O'Connor Cup Weekend - Preview with Jackie Cahill

The LGFA Colleges Championship takes place this coming weekend in Queens University Belfast. 


Jackie Cahill Talked to UUJ Boss Gregory McGonagle about his hopes for the weekend. 

MONAGHAN boss Gregory McGonagle is busy plotting the potential downfall of champions Dublin City University in tomorrow’s (Saturday) mouthwatering O’Connor Cup semi-final, in his capacity as manager of University of Ulster, Jordanstown (UUJ).

The cream of third-level colleges ladies football stars will descend upon Queen’s University, Belfast, this weekend as Dublin City University go in search of a fourth successive O’Connor Cup victory.

University of Limerick won five-in-a-row from 1993-97 while University College Dublin won five out of six from 2001-06 but DCU have dominated the tournament in recent seasons.

Dublin stars Amy McGuinness, Lyndsey Davey and Lyndsey Peat will spearhead the DCU challenge, along with Monaghan stars Ellen McCarron and Laura McEnaney, daughter of Meath SF manager Seamus.

But UUJ have real incentive against the holders, having lost the 2010 and 2011 O’Connor Cup finals against the Glasnevin-based outfit.

McGonagle, in his sixth year as UUJ boss, reflected: “That could work two ways – is it a mental block or motivation? We’ve tried to concentrate on what we can do as a team and we’re not worried about what DCU, UL or UCC bring.”

McGonagle is gearing himself up for a hectic weekend as he is also 3rd level chairperson and consequently heavily involved in the organisation of this prestigious weekend.

While McGonagle naturally hopes that UUJ can claim a second O’Connor Cup success, and first since 2008, he suspects that UCC and UL, who meet in a huge Munster derby tomorrow, are huge threats on the opposite side of the draw.

McGonagle admitted: “UL might have the strongest squad with Lorraine Scanlon from Kerry, Niamh O’Dea and Eimear Considine from Clare and Aine Tighe from Leitrim.

“They also have Gillian O’Connor from Galway and Kerry’s Denise Hallissey and are essentially a team with county players in every position.”

But Jordanstown can call upon stars of the calibre of Sharon Courtney (Monaghan) and Tyrone pair Neamh Woods and Shannon Quinn.

McGonagle added: “It all depends on how we play. We wouldn’t be scared of any of the teams and we think that we have an equal chance.

“I don’t think anybody is red hot favourites but DCU have won three in a row and have the experience of winning.

“Jordanstown have lost the last two finals but have been there or thereabouts.

“If DCU win four in a row, it would be a massive achievement. Queen’s beat DCU in one of the preliminary games but they ended up meeting again through the back door and DCU ended up winning. It just shows that there are teams that can beat you in a one-off game.”

Saturday the 24th

11am: Lynch Cup Semi Finals

Trinity College Dublin v St Mary’s London (M Farrelly)

Athlone IT V NUIG (2) (M Henry)


1pm: Giles Cup Semi Finals

IT Tralee v Mary Immaculate College Limerick (S Duane)

NUI Maynooth v Waterford IT (Y Duffy)


3pm: O’Connor Cup Semi Finals

University of Ulster Jordanstown v DCU (J Niland)

University of Limerick v UCC (G Corrigan)


Sunday 25th March

11.30am: Lynch Cup Finals

1.15pm: Giles Cup Finals

3pm: O’Connor Cup Finals

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