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It is D – Day for the Ashbourne Cup this week with semi-final berths up for grabs this afternoon.  Host side Waterford IT are the only college who are guaranteed a place in the semi final after winning their two group games against University Limerick and NUI Galway respectively.

Dangan, Galway
First up is the match between 2011 Ashbourne Shield winners and University Limerick.  Former UL player Ciara Johnston has joined the management team and her experience of what it takes to win at third level will help UL.  

NUIG are an emerging side but still rank as outsiders to reach the semi finals. Hhowever, they do have home advantage in this tie and this could prove crucial.  After missing the last game through injury Chloe Morey will hope to be fit enough to take her place among the forwards. Captain Michaela Morkan will once again lead the line and she is ably assisted by Maureen Heneghan.  

Richard McNicholas is once more the team manager and is joined on the sideline by Kevin O Grady who won Fitzgibbon honours in 2010 and has represented Galway in goal at intermediate level.  UL will once again look to the Bolgers to drive their attacks and NUIG will need to ensure they are closely marked.  A tough encounter is in store for both teams but the experience of UL should see them over the line to take their place in the semi finals.

St Brigids, Blanchardstown
University College Dublin will be eagerly awaiting the result of this afternoon’s match between University College Cork and University of Ulster Jordanstown.  UUJ must win this match to stand any chance of reaching the Cup semi finals, while a draw will be enough to send UCC and UCD through to the semi final.  

UUJ will feel disappointed in their display against UCD last week and will be hoping that they can fulfil their potential with a win against the Cork side.  

Despite having lost 9 of last year’s team, UCC still boast talented Cork players Denise Cronin and Pamela and Katrina Mackey.  Former WIT Ashbourne Cup winner Marie O’Neill has joined UCC and she will provide much needed experience in a young side.  UUJ have some of the most talented players in Ulster but they will need everyone playing to their potential if they want to take anything out of this game.  

Captained by Sara Louise Carr the Belfast side also include former Soaring Star Shannon Graham and Derry’s Karen Kielt.  UCC however should have enough to go through.

Pictured below: Chloe Morey (Clare) in action against Kilkenny in last year’s championship will hope to return from injury this afternoon in her side’s Ashbourne clash with UL


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