The semi finals of the 2012 Ashbourne Cup typified all that is good about Colleges Camogie. The first semi final between UCC and UL proved to be a classic, with both sides displaying great heart and determination. UL were quickest out of the blocks with two pointed frees from Tipperary player Cait Devane. UCC were playing with the aid of a strong breeze and it took them fifteen minutes before Maire O’Neill got their first score of the game. UCC began to exert some pressure and excellent team work saw Cork senior Katrina Mackey put through and she rattled the ball to the net to put Cork one point ahead. Both defences were on top, notably UCC full backs Nicola Butler and Caoimhe Sheids and centre back Roisin De Faoite, UL captain Susan Vaughan was outstanding at centre back and played as a sweeper in the first half, spreading the ball to good effect. Roisin Byrne and Maria Walsh pointed for UL before Katrina Mackey added to her goal with two points, one from play and one from a placed ball. UCC went into the break leading by two points on a scoreline of 1-03 to 0-04.
UCC started the second half much better than the first and when Sharon Hayes was illegally challenged in the square the referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty. Katrina Mackey stepped up to hit it but it was magnificently saved by the UL defence, who managed to deflect it over the bar. Playing with the wind now, UL began to dominate in the half back line and midfielder Lisa Bolger outstanding despite excellent work from Cork’s Joanne Casey. UL corner forward Mairead Scanlon pointed and this was quickly followed by another point from Linda Bolger to draw the match. The UCC full forward line was being starved of possession but full forward Sharon Hayes managed to field a high ball and slot it over the bar to put the Cork College one point ahead with less than fifteen minutes to go. The UCC backline was under immense pressure but worked valiantly to hold onto their slender lead. However, this UL pressure paid dividend and they finished the game the stronger, slotting over the final three scores to win by two points.
Final Score UL 0-10 v UCC 1-05
The second Ashbourne Cup Final took place between reigning champions WIT and UCD. A keenly contested first half saw the wind aided UCD enter at the break one point to the good. Emma Comerford opened the scoring for the champions with two pointed frees. Struggling to get to grips with a very strong WIT defence, UCD scored a fortuitous goal from the stick of Denise Mcgrath. WIT replied with three points courtesy of Katie Power (two) and an Emma Comerford pointed free. UCD finished the first half scores with two well taken points from Kirsten Farrell and Kate McDonald.
WIT set out their intentions within 20 seconds of the restart when Patricia Jackman scored an excellent long range point. She quickly followed this with two pointed frees. Marie Dargan sprang to life in the second half and three excellent points. WIT were rampant at this point and their dominance was rewarded when Denise Gaule gathered a ball and rounded her defender before crashing the ball to the back of the UCD net. The result of the game was put beyond doubt when Emma Comerford and Michelle Quilty scored a goal each for WIT. UCD first score in the second half came one minute into injury time when Denise McGrath finished a free to the net. This was followed thirty seconds later by a point by a Kate McDonald point, which concluded the scoring. A far superior WIT team secured a final spot against UL.
FINAL SCORE WIT 3-12 v UCD 2-04
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