Captain Moloney stars as DCU overcome UL to claim HEC League title

By Marisa Kennedy in Stradbally 

HEC Division 1 final 

Dublin City University 0-18
University of Limerick 1-10

SEVEN points from captain Aishling Moloney helped DCU overcome fierce rivals UL to be crowned league champions on Thursday night.

A dominant first half display was enough to see off the second half challenge of UL, who had a nine-point haul from Cork’s Eimear Scally. 

DCU raced into an early four point lead before last year’s O’Connor Cup champions UL registered their first score in the 11th minute, a opportune goal for Emma Needham from a misplaced Aishling McCarthy free.

It was an otherwise perfect display in defence from DCU in the first half, Éabha Rutledge and Laura McGinley in particular forcing turnovers from an unusually nervy UL forward line.

Frustration set in at the other end of the pitch, as DCU repeatedly won the UL kick-out, Moloney and Mayo’s Sarah Rowe capitalising, scoring 0-9 without reply before half-time.

A much smarter Limerick outfit emerged for the second half. Direct running from McCarthy and Roisin Howard caused DCU problems and drew multiple frees, which Scally dispatched with ease. 

A much more disciplined defence managed to crowd out DCU and force errors. Eventually, Lauren Magee managed to grab her second with a wonderful solo effort, to settle DCU into the game once more.

UL were unable to capitalise on their dominant possession, instead living off DCU scraps. It took till the 41st minute for them to score their only point from play, through the boot of Tipperary star, McCarthy.  

The momentum UL had gathered through two further Scally frees was eventually halted when Moloney, who won a TG4 All-Ireland intermediate medal with Tipperary in September, snuck over a score from a tight angle as the game entered the final 10 minutes.

Thoughts of a wonder comeback from the Limerick side were put to bed as they kicked three short balls before Rowe scored her fifth and final point to ensure it was DCU who came out of this particular encounter with the silverware.

Scorers for DCU – A Moloney 0-7 (0-5f), S Rowe 0-5, A Shendan 0-3, L Magee 0-2, A Murphy 0-1

Scorers for UL – E Scally 0-9 (0-9f), E Needham 1-0, A McCarthy 0-1

DCU – E Ní Eafa; L McGinley, K Murray, K McKinney; E Rutledge, L Caffrey, H Hegarty; M Atkinson, L Magee; N Kelly, A Moloney, A Murphy; A Shendan, S Rowe, A Cleary.

Subs – A Gavin Mangen for McKinney (44), N Rickard for Shendan (56).

UL – C Moore; A Kelleher, M Curley, S Molloy; L Ryan, S Kelly, J Cregg; O O’Dwyer, L Ward; A Considine, A McCarthy, E Scally; N Gaughan, E Needham, R Howard.

Subs – A Healy for Cregg (26), L O’Callaghan for Molloy (26), A Davoren for Considine (26), S Howley for O’Dwyer, F McHale for Needham (51).

Ref – Niall McCormack (Laois)


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