Impressive DCU a class above CIT in Ashbourne Cup first round

DCU swept CIT aside with ease in the first round of the Ashbourne Cup. Credit: Darragh Culhane

Dublin City University 1-16
Cork Institute of Technology 0-8

Ashbourne Cup first round

The DCU senior camogie team got their Ashbourne Cup campaign off to a flying start with a comprehensive victory over CIT last Thursday, November 24th, in ideal weather conditions at St. Clare’s.

Despite a promising start from the Corkonians, DCU were by far the better side and were well deserving of their eleven-point margin of victory.

This was a high paced, physical encounter which initially looked like it would be closer on the scoreboard.

DCU were economical in front of the posts taking the majority of chances that came their way. In contrast, CIT were quite the opposite – firing an unforgiveable eleven wides which was the main reason for their downfall.

DCU manager Mary O’Connell was delighted with her side’s display and will be bullish looking forward to the remaining group games against University College Cork (UCC) and National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG).

“We have got a lot of good players in from last year’s freshers team and have held on to the majority of our players from last year,” said O’Connell. “We have a strong squad who I believe have a legitimate chance in this year’s Ashbourne Cup.”

Indeed, DCU are a very well balanced side with a strong defence led by the likes of Eimear Corr, Emer Reilly and Hannah Hegarty. Tipperary woman Kelly Ann Doyle provides energy in the middle of the field while Mary O’Connell and Laura Green dovetail well together to create a potent attacking force that will be feared by any defence they face in this competition.

As for CIT, they will be disappointed with this display and after losing their first group game last week to NUIG their chances of progression to the knockout stages are now hopelessly slim.

It was CIT who started the brighter, thundering into the opening stages of the game with two quick-fire scores from their powerhouse centre forward Katelyn Hickey.
DCU took a while to settle into the game but when they did, they never looked back.

The home side raised five unanswered white flags in quick succession between the fifth and 15th minute with their dynamite attacking duo of O’Connell and Green leading the way.

CIT responded through the livewire Linda Bolger who covered every blade of grass from midfield.

However her efforts were not enough with DCU beginning to dominate all over the field. Mary O’Connell pointed two more frees before Laura Green reacted quickest to a dropping ball in the CIT defence, rounded her marker and stylishly hand passing into the net.

In truth, the game was as good over as a contest after this goal. It was followed up by three more unanswered points, two from O’Connell and one from Michelle Martin, and at this stage you began to worry that this game would turn into a landslide with all the momentum with the DCU ladies.

Credit where credit is due to CIT, however, who displayed admirable character and courage as they stayed fighting to the bitter end of this game. They launched a comeback of sorts early in the second half narrowing the margin down to five points at one stage.

However, DCU were superior all over the field and their supremacy told on the scoreboard as they pulled away in the closing stages. Clare Sexton and Laura Dempsey made positive impacts off the bench while the reliable duo of Green and O’Connell never let up.

DCU will now look forward to the next round of this competition against NUIG and O’Connell’s charges have every right to aim for glory in this competition judging on this performance.

DCU: Emma Loo, Eimear Corr, Áine Woods, Aideen Coyle, Hannah Hegarty, Emer Reilly, Eve Marie Elliot, Mairéad Power, Kelly Ann Doyle, Michelle Martin, Caoimhe McCrossan, Mary O’Connell, Rachel Harty, Christine Lyng, Laura Green.

Subs: Laura Dempsey for McCrossan (25’), Claire Sexton for Harty (46’), Aoife O’Brien for O’Connell (58)

DCU scorers: Mary O’Connell 0-9(5f), Laura Green 1-2, Michelle Martin 0-2, Clare Sexton 0-2, Emer Reilly 0-1f.

CIT: Sarah Quigley, Aoife Walsh, Gráinne Sheehy, Sharon Murphy, Michelle Murphy, Emma Sharpe, Lisa Lynch, Linda Bolger, Rachel Ní Shé, Eimear Reilly, Katelyn Hickey, Rachel Hurley, Chloe Casey, Joy Leo, Karen Lane.

Subs: Nicola O Gorman, Jess O’Shea, Emma O’Donovan, Nicky Cronin.

CIT scorers: Linda Bolger (0-4f), Katelyn Hickey (0-3), Nicola O’Gormon (0-1)

Niall McIntyre
Image credit: Darragh Culhane

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