16 Sep 2017
So we are down to the last two standing in the race for Sam Maguire - a race that began in New York on 7 May. Sligo were the victors in that opening encounter, surviving what many thought would be a tricky encounter in the Bronx.
Since then we've had 61 championship games, including a few replays, the odd surprise, but much predictability in contests that often were painfully one-sided. The August Bank Holiday weekend comes to mind regarding the latter. Tomorrow is undoubtedly the biggest day of the GAA calendar!
This September, UCD has an incredible 27 current students and graduates in action across the Senior Hurling, Camogie, Ladies Football and Men’s Football Championship.
DJ Foran and Tadgh DeBurca lined out for Waterford in the All Ireland Hurling final on the 3rd of September. In an attempt overcome their own drought and bring home the Liam McCarthy for the first time since 1959, they missed out to Galway and the Tribesmen claimed their first title after 29years waiting!
The Cork Camogie final between Kilkenny and Cork was a thrilling encounter and we saw UCD graduate Rena Buckley set the media alight as she lifted the lifted O’Duffy Cup for the 7th time. This was her 18th All Ireland in total as she added 11 football medals to the tally. She met UCD’s and Kilkennys Grace Walsh, Sarah Kent and Laura Murphy.
Rena has been named the Irish Sportswoman of the Year as well as the Irish Sports Business woman of the Year. Rena last year was awarded the UCD Alumni Award for Physiotherapy and was a keynote speaker at the Women in Leadership Conference in the O’Reilly Hall.
The Irish Times wrote that Sports psychologists would fight one another to have a sit-down chat with her just to see what makes her tick. But if you ask anyone in Innishannon or Donoughmore, they’ll shrug and say “that’s just Rena”. A hero, idol and inspiration when she was in UCD, on the pitch now for club and county and in business and you will not meet a nicer woman.
The ladies final takes place on Sunday the 24th of September. It is interestingly a double up of the men’s final as Mayo take on the Dubs. Mayo. UCD again is strongly represented but only on the Dublin team for this one!
Dublin Ladies Football:Molly Lamb, Niamh Collins, Sinead Goldrick, Noelle Healy, Aoife Kane, Martha Byrne, Tarah O'Sullivan amd Amy Connolly
Finally, For the much anticipated All Ireland Final which sees Mayo take on Dublin yet again, UCD is represented by no fewer than 14 Dublin and Mayo players lining out in Croke Park. The boys temporarily part ways from Belfield pitches & the Sigerson Cup team and will battle it out in front of what is sure to me a unbelievable crowd. UCD Sport is extrememly proud of these student athletes past and present and hope that this will be a fantastic match up.
For Dublin: Jack McCaffrey, Michael Fitzsimons, Conor Mullally, Con O'Callaghan, Paul Mannion Cian O'Sullivan, Michael Darragh McAuley, Brian Fenton and David Byrne and for Mayo: Stephen Coen, Kevin McLoughin, Chris Barrett and David Drake.
By Georgina Dwyer, UCD Sport