A round up of all the latest UCD sports news.
UCD missed out on a chance to win their first Fitzgibbon Cup, hurling’s premier third-level education tournament, since 2001 after they fell to a 1-20 to 0-14 defeat to UCC on Friday. The semi-finals and final of the tournament were hosted over the weekend by GMIT.
Going into the game, UCD were on a high after they saw off pre-tournament favourites UL in the quarter-finals. In the other semi-final, Mary Immaculate overcame WIT to reach their first ever final, but couldn’t match UCC, who ran out 2-17 to 2-12 winners.
Meanwhile, UCD came up just short in the All-Ireland Freshers’ Football Division 1 final to DCU, after extra-time last Thursday in Clontarf. At the end of regulation time, the scores were level at 1-14 to 2-11. Despite scoring two goals in normal time, UCD were out-scored 0-4 to 0-3 in the final period.
UCD scholarship student Martin Mulkerrins retained his World Intercollegiate handball title in Arizona two weeks ago. Mulkerrins, a second year Agricultural Science student, saw off competition from the best in the world for his age group for the second year running.
The final was a repeat of the previous year, with Mulkerrins once again facing off against the Mexican-born Daniel Cordova. Last year saw a closely fought contest, in which a single ace separated the two. This year, however, Mulkerrins cruised to a 21-13, 21-16 victory.
Laura Mannion also claimed a victory for UCD and Ireland in the Ladies’ B Final at the event, as UCD continued a proud tradition of excellence in handball, with Mulkerrins and Sean Foley also coming narrowly second in the doubles.
UCD Marian continued their fine vein of form, extending their unbeaten run to five games, which stretches back to an away defeat to Moycullen just over a month ago. Marian saw off bottom of the table Dublin Inter to leapfrog Moycullen into fifth place on points difference.
With two games more played, UCD Marian are two points ahead of DCU Saints, who sit second from bottom. Marian finish up their season on Saturday against the league leaders UL Eagles, in Limerick. A strong February has helped put a gloss on a season that was less than inspiring during a seven game losing streak during the winter.
UCD Table Tennis teams dominated the 2013 Intervarsity Championships after the women’s team won their fifth title in a row by beating UCC 6-3 in the final. The men’s team won their fourteenth consecutive title, after they saw off DIT 9-3 in their final. Sarah Timlin also picked up UCD’s third women’s singles title in a row.
UCD AFC secured their second consecutive Collingwood Cup after beating UCC 1-0 on Thursday. David McMillan scored the game’s solitary goal as UCD made it through the tournament with only conceding a single goal.
Having received a first round bye, UCD saw off Mary Immaculate of Limerick 2-0, thanks to a late goal from Niall Wright, which was soon followed by a Cillian Morrison strike that was almost an own goal, as an attempted clearance by a Mary I defender just forced the ball further into the net.
The semi-final saw UCD overcome the hosts University of Ulster Jordanstown by a score of 2-1, having pulled their way back from a 0-1 deficit in the first half. Sami Belhout and Cillian Morrison were the goal-scorers this time.
The Cup victory, the biggest in Irish university soccer, gives UCD AFC some momentum going into their League of Ireland campaign, which kicks off against Bohemians on Friday March 8th in Dalymount Park at 7.45pm.
UCD hosted the 2013 Dance Inter-varsities competition last Tuesday in the O’Reilly Hall. In all, five categories were contested by 11 universities from all over Ireland: Irish dancing, hip-hop, jazz, lyrical and mixed piece.
UCD won the first competition of the day, Irish dancing, ahead of DCU in second and UL in third. The hip-hop was won by overall winners DCU, as UCD finished in second with UL again finishing in third. UCD also picked up third place in the third contest of the day, jazz, falling behind UL in second and first-placed UCC.
The final two categories, lyrical and mixed piece, were won by UCC and DCU respectively. Of the five categories, lyrical was the only one in which UCD did not place, with Trinity finishing in second while NUI Maynooth came third. In the mixed piece, second place UCD finished ahead of third place Trinity.
UCD RFC thrashed eighth-placed Dungannon by a score of 84-15 away from home last Saturday. The win keeps UCD in second place, eight points behind the league leading Ballynahinch, but only one point ahead of rivals Dublin University.
The 12 try thrashing would have been enough for three bonus points, as UCD built on the momentum of the previous week’s victory in the Colours game against Dublin University. UCD now boast the second best offensive and defensive records in the league, and have also achieved a bonus point in over half their matches.
Collidge now have a two week break until they face Buccaneers, who lie in fourth place, on the 16th of March in the Belfield Bowl. Buccaneers were the last team to beat UCD, who are on a five game winning streak, after they squeezed out a five-point win at home in early January.
By Kevin Beirne