Women’s Soccer team shake up the big guns Without a doubt this weeks headline act has to be the Women’s Soccer team. Their performance in the Indoor Inter-Varsity competition held in D.C.U. on Saturday was outstanding
A tough draw for the group stages saw them paired with the University Of Limerick in their first game. Early pressure from the Limerick girls was dealt with comfortably, with Mairead McGinty in particular steadying the ship. Having weathered this storm Maura Quinn took leave from her defensive duties to pop up with the opening goal, a well struck shot from near half way. With Louise Mulready and Maeve Murphy starting, what was to become an unbreakable habit in the group stages, (they managed a goal each in all three group games), the girls ran out comfortable 3-0 winners.
The next game might well have been the game of the tournament. Trinity College came with a big reputation and high hopes of ultimate glory, and their swift passing quickly showed why. But again resolute in defence, Castlebar stood firm and when Louise converted a penalty the Dublin girls looked worried. End to end attacking and last ditch defending made for a breathtaking encounter, and eventually Trinity found the equalizer. With the pressure mounting Evelyn Bonar in goal made herself the star of the show. Three point blank saves denied certain goals, the rebound from the last setting up Maeve Murphy for a breakaway winner. Lorraine Lee, Marcella Troy and Elizabeth Doherty were equal to the onslaught that Trinity mounted in their search for an equalizer. But it was Evelyn who again thwarted all efforts to earn a memorable victory.
Needing only a point from their final game, against The Royal College of Surgeons, the Louise and Maeve double act gave them a comfortable 2-0 win and the honour of being one of only three teams to emerge unbeaten from the group stages.
The prospect of U.C.D. in the play-offs was daunting, (they are the current W.F.A.I. champions), and in the end they proved just a little too strong. Again putting up a brave fight it wasn’t until the closing minutes that the Dublin girls made the breakthrough. Having to push everything forward for an equalizer to keep the tournament alive they were caught at the back to end up losing 2-0.
The immediate sting of defeat and bitter disappointment was all that was visible in the tired faces that left the pitch, and the tournament at that stage. But when they had a chance to reflect on their day’s work, and the way they accounted for such notable scalps a smile and a look of justifiable pride returned and brightened up the homeward journey.
The fact that U.C.D. went on to beat Cork I.T. 5-0 in the final also places the girl’s performance in context and everyone in the college would like to congratulate them on their fine performance
Rag week is here and that means attention is focused on entertainment, but for some, all thoughts of joining the party must be put on hold. The men’s Football team must make the trip to Derry to Face N.W.I.F.H.E. in a Trench Cup game, that was cancelled last week due to the heavy snow in the North. This game comes about as a result of defeating Portobello, while Magee College, also of Derry await in the next round.
The Hurlers involvement in the Ryan Cup came to an end in Carlow last Tuesday. In fairness it was always going to be a daunting task going into a hotbed of Hurling, with a team heavily manned from Kilkenny Wexford Waterford and Tipperary and considering they were recent winners of the Fitzgibbon Cup.
However the lads didn’t make the long trip just to make up the numbers and intention was posted in the first minute with Gavin Kearey’s breathtaking opening point. He pulled on a rolling ball from 60 yards and watched it sail over the bar. Carlow were stung into life and responded with some lovely points from play. The inspirational Kearey had the Carlow men in trouble again when a huge up field ball landed in the heart of the goalmouth. The melee that ensued saw the mop-topped Stephen McKeogh emerge from the crowd looking destined to score,(but the older heads in the team had seen this apparition before and were not going to be fooled). McKeogh’s fine effort came off the upright for Connemara man Jason O’Brien to dispatch it to the net.
This time Carlow responded in a style that was ultimately going to kill off the game. Further points from distance and a couple of goals had them, firmly in the driving seat by half time. The switch of dual star Dan O’ Connor to centre half forward had an immediate effect in the second half and although there were scores traded for a while with Sean O’Callaghan and Dan himself adding to the scores, the result was now beyond doubt. At the end of the day the Castlebar men were playing a bit out of their league, but defeat in this fixture will mean entry in the Maher Cup which is a competition they will feel much more confidant about.
As mentioned Gavin Kearey was outstanding and ran the show from mid-field, Shane O’Connor had his usual fine game in goal, keeping a strong forward line at bay for long spells, (His dying swan impersonation as he burst from defense may have won him a free but may also put him in contention for an Oscar!) Dave Condon, Eamon Higgins ,Emmet Divilly and Michael Donohue were solid in defense while Johnny Mullins worked hard throughout. The lads know there is a lot more work needed but they showed that even if only in flashes they are well capable of producing the goods.
The Mountaineering Club are currently enjoying what is the highlight of the year, a week in Scotland. They have worked very hard to raise funds for their transport accommodation, specialist equipment and instructors, for a week that will give them invaluable experience in winter climbing and may open the way to future trips to the Alps, or perhaps even the Himalayas. Certainly the stories and pictures shown by Paul Dunlop in his recent appearance in the college have whetted their appetites and fuelled their imaginations, so who knows where to from here.
Not as far from home but as much of a credit to them, The Surf Club has been highly involved in organizing the first inter college surf weekend of its kind in Bundoran this weekend. Students from N.U.I.G Lettkenny I.T. and Sligo I.T. will be joining them in a weekend where beginners will be given the opportunity to try surfing for the first time, and others will get a chance to improve and perfect their skills and others will just make the most of what promises to be a great weekend, as The Donegal Adventure Centre has lined up an action packed programme of evening entertainment as well as lectures and a premiere of a new Surf Video shot in the Northwest. All in all it promises to be a great weekend and hopefully what will be the start of an annual event.