Massive battle on the cards as UCC bid to topple champions in O'Connor Cup final

HEC O’Connor Cup final


Reigning champions DCU Dóchas Éireann will put their O’Connor Cup title on the line when they meet UCC in this year’s decider which will take place this Saturday at MTU Cork (4pm).

It is the first time these two universities have met in the decider, with both being tested to the limit before coming through Friday’s semi-final encounters.

DCU Dóchas Éireann defeated TU Dublin by 1-10 to 1-9 after extra-time, while UCC edged out Ulster University by 1-10 to 1-7 after three points in stoppage time.

This will be an eighth O’Connor Cup final appearance for DCU Dóchas Éireann, with a record of five wins and two losses so far. They lifted the crown in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2018 and last year, while they were defeated in the 2013 and 2015 finals.

UCC are through to their seventh O’Connor Cup final, with three wins and three losses to date. They were victorious in 1988, 1990 and 2012, while they suffered defeats in the finals of 1987, 2017 and 2022.

UCC captain Kellyann Hogan said they will need to improve from their semi-final display if they are to lift the O’Connor Cup for the first time in 12 years.

“That probably wasn’t the greatest performance by us but we got over the line in the end and we’re just happy to be in the final again,” she said after their win over Ulster University.

“In those final minutes we definitely took our chances, more than we did throughout the game. They had a right blanket defence and we were just trying to break that down. I think we did that in those final few minutes and we’re just glad to get over the line now and be in the final,” added the Waterford native.

Experienced DCU Dóchas Éireann captain Emma Duggan said that recovery from the semi-finals will be the most important thing now for both finalists.

“I suppose we played a lot of minutes there and having to go out and play again tomorrow is going to be tough,” said the Meath native. “But we’re in an O’Connor Cup final and that’s the most important thing. We’re all feeling a lot of relief after that game just about getting over the line against a tough TUD team. Recovery is the most important thing and resetting again for tomorrow.

“We’re well used to UCC at this stage, we played them in a league final and they’re a tough nut to crack that’s for sure. They’ve been the team to beat really this year, they have some standout performers so we’re going to have to up our game ten times from that performance. I have no doubt the girls will, so we will take tomorrow as it comes.”


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