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Highs and Lows for College in 2017

Away from the pitch; it has been an equally tried and tested year for UCC’s other clubs. Following a mixed year for the college’s soccer and GAA clubs the baton was firmly passed to judo, surfing, squash, archery and tennis and who enjoyed a multitude of successes over the intervarsity season.

UCC Judo added to their phenomenal 2016 season by winning the best male and female team at the 2017 Intervarsity competitions at DCU. Across the divisions the college took home twenty individual medals including six gold medals, two silver medals and twelve bronze medals. Momentum was carried through to the Irish Open at the Foyle Arena in Derry for the club who took home five medals including Ciara Murphy who won gold in the junior and silver in the senior category and Aobh Ní Shé who won gold in the under 57 kg event.

Elsewhere; UCC Surf capped off the year with an excellent intervarsity campaign in Lahinch, with UCC ‘A’ winning the intervarsity title while UCC’s Anthony Burke and Cian O’Donovan, first in first in the men’s open and bodyboard.

UCC Squash continued the fine run of results with the club finishing in second place at the 2017 Intervarsity Championships, only losing out to rivals CIT for the top honour. UCC’s Michael Hanrahan set the standard for the college by winning the Division One plate, while beating fellow UCC counterpart Mark Dooling in the final. UCC’s Christine Fitzpatrick finished up with a silver medal in the Women’s Open.

UCC Archery enjoyed a tremendous weekend at the intervarsity competitions at Nemo Rangers. Standing out Emily Phipps lead the way for UCC as she topped her division on Saturday and took the top ranking. Amy Grade also impressed for the college as she slipped through to the quarter finals of the head to head competitions after a 5-5 draw leading to a shootout, with the UCC student slipping through by a millimetre.

Despite the wave of fortune across the college; UCC tennis endured a mix run of form at the 2017 Intervaristies. UCC entered six teams for the tournament at Trinity College and came home with the Men’s Bowl. It was a weekend which began in stuttering form with the Men’s team being knocked out early on by Queen’s University while the Women’s team succumbed to Trinity College in the first round. There was consolation with UCC men’s first team winning the consolation draw after a 5-0 victory over NUI Galway followed by the third team winning the Men’s Bowl Tournament. Overall; it was a mixed weekend for the college who escaped with one trophy out of a possible sextuple.

The highlight for the year for UCC is Daniel Pender’s 94th minute winner in the Collingwood Cup last February. The former Waterford United striker’s goal brought the Collingwood Cup back to the college for the second time in three years and UCC’s thirteenth in total. Since then the college has endured a mixed run of form which included the Freshers side missing out on the Harding Cup following a crushing 2-1 loss to UCD after extra time and slipping to a quarter final loss to Ulster University in the Crowley Cup after a 1-1 draw in normal time.

Optimism shown through the winter months as UCC Ladies Hockey who won the 2016/16 Munster Senior League title following a 3-1 victory over Bandon last weekend. This result ending a twenty five year wait for the Leesiders who last lifted the trophy in 1992.

Shadows of doubt left over from an uncertain winter carried into the spring for UCC GAA. A shock semi-final exit at the hands of St. Mary’s Belfast prolonged the college’s quest for silverware while the college’s Fitzgibbon Cup campaign was abruptly stopped by IT Carlow who pipped the college 2-20 to 1-20 last month. This semi-final exit only prolongs the famine in Cork and UCC GAA who have not tasted Fitzgibbon Cup success since 2013 and Sigerson success since 2014. Derby day losses to CIT in the Munster Junior Football final only prolonged the drought with CIT beating their Cork rivals 1-17 to 2-10 in the final. Successes where saved by the intermediate hurling side who won the Munster Intermediate Cup after a 0-15 to 1-10 victory over WIT at the Mardyke.

It was double heartbreak for UCC’s lady footballers and camogie team as the sides fell short to an unprecedented O’Connor and Ashbourne Cup double. In both codes UL proved to be UCC’s nemesis as the Shannonsiders interrupted UCC’s quest for the elusive double.

It was the case of second time unlucky in the Ashbourne Cup as UL pipped the Leesiders to the 2017 Ashbourne Cup by 2-08 to 1-07 in a repeat of the 2016 final. It has now been fourteen years since UCC last lifted the Ashbourne Cup.

In the O’Connor Cup, UCC launched a vigorous campaign slipping passed Queen’s University Belfast and UCD to book their place against UL in the final. UL proved to be one step to many for the Leesiders; with the college running out 2-05 to 0-08 to lift the trophy.