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UCD plan return to hurling in Dublin

UCD could be set to make a dramatic return to the Evening Herald Dublin SHC.

Speculation is mounting in the capital that the college are on the verge of requesting admittance to the re-drawn championship, the schedule of which is due to be confirmed on Monday night.

Dublin's CCC will bring a motion to the County Committee that will see the championship revert to a straight knock-out system, eliminating the massive backlog in fixtures owing to Dublin's extended participation in both the All-Ireland football and hurling championships.

Under the CCC recommendation, the four 2010 semi-finalists will receive a bye into round two, with the remaining eight teams playing off in the first round. However, UCD may yet change all that by seeking a place in the draw.

It is unclear whether they would encounter registration problems on the basis that they did not enter this year's original competition but, despite the fact that they have not entered for the past five years, they were perfectly entitled to do so in any of those seasons.

UCD withdrew from the championship before the 2006 competition began after winning back-to-back titles in 2004 and 2005 amid massive opposition from many of Dublin's leading clubs.

A letter, signed by captains of seven seniors teams calling for "all third-level institutions no longer be 'invited' to participate in the Dublin Senior Hurling Championship", was sent to the county board in in November 2005, in which they threatened non-participation for the next year should UCD be admitted.


UCD's supremacy in those two years was such that the seven -- Ray Mangan, Risteard Brennan, Emmet Carroll, Sean Power, Johnny McGuirk, Brendan McLoughlin and Trevor McGrath -- felt that the college had a distinct advantage given their pick of a massive panel of players from a variety of strong hurling counties and felt they would continue to dominate if the status quo remained.

Ironically, Ballyboden have since established an unprecedented stranglehold on the Dublin championship, winning four of the five stagings since UCD's withdrawal.

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 five seasons.

The vexed question of third level participation in Dublin championships arose again a year later after UCD's victory over St Vincent's in the 2006 Dublin SFC final. The Marino club subsequently staged a lengthy campaign to have UCD removed from the championship, while St Joseph's/ O'Connell Boys also questioned their eligibility at county board level.

JIMMY Barry-Murphy is set to beef up his Cork hurling backroom team by bringing in Ger Cunningham, Seánie McGrath and Johnny Crowley on his new management ticket.

Murphy, who has accepted a second stint with the Rebels after an 11-year absence, has the right to nominate four selectors and the new package will be put in front of Cork's club delegates on Tuesday night for official ratification.