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UCD in Sport 2018

by Declan HughesUCD Collingwood Champions 2018

With the college year now over, we look back at what has been another incredible year for UCD Sport with success across a wide variety of sports. The level of success experienced by Sports teams representing our university is quite remarkable.

UCD Basketball Club was founded in 1948. In 1968 Marian Basketball Club was formed and prior to this season won their only National League title in 1978. In 1998 UCD Basketball Club and Marian merged at Adult level to form UCD Marian Basketball Club, providing Marian with a permanent home venue and giving the university an outlet at the highest level on the national stage. The National Cup was won in 2011 and two other final appearances have been recorded this decade 2014 and earlier in 2018. But this season in the League was going to be a game changer. UCD Marian got to the top of the League early on and with a few exceptional weeks remained there pretty much throughout although they shared the lead at times with rivals such as Griffith College Swords Thunder, Garvery's Tralee Warriors, Pyrobel Killester and even Black and Amber Templeogue had a spell near the top of the table. Going into the final three weeks of the season any one of five teams could have won the title. In the end it resulted in a championship play off between Killester and UCD in Tallaght stadium which UCD Marian won by a single point 72-71. An entire season decided by a free throw. I was delighted to see UCD get over the line finally in the Men's Superleague. They were also beaten in the Cup Final by Templeogue and the semi final of the Champions Trophy at the season's end by eventual winners Garvey's Tralee Warriors. But to win what the Americans' call the regular season title was a remarkable achievement.

The Sigerson Cup currently resides in Belfield following the Men's Gaelic football teams successful campaign earlier in the year. The Final was hosted at Trinity College's Sportsgrounds and UCD were triumphant over a gallant NUI Galway side by a narrow 1-13 to 2-09 scoreline thanks to a brilliant 1-06 scored by man of the match Conor McCarthy from Monaghan. It also continued Con O'Callagahan's unbelievable year, which has been him collect the Sigerson Cup with UCD, the All-Ireland club SHC, Leinster Club SHC, and Dublin Club SHC with his club Cuala, the U21 Leinster football and U21 All-Ireland football titles with the Dublin U21 football team, and the Leinster SFC, and All-Ireland SFC with the Dublin Senior football team, along with personal acolades of an All-Star award and Young Footballer of the Year, all in the last 12 months alone!

The Men's team came 3rd in Leinster Division 1 but were unfortunate to come second in the first round of the play offs and were eliminated from the race to return to the EYIHL Top Division. Also because they came third and not second they miss out on inclusion in the new EYIHL Division 2 which will be introduced next season.

The Women's team retained their Intervarsities Championship last October. They then went on to retain their Irish Senior Cup title in early April and tomorrow afternoon they will be crowned EYIHL Regular season Champions for the second season in succession. Before rounding off the season with a trip to Surbiton , England to play in the Euro Club Hockey Cup which is the Women's hockey equivalent of the Champions League.

Women's Soccer
Last November the Waves reached the Womens FAI Cup final but lost 0-1 to Cork City on the day. Since then the team has been through several changes in personnel and this season sees a much younger age profile in the team.

At Universities level the girls won the Challenge Cup [subsidiary competition a bit like the Farquahar Cup for men]. They also managed to retain their place in the Premier Division surviving a relegation play off with University of Limerick.

As has been well documented so far the Collingwood Cup and CUFL League titles were both won by the lads and we currently sit top of the table in the First Division. The Leinster Senior League Sunday Division side made the Quarter Finals of the FAI Intermediate Cup before bowing out to eventual winners Maynooth University Town FC. The LSL Senior Sunday side retained their position in the LSL Senior 1 Sunday division with victory in the final game of the season securing their position in the second tier of amatuer football. Our LSL Saturday Major 1 side secured the league title and promotion to the top tier of LSL Saturday football after a brilliant season which saw them claim the title by 9 points after conceding just 19 goals in 22 games (best defence by 15 goals!), and scoring 48 goals in the process.