PREVIEW OF ROUND THREE OF DIVISION 1A
In round three of division 1A, UL will travel to Cork to take on Cork IT while WIT will also travel to Cork to take on UCC.
After two good first half showings against both UCC and WIT, Cork IT will be hoping to build on this by putting in a performance for the full hour when they take on UL at home. Scorer in chief for Cork IT this year has been centre forward Denise Luby and she will be hoping that her rich vein of form continues tonight. This will be UL’s first outing of the year and they will be hoping to get off on the winning foot. UL are somewhat of an unknown quantity this year and they will be hoping to use the league to unearth new talent with one eye on their Ashbourne Qualifier against UUJ.
In the tie of the round WIT will travel to the Mardyke in what is a repeat of last years Ashbourne Cup final. UCC will go into the match as underdogs but they will be hoping to avenge last years defeat and with home advantage they could come out on top. WIT are without Ursula Jacob this year but they still have a huge scoring threat with Wexford star Katrina Parrock, Kilkenny duo Denise Gaule and Katie Power and 2010 Soaring Star Patricia Jackman. This game promises to be a thriller and neither team will want to lose, it is to close to call and a draw could be the outcome.
DIVISION 1B ROUND UP
NUIG had a busy week last week when they took on QUB on Wednesday and then followed it up with a match on Thursday against UCD. In a close game on Wednesday they defeated QUB on a score line of 4-06 to 2-05. Thursday proved to be a more difficult affair when they took on UCD. Both UCD and NUIG got off to a quick scoring start despite the poor weather conditions in Dublin. Lorainne Ryan scored Galways first point of the night but UCD began to get on top and the Dublin forwards made it difficult for the Galway backs scoring two goals within five minutes despite the fine efforts of NUIG centre half back Michaela Morkhan. Attracta McPeake and Noreen Coen narrowed the gap for NUIG before half time scoring a goal each but at halftime UCD still led by 6 points. Despite getting the second half off to a strong start UCD began to dominate and NUIG goalkeeper Roisin Connaughton was forced to step up to the mark to pull off some fine saves. Despite a goal and a point in the remaining minutes from Chloe Morrey and AnnMarie McMahon UCD were able to hold on for a six point win.
UCD also recorded a narrow win over QUB on a score of 4-12 to 4-10. Played in mild conditions in Dublin, UCD took advantage of the Belfast sides journey and got off to a fine start with excellent point taking from the Dublin forwards and could have been more ahead were it not for excellent goalkeeping from Queens. QUB began to settle and with Keelin Bradley in good form they picked away at the UCD lead. With time running out QUB piled on the pressure but they couldn’t find a way past the Dublin rearguard and UCD held on for a two point win.
In their only away fixture UCD travelled to UUJ in their first league match. Jordanstown got a flying start with a first minute point scored from the quick possession and an accurate pass delivered into full forward Sara-Louise Carr who popped it over the bar. With the UUJ defence on top Jordanstown continued to pile the pressure on by attacking UCD defence. UCD did manage to score a goal but UUJ finished the half the stronger. UCD started the second half the brighter with a goal and a point but UUJ regained their composure with excellent displays from defender Maebh McGoldrick, midfield pair Paula Gribben and Charlene Hamill and forwards SaraLouise Carr and Alex McLaughlin. The final score was in favour of the Belfast side 4-16 to 4-02.
UUJ made it two wins from two when they welcomed QUB. Played under lights the match was a very tough and physical affair with neither team wanting to give in to the other. However UUJ began to dominate and led at halftime by 3-04 to 0-04. Nine points down seemed to kick start queens and with nothing to lose they began to pile on the pressure. Leading the QUB fightback was Ailish Cassidy and Keelin Bradley and with UUJ giving away frees they began to eat into the lead. With a bit more composure in front of goals QUB could have sneaked a draw or even a win but UUJ battled on and were a relieved team when the final whistle went. 2010 Purcell Sheild winners QUB can take heart from their performances from three established Ashbourne teams. With a bit of hard work they could improve on last years Shield win by moving into the Purcell Cup competition.
The NUIG –v- UUJ match to be played tonight has been postponed. If UUJ win this match they will go through to the League Final for the first time in over almost ten years.