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New-look UCD seek final date

A HIGHLIGHT of the camogie year -- the Ashbourne Cup weekend.

This year the carnival heads to Cork where CIT are the hosts.

An Ashbourne medal is among the most coveted of all. UCD have a rich history in the event.

In recent years, their record is impressive. They have reached nine of the last 10 finals.

UCD were last champs in 2008 but last season WIT beat them in the final.

On Saturday they meet UCC in the semi-final. UCC are managed by celebrated Cork duo, Mary O'Connor and Aoife Murray.

"It will be a difficult one," acknowledges Dave Kennedy, the Belfield boss and the former Dublin camogie chief.

Dave's leading lieutenant, Sean Crowley, will know the terrain well. He's from Cork.


Sean is doing a cracking job as GPO at Faughs, one of the great homes of Dublin hurling.

"UCC have some good players, but so do we," says Dave. "I think we have an excellent team."

The Dubliners enjoyed a handsome victory over NUI, Galway in Belfield to earn their Leeside ticket.

"That was a good display, but we'll have to improve on it for Saturday," states Dave.

Honest effort won't be a problem for the Dubs. The tone was set by the industry of the full-forward line.

Aine Mahony from Laois, Katie O'Dwyer, a Galway minor, and Westmeath's Denise McGrath earned their showers.

UCD have eight Dublin girls in their squad. "We have been training flat out. The facilities at UCD are top class."

Some top players have left the college -- the Leacys, Mags Darcy, Rhena Buckley, Julie Woodcock and Susie O'Carroll.

"They were immense players, but we have got some very good players in this year," explains Dave.

The semi-final is scheduled for 3.30. "That's late enough in the day," says Dave.

"We'll go down to the pitch and let the girls relax by watching some of the other games before we start to focus in on our one."

The Purcell Cup is also being hosted by CIT. It will see 400 players in the one venue.

And Dave feels that if UCD produce their Saturday best, they have every chance of making yet another final.