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Purcell shows DIT's progress

PURCELL gold for DIT. The Dublin college returned from Cork with the Purcell Cup.

A joyous bus journey back to the capital from Cork's Institute of Technology.

Stephen Hoary, a champion of Good Counsel, was the manager. He couldn't have asked for any more from the squad, who possess a talented batch of Dubs.

They include the Dublin and Counsel duo of Sarah Ryan and Joelenne Hoary.

It's been a remarkable rise for camogie in the college.

"Five years ago we had no camogie. Now we are the Purcell Cup winners," declared DIT's GAA chief, Darragh Biddlecombe.

"It's a huge boost to us. This victory has put camogie on the map. We began our revival in Division 3. Two years ago we also reached the Purcell Cup final.

"We had a few of those girls still with us, so that experience was a help. It was a brilliant weekend.

"Stephen did a fabulous job as manager, and the girls were just super."

DIT are now on the scent of the double. They'll play the Division 2 League final in April. "It's been such a memorable season. We haven't lost a game," reveals Darragh.

How the late, great Una Purcell would have loved to have been reporting on the success. The trophy is named after her.

A president and PRO of the camogie association, she gave a lifetime of service to the second and third level colleges.

Fondly known as Mrs P, she was the wife of the famous Padraig Purcell, the acclaimed Irish Press sports writer and author.

There was no lack of drama in Saturday's semi-final where DIT pipped Limerick's Mary Immaculate by a point.

Hoary, the DIT captain, hit a hat-trick of goals as DIT came from behind to win it in injury time.

In Sunday's final, DIT defeated IT, Tralee by 1-5 to 0-5. Noelle Corrigan got the priceless goal.

Adding to the DIT achievement was the fact that Jane Dolan was selected as player of the tournament.

The festival of camogie was superbly hosted by Cork's Institute of Technology.

In a new initiative, the Purcell and the Ashbourne cups took place on the same weekend at the same venue.

Dublin's UCD lost a cracking Ashbourne Cup semi-final to UCC by a point on Saturday.

WIT took the chalice for the second year in succession.