DCU prevailed at the Connacht GAA Air Dome.
Top of the Class

DCU and UL grab a combined 14 goals to reach O'Connor Cup final

Leah Fox netted a hat-trick of goals for DCU.

LAST UPDATE | 10 Mar 2023

O’Connor Cup Semi-Final Results:

DCU Dóchas Éireann 7-14 TU Dublin 2-10

University of Limerick  7-14 Queen’s University, Belfast 1-9 


A BARRAGE OF goals in the opening half helped DCU Dóchas Éireann advance to their first Yoplait O’Connor Cup final since 2018 as they downed first-time semi-finalists TU Dublin.

The winners’ tigerish defending paved the way for their classy forwards to inflict maximum damage at University of Galway Connacht GAA Air Dome.

TU Dublin edged 0-5 to 0-4 at one stage in the opening half but from there the winners’ experience shone through as they outscored their opponents 5-3 to 0-2 to the break.

Leah Fox moved DCU 1-4 to 0-5 in front and although TU Dublin coped reasonably well with the concession of the first goal, DCU made their move towards the conclusion of the half.

With the gap at three points, DCU plundered four goals without reply to mercilessly put their opponents to the sword.

Tara Needham grabbed the first of the quartet. Then the outstanding Roisin Ennis won a turnover on her own half back line as DCU piled forward. Needham and Kate Kenny combined to set up Fox as she rolled the ball past Roisin O’Reilly in the TU Dublin goal.

DCU forced another turnover deep in TU Dublin territory with Kenny profiting as she advanced through before coolly rolling the ball to the net. There was still time for one more before the break as Needham slipped Fox through before she rattled the net to give DCU a 5-7 to 0-7 half-time advantage.

Peter Clarke’s side were able to empty their substitutes’ bench ahead of Saturday’s Yoplait O’Connor Cup final but there was little drop off in intensity. The first score of the second half went to DCU as Clodagh Lohan was played through by Kenny to shoot to the back of the net.

The tireless Anna Rose Kennedy and half-time sub Emma Morrissey combined to set up fellow replacement Maria Reilly to palm to the net for DCU’s seventh.

To their credit, TU Dublin battled away as Rachel Brennan rifled a penalty to the bottom right corner of the net before producing a rasping effort to the roof of the net moments later but it was DCU who prevailed after an awesome all-round team display.

O'Connor Cup Susanne White of Queen’s University Belfast in action against Siofra O’Connell of University of Limerick. Sportsfile Sportsfile

Meanwhile, University of Limerick set up a mouth-watering Yoplait O’Connor Cup final against DCU as the reigning champions produced a scintillating opening half display to power through. 

The holders laid the foundation for an impressive win when they led by 6-9 to 0-4 at the break with their link-up play and unselfishness on the ball proving the catalyst for a comfortable victory at the University of Galway Connacht GAA Air Dome. 

After the sides were level twice inside the opening 10 minutes, UL soon assumed complete control as they kicked 4-4 without reply. With Erika O’Shea producing marauding runs from deep and the inside forwards able to pick the perfect pass, UL pulled away. 

After Erone Fitzpatrick edged her side in front, Niamh O’Connor grabbed the game’s first goal after being played through by Ciara Needham. Goal number two came when Aoife Molloy and Deirbhile Beirne combined to set Siofra O’Shea through as the full forward blasted to the net. 

UL were in again a minute later when Erika O’Shea drove forward and offloaded to Beirne to slot home. Aoife O’Rourke got in on the act when O’Shea unselfishly laid the ball off to the impressive corner forward. Susanne White ended a difficult 12 minute spell for Queen’s when she arrowed over a free but UL were not done yet. 

Beirne grabbed her second major of the game when she exchanged passes with O’Rourke before finishing. It was Beirne who turned provider to set up Siofra O’Shea to palm home as UL opened up a 23 point half time lead. 

Queen’s produced an improved final half showing as after O’Rourke extended UL’s advantage, Susanne White fired over a free for Queen’s before they grabbed their first goal of the game. 

Ana Mulholland won a turnover deep in UL territory before storming through and producing an emphatic finish to the net. The UL response was swift as they hit back through an Amy Sexton goal after Erone Fitzpatrick produced a perfect pass for the onrushing Kilmurry Ibrickane club player. 

UL saw out the remainder of the game with the minimum of fuss as they are now just one win away from a record extending 14th Yoplait O’Connor Cup crown. 

Scorers – University of Limerick: S O’Shea and D Beirne 2-2,  A O’Rourke 1-4, A Sexton and N O’Connor 1-1, E Fitzpatrick 0-4. 

Queen’s University, Belfast: S White (3f) and B Bogue 0-3 each, A Mulholland 1-0, E Druise, M McCann, N Reel 0-1 each. 

University of Limerick: M Bolger, D Kiniry, L Spillane, S Ní Chonaill, E O Shea, N Ward, A Molloy, C Needham, A Reidy, D Beirne, N O’Connor, E Fitzpatrick, A O’Rourke, S O’Shea, A Morrissey. Subs: A Sexton for Morrissey (7, inj), S Cunney for Needham (35), Z Fay for Reidy (35), K Nolan for O’Connor (35), C Gillespie for O’Rourke (43). 

Queen’s University, Belfast: B Mathers, N Scullion, M Doherty, M McShane, C Garvey, G Ferguson, O Duffy, A Mulholland, C Bogue, C Towe, D Gallagher, E Druise, M McCann, S White, N Reel. Subs: B Bogue for Scullion (10), B McNally for Druise (35), L McAlary for Gallagher (38), E Fitzpatrick for Towe (49), K Byrne for Mulholland (52). 

Referee: S Curley (Galway). 

DCU scorers: L Fox 3-0, K Kenny 1-4 (0-1f), T Needham and C Lohan 1-2 each, M Reilly 1-0, R Ennis 0-2, C Darby, E Morrissey, C Banville and A Rattigan 0-1 each.

TU Dublin scorers: R Brennan 2-0 (1-0 pen), A O’Brien 0-6 (5f), C O’Connor 0-2, C Cregg and S Russell 0-1 each

DCU: R Murray, C Dunne, L Lenehan, C Charters, O Nevin, R Sargeant, R Ennis, A R Kennedy, C Darby, C Lohan, A Rattigan, C Finnegan, T Needham, K Kenny, L Fox. Subs: M Reilly for Rattigan (ht), E Morrissey for Finnegan (ht), C Banville for Lohan (35), J Duffy for Darby (38), H Howard for Fox (44).

TU Dublin: R O’Reilly, A Bedford, R Brennan, L Reilly, K Newe, H Byrne, E Gribben, C Cregg, E Young, S Daly, C O’Connor, A Heffernan, S Russell, A McGuignan, A O’Brien. Subs: N McEvoy for Russell (ht), C Price for Heffernan (35), H Davis for Daly (38), K Chambers for Young (43), R Callery for Byrne (43).

Referee: S Curley (Galway).

Get instant updates on the Allianz Football and Hurling Leagues on The42 app. Brought to you by Allianz Insurance, proud sponsors of the Allianz Leagues for over 30 years.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel