UCD 'really up against it' as Limerick trio gang up
UCD footballers have just broken a 20-year Sigerson Cup duck ... now their hurlers go chasing an unlikely double on Leeside.
But Tipperary legend Nicky English cautions against any glib comparison ahead of his team's Independent.ie Fitzgibbon Cup semi-final against UL at Cork IT tomorrow (1.0).
"It was great to see UCD win (the Sigerson) after such a long time. It's 2001 since they've won the hurling, and they haven't been in that many weekends," English told The Herald.
"Look, we know we're really up against it. The footballers were really well fancied. UCD hurlers have surprised by getting to this stage.
"So we know it's a huge task … the Limerick teams are really, really strong this year."
All three of them.
Curiously, all three Limerick entrants - the holders from UL, along with LIT and Mary Immaculate who clash tomorrow (3.0) - have reached the last-four.
All four are managed by Munster hurling icons: English faces old Banner foe Brian Lohan, whose former teammate Davy Fitz will be in the LIT dugout against Mary I's Eamonn Cregan.
"I'm not sure if it's happened before, but the demographics are that very few from the Munster counties are travelling to Dublin now for college," the UCD boss pointed out.
He can call on some familiar Dubs like Cian O'Callaghan, Colm Cronin and the up-and-coming Oisín O'Rorke, as well as Kilkenny's James Maher who marked his full NHL debut with 0-4 against Tipperary last Sunday.
"The other three colleges are packed with players who have made an inter-county impact, but mostly we've a team of non-inter-county players," said English. "People say about enjoying the weekend … every team goes to try and win it as well. We know we're up against it, but we won't be found out for the want of trying."