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Trinity hurling - success breeds success

Published: 25th November 2016

These are exciting times to be involved with Trinity hurling. The elevation of our senior team to Fitzgibbon Cup (fixtures for which will be announced December 7) has blown away many people’s dusty perceptions of the sport within college.

This positive image has been bolstered further with our freshers’ recent division two league win for the first time. All of a sudden, the future looks bright.

Darragh O’Donoghue, captain of the senior team and final year pharmacy student, says things have certainly come a long way. “I know a few lads who went to Trinity and played hurling for four years and didn’t win a single match. I came in in first year, got to a Ryan Cup final then we won it two years in a row, which hadn’t been done before as far as I know.”

The notion that success breeds success is clearly true in the case of Trinity hurling. “Hurling has made enormous strides in Trinity in recent years,” says senior manager Shane O’Brien. “It’s far more attractive now to be representing the college in hurling than perhaps in years gone by.”

The improved profile of the club, Shane believes, can partly be attributed to Fionn and Cian O’Riain Broin (above left, right). “They are perfect role models for any athletes and I have no doubt that their dedication and passion for the game has inspired many young sports people.”

Both Shane and Darragh believe that the twins’ presence on the Inside Trinity documentary, combined with the prospect of top-tier hurling, were drivers for such a large number of new recruits this year. “The numbers we’ve had this year – we’ve never had anything like it,” according to Darragh.

Another vital ingredient in this year’s heady mix is the presence of freshers manager and multi-tasker Leon Breen. Both the seniors and freshers teams train together and Shane is full of praise for the Lucan Sarsfields man.

“Leon is quite simply an inspirational figure. He is the ultimate warrior for Trinity hurling driving everything in the background, from the Whatsapp group to Facebook and Twitter and even musical renditions on our bus journeys!”

Speak to anyone involved in Trinity hurling at the moment and they will all refer to a certain culture that is emerging. “There is now a definite culture of success and achievement. This group has broken down a lot of barriers and limited beliefs. They empower one another by their constant drive to improve and develop as players,” says Shane.     

Culture, team spirit, identity are also words that pepper Darragh’s conversation. “Especially this year, with Fitzgibbon, my role is as much off field as it is on. We’re trying to build a sense of togetherness, getting the lads together after matches, that kind of thing.”

As regards Fitzgibbon, Shane believes that it’s an opportunity for the lads to show what they’re capable of and to further promote hurling in the college. “What we’re trying to do is lay a path for those coming after us,” says Darragh. “We’d be delighted if we could win a match – realistically that’s our aim.”

Trinity is often referred to as the ‘academic’ university, while certain other institutions - not a million miles – are the ‘sporting’ ones. This is changing, says Darragh: “This shows that I can go and succeed academically in Trinity but I can also play sport at a high level.”