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Wednesday 22 November 2017

UCD return to the Dublin SHC

Students back but championship to retain same format

UCD's hurlers will compete in this year's Dublin SHC for the first time in seven years.

However, the championship again runs the risk of concluding late into winter and, in the event of delays, Dublin may face the possibility of not having representation in the Leinster Club SHC after a meeting on Monday night resulted in the retention of last year's original format.

A meeting of representatives of Dublin's hurling clubs debated the proposed format and a separate submission from Ballyboden St Enda's, a proposal which merged the league and championship into one competition and featured fixtures during the summer.

However, after lengthy discussions, the proposed calendar of CCC fixtures were adopted and will go before a full meeting of the county committee for ratification at the end of the month.

Last year, the round-robin format was abandoned and a straight knock-out competition adopted after Dublin's extended run in the All-Ireland SHC.

The Dublin county board will again run round-robin groupings followed by knockout rounds, with two or three of the early fixtures taking place before the start of the Leinster SHC and the remainder of the championship played off after the conclusion of Dublin's involvement.

Clubs were also warned that in the event of any unforeseen delays, Leinster Council would not accede to any request to postpone the opening rounds of the provincial club championship and, as a result, Dublin would not be represented.

UCD's participation will also mean the competition will consist of 15 teams.

The Belfield side have stringently defended their right to enter both the football and hurling draws but have opted not to participate in the latter for the past six seasons in which Craobh Chiaráin and Ballyboden St Enda's (five) have collected senior crowns.

UCD won back-to-back Dublin hurling titles in in 2004 and 2005, narrowly missing out on a Leinster title in the second year to James Stephens. In total, UCD have won eight Dublin hurling titles and six football championships.



Controversy

Their recent involvement in the championships have attracted plenty of controversy, however.

Their last football success in 2006 prompted a motion from St Vincent's calling for the college's removal from the championship, while St Joseph's/O'Connell Boys also questioned their eligibility at county board level.

In November 2005, captains from seven senior hurling clubs signed a letter threatening to pull out of the 2006 championship if UCD were included in the draw.

Ray Mangan (Kilmacud Crokes), Risteard Brennan (St Vincent's), Emmet Carroll (Ballyboden St Enda's), Seán Power (Commercials), Johnny McGuirk (Craobh Chiaráin), Brendan McLoughlin (O'Toole's) and Trevor McGrath (Faughs) submitted the document to the county board, indicating that "players of the clubs in question will give serious consideration to their non-participation in the 2006 Senior Hurling Championship should any third level institutions be re-invited".

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