Gourmet Food Parlour O’Connor Cup semi-final previews

UNIVERSITY of Limerick will attempt to win back-to-back Gourmet Food Parlour O’Connor Cup titles over the weekend, while the holders are bidding for a fourth crown in five seasons.

IT Blanchardstown and the GAA Centre of Excellence in Abbotstown will host finals weekend and the highlight will be Sunday’s GFP O’Connor Cup decider, a fixture that will be screened live on the Spórt TG4 YouTube channel (4.0).

UL will face off against UCC in Saturday’s semi-final at IT Blanchardstown (3.0), in a fixture that will be preceded by the Dublin derby between League champions DCU and UCD (1.0).

 

Semi-final Previews:

 

DCU v UCD – IT Blanchardstown, 1pm (G Chapman)

 

DCU are the reigning League champions and many people’s fancy to dethrone UL as Gourmet Food Parlour O’Connor Cup champions.

DCU struck a psychological blow by defeating UL in the League decider but they’ll have to work hard for a GFP O’Connor Cup final place against Dublin rivals UCD.

DCU, however, boast a star-studded squad captained by Tipperary’s Aishling Moloney, who was a 2017 TG4 All-Ireland intermediate medallist with the Premier County.

Dublin’s All-Ireland senior champions Lauren Magee, Leah Caffrey and Laura McGinley are also key members of the DCU set-up, along with Mayo pair Sarah Rowe and Niamh Kelly.
Meath’s Vikki Wall and Monaghan’s Muireann Atkinson are other players to keep a close eye on, while UCD will be backboned by Dublin’s Martha Byrne and skipper Nicola Ward from Galway.

Two years ago, Ward scored the crucial goal in the final as UCD won the title for the first time in ten years. In that final, UCD ended UL’s hopes of three-in-a-row.

 

UL v UCC – IT Blanchardstown, 3pm (K Delahunty)

 

University of Limerick begin GFP O’Connor Cup weekend as holders but UCC will have a revenge mission on their minds when they tackle the champions.

In last year’s final at Elvery’s MacHale Park, Cork’s Eimear Scally was the difference for UL against her former college, with her second half penalty goal proving crucial in a three-point victory.

UL’s squad is formidable and while DCU might begin the weekend as favourites, UL will prove incredibly difficult to stop.

Clare’s Laurie Ryan captains a side including Louise Ward, twin sister of UCD captain Nicola, while Mayo’s Grace Kelly is sister of DCU star Niamh.  

A team managed by DJ Collins, who was a member of the Mayo backroom staff in 2017, also includes in-form Tipperary star Aisling McCarthy, Mayo’s Fiona McHale and red-hot Scally.

UCC, meanwhile, have Tipperary manager Shane Ronayne at the helm, a man who masterminded GFP O’Connor Cup success in 2012.

A UCC side laced with Cork players will be reliant on the likes of Orlagh Farmer, Hannah Looney and Libby Coppinger for attacking inspiration, while Waterford pair Megan Dunford and Geraldine Power are other key stars.

2018 GFP Ladies HEC O’Connor Cup Weekend Fixtures

 

Friday March 9

 

GFP O’Connor Shield – QUB v NUIG – Abbotstown 3G pitch, 7pm

 

GFP Lynch Cup semi-final – UUJ v Garda – Abbotstown 3G pitch, 1.30pm

GFP Lynch Cup semi-final – IT Sligo v DIT – Abbotstown 3G pitch, 3.30pm

 

GFP Moynihan Cup semi-final – St Mary’s, Belfast v DKIT – IT Blanchardstown, 1pm

GFP Moynihan Cup semi-final – IT Tralee v LYIT – IT Blanchardstown, 3pm

 

GFP Donaghy Cup FINAL – RCSI v DCU6 – IT Blanchardstown, 5pm

 

Saturday March 10

 

GFP O’Connor Cup semi-final – DCU v UCD – IT Blanchardstown, 1pm

GFP O’Connor Cup semi-final – UL v UCC – IT Blanchardstown, 3pm

 

GFP Giles Cup semi-final – WIT v AIT – Abbotstown pitch 4, 2.30pm

GFP Giles Cup semi-final – MICL v DCU2 – Abbotstown pitch 5, 4.30pm

 

GFP Lynch Cup FINAL – UUJ/Garda v IT Sligo/DIT – IT Blanchardstown, 5pm

 

GFP Moynihan Cup FINAL – St Mary’s/DKIT v ITT/LYIT – Abbotstown 3G pitch, 7pm

 

Sunday March 11

 

GFP Lagan Cup FINAL – UUC (Coleraine) v AIT2 – Abbotstown 3G pitch, 12pm

 

GFP Giles Cup FINAL – WIT/AIT v MICL/DCU2 – Abbotstown pitch 1, 2pm

 

GFP O’Connor Cup FINAL – DCU/UCD v UL/UCC – Abbotstown pitch 1, 4pm

 

 

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