The DCU ladies Gaelic Football team claimed the O’Connor Cup Shield with a victory over the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) in the final.
DCU were comfortable winners over their western rivals, scoring 3 goals and 18 points to NUIG’s 6 points.
Team captain Laura McGinley spoke to The College View about the team’s shield success and their season as a whole.
“You never know what is going to happen when it comes to championship games. As a team we didn’t have any expectations of what the score line was going to be.
“We just focused on our game plan and playing at the highest standard that we could,” McGinley said.
Despite winning the cup in 2018, DCU lost their opening two matches against University College Cork and eventual cup champions University of Limerick.
This left them in the shield final, and while McGinley was happy to get the win against NUIG, it’s not where the team wanted to be.
“Of course, it’s great to win any silverware but I suppose coming from winning the cup last year it is different. The four teams that were at the weekend were all very competitive and I think it is always going to be a challenge to win the cup.
“This year was really about small margins and unfortunately we just didn’t make them. We are definitely building on to next year,” McGinley said.
While expectations were high after last season’s successful campaign, it was always going to be a tough ask to retain the cup after a number of departures in the team.
“Last year we lost eight or nine of our starting players, compared to only losing two this year, so we knew that it was going to be a tough year to have so many first years in.
“It is hard to get any team to gel as quick as the college season is but the younger girls really stepped up to the mark and did really well.
“Although we didn’t finish off the season as well as last year, we were really happy with the progress that we made as a team and so was the management,” McGinley explained.
Although DCU didn’t manage to hit last year’s goal, the captain felt that the members of the team could hold their head up high.
“Last year we won the league and the cup and this year we won the shield so in terms of silverware no it was not better but in terms of development as a team this year we took a lot of strides.
“After basically starting again as a new team we came so far throughout the year and I think that was really important for the girls,” McGinley said.
McGinley has one year left in her degree at DCU and is looking to reclaim the O’Connor Cup in her final year with the side.
“It was an honor to captain the team especially for your college. The management were really supportive and so were the girls.
“I think it’s important to communicate with the management and also with the team. With the amount of first years in they were definitely keeping me on my toes.”
Image Credit: DCUGAAAcademy / Twitter