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10 inter-county stars to look out for during the Ashbourne Cup this weekend

Four third-level sides will battle it out for a place in Sunday’s decider.

THERE WILL BE a host of inter-county talent on display at the Ashbourne Cup final weekend as UL go in search of an incredible four-in-a-row.

pjimage (34) Chloe Sigerson, Orla O'Dwyer and Beth Carton are expected to be among the big performers at the 2019 tournament. Source: Inpho/Photojoiner.net

The Shannonside institute clinched their third title on the bounce last year against a UCC outfit who were looking to bridge a 15-year-gap since their last Ashbourne Cup triumph.

Both teams have reached the semi-finals again this year along with DCU and WIT and all four sides will converge on Mallow GAA complex this weekend for the annual third-level camogie competition.

We take a look at some of the major performers who will take to the stage throughout the semi-finals and final.

UL

Orla O’Dwyer (Tipperary)

The Tipperary player starred for her county’s camogie and football sides in 2018 and was a vital performer for UL in their three-in-a-row triumph, hitting four points in the final against UCC.

She has been sidelined recently with a dislocated shoulder but is expected to make a return in February, and is included in the squad for this weekend.

Her scoring ability along with her athleticism will be crucial to UL’s chances for more silverware in 2019 should she feature during the tournament.

Beth Carton (Waterford)

Carton top-scored for UL in last year’s Ashbourne Cup final, hitting five points in total to edge them over the line.

She also played an instrumental role in Waterford’s journey to a first senior All-Ireland quarter-final later in the year. The star attacker posted 1-9 against Clare to fire them through to the knockout stages of the championship.

She will be a major scoring outlet once again at the weekend.

Niamh Hanniffy (Galway)

Niamh Hanniffy Niamh Hanniffy in action for Galway during the 2019 Littlewoods Ireland Camogie League Division 1 campaign. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The Oranmore-Maree player is another potent scoring threat in the UL attack.

Hanniffy was sprung from the bench in Galway’s All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Kilkenny last year wearing a very heavy strapping on the knee injury that kept her out of the quarter-final.

She also made a substitute appearance in the previous year’s last-four clash where she scored a goal against eventual champions Cork.

DCU

Hannah Hegarty (Dublin)

St Judes’ Hannah Hegarty is proficient in football and camogie but is concentrating on the small ball at the moment for Dublin.

She was nominated for an All-Star in 2017 at the end of a sensational season for the county, which saw them reach the All-Ireland senior semi-final for the first time in 27 years.

They face UL in a tough semi-final on Saturday and will be looking to Hegarty’s influence if they are to derail the champions.

Michelle Teehan (Kilkenny)

Michelle Teehan Michelle Teehan in possession for Kilkenny in the 2018 league final. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Kilkenny has a huge representation in the DCU panel, including James Stephens defender Michelle Teehan.

Teehan has some crucial inter-county experience under her belt. She lined out for Cats in the 2018 Littlewoods Ireland Camogie League Division 1 final, where Ann Downey’s side collected a third title on the bounce.

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UCC

Chloe Sigerson 

The Cork defender was shortlisted for the 2018 senior Camogie Association/WGPA Players’ Player of the Year accolade after an impressive season in the Rebel red.

Sigerson played an integral role from half-back in her side’s back-to-back All-Ireland triumph last year, hitting three frees on the way to a one-point victory.

Her accuracy from long range could be a key asset for UCC this weekend.

Libby Coppinger

A dual star for Cork and a solid member of the UCC defensive unit.

Coppinger helped the Cork camógs to an All-Ireland triumph last September before quickly turning her attention to Ephie Fitzgerald’s footballers where she lined out at half-forward in their defeat to Dublin a few weeks later.

Hannah Looney 

Hannah Looney celebrates Looney celebrating at the final whistle in Croke Park last September. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Another player with skills in the small ball and big ball game at inter-county level. She featured in both of those senior All-Ireland finals, playing alongside Coppinger in the half-back line in the camogie final.

Both players were part of the UCC team that lost out to UL in last year’s Ashbourne Cup final and will be back in the red and black colours this weekend where they will be hoping to end that long wait for the title.

WIT

Brianna O’Regan O'Regan clearing the ball for Waterford during the 2017 All-Ireland championship. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Brianna O’Regan (Waterford)

The De La Salle netminder is a regular face between the sticks for Waterford but missed some of last year’s All-Ireland championship after she was handed a red card in a championship clash with Kilkenny.

She could be in for a busy afternoon in the Ashbourne Cup semi-final as WIT face a difficult assignment against last year’s finalists UCC.

Danielle Morrissey (Kilkenny)

Similar to her Kilkenny teammate Teehan in DCU, Danielle Morrissey also has some inter-county camogie in the legs.

She was introduced for Michelle Quilty in the Division 1 final last year, coming on as a late substitution in a narrow victory over Munster rivals Cork.

Ashbourne Cup Semi-Finals – Saturday 9 February
UL v DCU — 12.45pm

UCC v WIT — 2.45pm

Ashbourne Cup Final — Sunday 10 February

Semi-finalist winner 1 v Semi-finalist winner 2 — 4pm

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