Last years league champions UL are favourites for the final as they are currently unbeaten in the competition while Maynooth suffered a five point defeat at the hands of Dublin side DIT in round 4 making the Kildare based university underdogs.
On their path to the final, UL received a walk over from NUIG in round one while Maynooth enjoyed a bye in round one. Both sides got their campaign with winning starts, Maynooth had a close encounter with UCD scraping a two point victory on home turf. UL traveled to fierce rivals WIT for their second round coming away with a five point victory in the WIT sports campus.
Maynooth then continued their winning pattern after a comfortable 10 point victory over DCU in round three as UL watched the competition progress during their bye round. As the competition heated up in round four, a number of teams were left with no option but to win their remaining games in hope to reach the final.
Maynooth’s chances of qualifying seemed dismal after a five point loss to DIT left the 2015 Purcell Cup shield winners awaiting the result of UUJ and UCD to keep their dreams of an All-Ireland Division 1 place alight. UL continued their top class form to as they easily dismissed Limerick neighbours Mary Immaculate by seven points booking their final spot.
A two point win for UCD over UUJ meant it was an all or nothing game for both Maynooth and Jordanstown in round five with UL eagerly waiting in the final. A 10 point victory for UL over fellow Munster side UCC meant the 2015 Ashbourne finalists finished their group at the top of the table and unsurpassed.
University Maynooth held out for a nine point victory over the northern side UUJ to eventually grasp the second final spot against UL this Wednesday January 6th in Heywood Community School at 2:30pm.
Players to watch for the final:
UL captain Laura McMahon and fellow defender and Clare native Eimear Kelly are the core of the UL defence. Mid field duo Ereena Fryday and Ciara Murphy will prove a strong presence around the middle while in attack Patrice Diggan is University Limerick’s danger woman.
Leading the Maynooth’s stronghold of defence is WGPA/Camogie Association 2015 Junior player of the year Kate Nolan. Captained by Kilkenny native Sarah Anne Quilan, Maynooth boast many talented players such as Kate Whyte, Ciara Donohue and Cheyanne O’Brien.