NUIG V UUJ Date: 19/2/2011, Time: 11am, Venue: Dangan Pitch 2 Referee: Karl O’Brien (Dublin)
In the first competitive match of the Ashbourne weekend, hosts NUIG will take on Belfast college UUJ. NUIG will be hoping to impress this weekend and will have the Ashbourne Shield firmly in their sights when they take to the field on Saturday. Both sides will go into the match in completely different mindsets; NUIG competed well against reigning champions WIT, while UUJ suffered a comprehensive defeat to UL. Both teams are evenly balanced and it could come down to who wants it more. NUIG are captained by Offaly star Michaela Morkan and they will be looking to her to drive them on to victory. UUJ will be hoping that captain Maebh McGoldrick continues her winning streak, after captaining her club Eoghan Rua to the All Ireland Club Final. This match promises to be a tough affair but home advantage could swing it for the westerners.
AIT V CIT Date: 19/2/2011, Time: 1pm, Venue: Dangan Pitch 2 Referee: John Dolan (Clare)
In the second Ashbourne Shield fixture Athlone IT play CIT. Both teams suffered heavy defeats in their quarter finals and will be hoping that they can claim some pride back with a win that will take them through to the Shield Final. Athlone IT have just recently made the step up to Ashbourne level and it may take a few years for them to find their feet, CIT have quality players including Erin Corkery and Denise Luby and should have enough in reserve to see of Athlone.
This year the Ashbourne Cup is the closest it has been for a number of years with any of the teams involved capable of going the distance and picking up the ultimate college prize. The Ashbourne Cup is a unique competition and a medal is coveted by any player who has played College Camogie.
UCC -V- UCD Date: 19/2/2011, Time: 12pm, Venue: Dangan Pitch 1 Referee: John Morrissey (Tipperary)
In a repeat of last years semi final fixture, UCC will play Dublin college UCD. Only a point separated these teams last year and this year will prove to be no different with many of the personnel from the previous teams still on display this year. UCC have not won the Ashbourne Cup since 2003 and they will be hoping to bridge that gap, UCD will have other ideas and they will be hoping to avenge last year’s one point defeat. The Dublin college are captained this year my Tipperarys Mairead Luttrell and she will be supported by Kilkennys Leann Fenneally and Galways Sandra Tannion. UCC are captained by Waterford’s Grainne Kenneally and can call on players such as Sarah Collins and the Mackey twins as well as Cork star Orla Cotter.
WIT v UL Date: 19/2/2011, Time: 2pm, Venue: Dangan Pitch 1 Referee: Fintan McNamara (Clare)
In the second semi final 2009 and 2010 winners Waterford IT will compete against UL to make it through to the final on Sunday. WIT have lost Wexford star Ursula Jacob from last years team but she has made the step up to management and they will be hoping to use her experience to good effect. UL suffered defeat to WIT in the league but have regrouped and recorded an impressive scoreline in their quarter final win over UUJ. WIT can still call on 2010 All Star Katrina Parrock as well as former young player of the year Denise Gaule, WIT won’t have it all their own way and will face a well drilled and hard working UL team. If UL get a good start then this match could go down to the wire.