DCU Dóchas Éireann retain O'Connor Cup after epic decider

HEC O’Connor Cup final

DCU Dóchas Éireann 2-16

UCC 2-14

(after extra-time)



DCU Dóchas Éireann retained their O’Connor Cup title after a hard-fought win over UCC at MTU Cork to claim the crown for the sixth time.

It took extra time to separate the sides with little or nothing between them for long stretches of play in an epic decider before DCU DÉ pushed to claim the crown against a UCC side bidding for their first title since 2012

DCU DÉ enjoyed a brilliant start but UCC hauled them back as the final ebbed and flowed.

The game was only 20 seconds old when DCU DÉ had their first score when Chloe Darby pointed. From the restart, and still in the first minute, they had their second. They won the ball back and Kate Kenny found the back of the net for a perfect start for the holders.

Leah Hallinan got UCC off the mark and two frees from Ellie Jack for the Cork side made it 1-2 to 0-3 with just six minutes played.

Emma Duggan, Kenny and Emma Morrissey stretched DCU DÉ’s lead again before Abigail Ring pulled a point back for UCC.

Ciara Banville was on target for the title holders, before UCC were thrown a lifeline.

Ave Fennessy played the ball to Kellyann Hogan and she found the net to make it 1-6 to 1-4.

But DCU DÉ weren’t going to give up their title easily and they broke straight down the pitch for Duggan to score a superb point.

Just before half time Darby was on target again to see DCU DÉ four points up at the break as they led by 1-8 to 1-4.

Ring pointed for UCC and with 33 minutes gone they were back on level terms when Mary O’Connell got their second goal.

Kenny and Ring exchanged points before Duggan put DCU DÉ back in front.

Jack and Tara Needham exchanged points before efforts from Sadhbh McGoldrick and O’Connell looked like winning it for UCC.

But Maria Cannon pointed in the last minute for the champions to take it to extra time at 2-9 to 1-12.

A goal at the start of extra time proved the vital score for DCU DÉ as Kerri Owens made it 2-12 to 2-10 and from here they never looked back.

Cannon hit two more, with Hogan and Amy Harrington replying for UCC. Kenny made it 2-16 to 2-12 with two minutes left, with late scores from Dara Kiniry and Ellie Jack making it a tense finish, but DCU DÉ hung on for victory.

Scorers for DCU Dóchas Éireann: K Kenny 1-3 (1f), K Owens 1-0, M Cannon, E Duggan 0-3 each, C Darby, L Fox 0-2 each, E Morrissey, C Banville, T Needham 0-1 each.

UCC: M O’Connell, K Hogan 1-1 each, E Jack (1f), A Ring (1f) 0-4 each, L Hallinan, S McGoldrick, A Harrington, D Kiniry 0-1 each.

DCU Dóchas Éireann: R Murray; C Dunne, R Ennis, N Donlon; N Crowley, R Sargent, C Charters; C Banville, C Darby; E Morrissey, L Fox, C Lohan; E Duggan, K Kenny, F McLaughlin. Subs: M Cannon for L Fox (40), T Needham for F McLaughlin (45), S Reynolds for C Darby (51), K Owens for C Charters, A Hanly for E Morrissey (both 59), L Fox for A Hanly (start of et), C Charters for N Crowley (70), A Cullen for T Needham (76).

 UCC: C Forde; N Martin, D Kiniry, R Sheehan; A McDonagh, A Healy, R Corkery; M O’Connell, K Hogan; A O’Neill, A Ring, B McMaugh; E Jack, L Hallinan, A Fennessy. Subs: S McGoldrick for A McDonagh (35), K Brosnan for E Jack (59), A Harrington for A O’Neill (start of et), E Jack for B McMaugh (74).

Referee: Paddy Smith (Waterford).


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