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Blue blood at heart of Belfield boys' Fresher title

UCD claimed their first Higher Education GAA Fresher Hurling Div 1 Championship title since 2001 when beating favourites Carlow IT by 0-15 to 0-12 at the Kildare Centre of Excellence in Hawkfield last Wednesday, writes Rónán Mac Lochlainn.

The final produced an absorbing encounter, with UCD showing admirable courage in the second half to pull clear as team captain Eoin Conroy from Wexford claimed the coveted prize on his side's behalf.

In a panel including players from eight counties, Dublin hurlers featured prominently, with Cuala providing three players in the form of Colm Cronin, Seán Brennan and Cian O'Callaghan.


Their southside rivals Kilmacud Crokes also contributed three players, namely Cian Mac Gabhann, Rob Murphy and Oisín Ó Ruairc, while Donal Gormley and James Roche also featured in Colm Crowley's panel.

Crowley worked wonders with his panel and his fellow mentors Declan Phelan, Ian Mitchell and Conor O'Shea all contributed hugely to this well-merited success.

O'Callaghan and Mac Gabhann excelled throughout in central positions and they were ably abetted by Gary Greville, Jack O'Connor and Daragh Dolan from Galway, who was hugely influential throughout.

"We are all thrilled with the win," said UCD Gaelic Games executive Dave Billings.

"In UCD, we work hard every year to develop the game and winning the title is a huge bonus for the college.

"We perform every year and, although we cannot say that we will win every year, we will always stick to our values and ethos. Namely, our lads are students first and foremost and are attending in UCD to study and complete their courses."

UCD: Seán Brennan (Dublin), Pat Hannon (Galway), Cian Mac Gabhann (Dublin), Eoin Conroy (Wexford), Barry Whelan (Kilkenny), Daragh Dolan (Galway), Gary Greville (Westmeath), Conor Devitt (Wexford), Cian O'Callaghan (Dublin), Colin Corcoran (Kilkenny), Rob Murphy (Dublin), Conor McDonald (Wexford), Colm Cronin (Dublin), Jack O'Connor (Wexford), Oisín Ó Ruairc (Dublin), Mike Campion (Tipperary), Colm Doherty (Kilkenny), Shane Cuddihy (Kilkenny), Tommy Maher (Tipperary), Liam Cronin (Cork), James Roche (Dublin), Donal Gormley (Dublin), Conor Mulry (Roscommon), Lorcan McMullan (Antrim).