help from other DCU graduates Micheal Boyle, Paul Durcan, Martin McElhinny and Declan Walsh. Dublin weren’t short on DCU links either including Stephen Cluxton, Johnny Cooper, James McCarthy, Dean Rock, Paul Flynn and Eoghan O’Gara.

2. Dublin land U-21 football crown
DCU student Conor McHugh inspired his Dublin side to the All-Ireland Under-21 football title with the aid of his DCU teammates. Dual star Ross Mullins and Shane Boland also represented Dublin. McHugh, who was one of the stars of the Sigerson team last year, has also represented the Colleges hurlers and his reputation was further enhanced when he scooped the U-21 player of the year award.

1. Cats get the cream
Few would argue that Richie Hogan wasn’t the star man as Kilkenny clenched another All-Ireland title as last year’s Fitzgibbon hurler scooped numerous man of the match awards and dazzled hurling fans all over the country last year. DCU hurling fans were treated to his skill last year but unfortunately injury hampered his Fitzgibbon game time. Few DCU hurling folk will forget his time here.

James Donoghue

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