Champs DCU Dóchas Éireann reach O'Connor Cup final after epic battle with TU Dublin

HEC O’Connor Cup semi-final

DCU Dóchas Eireann 1-10

TU Dublin 1-9

(after extra-time)


Reigning champions DCU Dóchas Éireann needed extra-time to overcome TU Dublin and maintain the challenge to defend their O’Connor Cup title, digging deep to get over the line in a pulsating additional 20 minutes.

The holders were pushed all the way in a repeat of last year’s semi-final but managed to get over the line and will meet UCC in the decider on Saturday afternoon at MTU Cork.

DCU DÉ shot out of the blocks the better with Offaly native Kate Kenny, Player of the Match in the 2023 Final, the main catalyst. She landed three points before Chloe Darby pushed them into a healthy lead. It could have been furthered as Roisin O’Reilly needed to be alert to deny Emma Duggan a goal chance late in the first half.

TU Dublin had few chances and missed those limited number of chances in that first half, but with 27 minutes gone, Ellie Young curled over a free to cut the gap to four at the break, 0-5 to 0-1.

Maria Cannon made it a five point lead early in the second half, but TU Dublin started to come back in that third quarter. Ciara Smyth sent an effort over the bar while Niamh Keenaghan looked for goal but found the hands of Robyn Murray.

DCU DÉ also looked to conjure up chances at goal at the other end, denied however at every step by O’Reilly. The Cavan goalkeeper produced two excellent saves to deny Tara Needham on separate occasions at the end of the third quarter.

Orla Martin cut the gap to three before Duggan found the mark for DCU DÉ . TU Dublin hit back as Young struck a brace of frees before palming to the net from close range to put TU Dublin into a narrow one point lead on the hour mark.

Christina Charters was sent to the bin following that goal and down to 14 going into stoppage time DCU DÉ needed to dig deep. They did that when Darby shot from range and the ball dropped into the back of the TU Dublin net to push them 1-7 to 1-5 in front.

But in the blink of an eye their lead was wiped out by a battling TU Dublin side with Smyth and former Dublin star Niamh McEvoy getting points to force extra-time.

Both sides exchanged scores at the outset of extra-time but DCU edged 1-10 to 1-8 in front at the end of the first period thanks to Fionnula McLaughlin and another Kenny free.

TU Dublin got the gap back to the minimum when McEvoy pointed a free in the second additional period, but DCU Dóchas Éireann held on for victory and will now face UCC the final.

Scorers for DCU Dóchas Éireann: K Kenny 0-5 (0-4f), C Darby 1-2, M Cannon, F McLaughlin, E Duggan 0-1 each.

Scorers for TU Dublin: E Young 1-3 (3fs), C Smyth 0-3, N McEvoy 0-2 (1f), O Martin 0-1.

DCU Dóchas Eireann: R Murray; A Farrell, R Ennis, N Donlon; N Crowley, R Sargent, C Charters; C Banville, C Darby; M Cannon, L Fox, C Lohan; E Duggan, K Kenny, S Reynolds. Subs: T Needham or Fox, E Morrissey for Banville (Both H/t), C Dunne for Farrell (39), F McLaughlin for Ennis (48), K Owens for Lohan (56).

TU Dublin: R O’Reilly; N Harkin, A Nyhan, S Codd; O Martin, H Byrne, E Gribben; D Egan, C Cregg; C Smyth, C O’Connor, N Divilly; A McGuignan, E Young, N Keenaghan. Subs: L Quane for Cregg (34), M Dignam for Gribben (39), J Buckley for Egan (56).

Referee: Patrick Smith (Waterford).

Sign up to our email newsletter


Partners & Supporters





See all LGFAClubs