Thriller on the cards as DCU bid to dethrone UL in Yoplait O'Connor Cup showdown

Yoplait O’Connor Cup final

By Ivan Smyth

Champions University of Limerick will put their title on the line when they take on DCU Dóchas Éireann in an eagerly-awaited Yoplait Ladies HEC O’Connor Cup final today (Saturday, 4.15pm).

The two form sides in this year’s competition go into the final at the University of Galway Connacht GAA Air Dome on the back of each scoring seven goals in Friday’s semi-finals.

UL, who are bidding for their 14th title and third in a row, defeated Queen’s University, Belfast by 7-14 to 1-9, while DCU, looking for their fifth crown and first since 2018, beat TU Dublin by 7-14 to 2-10.

An unique aspect of this year’s finals will be the fact that the Needham sisters from Mayo will be on opposite sides, with Tara representing DCU while Ciara will don the UL jersey.

The pair are key players for their respective sides with Tara notching 1-2 in her side’s facile win over TU Dublin while Ciara pulled the strings from midfield in UL’s impressive win.

It will be a proud day for the Needham family and everyone associated with Louisburgh GAA Club but neither sister will be backing down as these two heavyweight sides aim to secure Yoplait O’Connor Cup glory.

UL are seeking a third consecutive Yoplait O’Connor Cup success and a record extending 14th win overall. However, UL joint manager DJ Collins insists the records are not a point of focus although he admits a win over DCU would be a big boost for the club.

“It’s not something we are focusing on. It would be great for the university and the club but for the players it’s not something they focus on. Each year we have a new team and it’s their team.

“Yes, as a tradition going forward it’s brilliant and it helps those who are in first year have something to look forward to and those that are in Leaving Cert that want to come to UL can see that tradition is there. For the players themselves what’s gone on in the past doesn’t matter. They have a sole focus on themselves and their team this week,” said Collins.

DCU Selector Pat Ring believes his side’s semi-final victory will give the Dublin college a confidence boost as they appear in their first decider since winning in 2018.

“We went in to the semi-final last year red hot favourites and were turned over by UCC. That can happen to any team if you take your eye off the ball. We didn’t take our eye off the ball and to be fair there are two teams that will be going for it. We will have a go that’s for sure.”

“The first 40 minutes of the semi-final were really good. We need to bring that forward because it will be a tough game,” said Ring.

This will be the fourth time University of Limerick and DCU Dóchas Éireann meet in the Yoplait O’Connor Cup final, with the Dublin college victorious in 2009 and 2018, while UL prevailed when they met in 2015.

The Yoplait O’Connor Cup final will be preceded by the Yoplait Lynch Cup final between ATU Donegal and UCC at 2pm, with Ulster University taking on MTU Kerry in the Yoplait Giles Cup final at 12 noon.

Sign up to our email newsletter


Partners & Supporters





See all LGFAClubs