All Star Tourists to Return for O'Connor Cup Duty

Launch of the O’Connor Cup Finals Weekend

THEY are opponents in the inter-county arena and were on different sides in last week-end’s TG4 Allstars exhibition game in Hong Kong, but Kerry star Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh, team-mate Cáit Lynch and Cork’s Doireann O’Sullivan will be teaming up in Belfast on Friday when they line out with UCC in their O’Connor Cup semi-final against UL.

In total, six players who will arrive back in Dublin on Thursday morning after their Allstars adventure will be involved in the concluding stages of the Third Level competitions, hosted by Queens University. Also involved will be Caroline O’Hanlon with Queens, who play DCU in the other semi-final.

Additionally, one semi-final of the Lynch Cup sees Galway defender Sinéad Burke lining out with St. Pat’s Training College who will be opposed by the DKIT team which features star Monaghan forward Caoimhe Mohan.

A seventh player, Carnacon and Mayo star Fiona McHale – chosen as the ‘player of the match’ in last week-ends exhibition game in the Hong Kong Football Club stadium – is joint manager and trainer of the UL team. She holds four O’Connor Cup medals, achieving three-in-a-row with DCU and the other medal with UL.

Louise (2012/’13) and Caroline (2006/’12) each hold two Allstar awards, Cait Lynch was a first-time winner in 2012 and Caoimhe won an award the following year.

The Armagh girl is the most experienced of the group, having qualified as a doctor in 2009 and currently doing a masters in clinical anatomy. Queens won the competition last year but she was not involved.

She admits that there will be additional pressure on them to be successful, commenting: “the fact that we are holders, that we won the league and are playing ‘at home,’ all these factors contribute.”

Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh is in her fifth year in UCC, studying PE. “We only qualified in 2012 which was our first time in a number of years and we actually managed to win it the same year” (beating UL by a single point and Jordanstown by four points in the final).

“It was a great experience to win it with your best friends. We qualified again last year but Queens beat us in extra time by a point.

“We have missed the last two weeks of training, but the management gave us stuff to do and how to manage the jet lag. Coming to Hong Kong is the chance of a lifetime and they were happy for us to take this opportunity. Hopefully we will be okay on Friday.

The tour party is due into Dublin Airport at 8.10 a.m. on Thursday morning The three UCC girls will stay in Dublin – where Louise’s brother Colm lives – and they will meet up with the squad later in the day before travelling on to Down for an overnight stay.

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