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Hurlers set league alight, now look forward to Fitzgibbon

Published: November 13th, 2018

In 2006, Trinity’s senior hurling team claimed the Division Three league title and made the leap up in grades for the following year.

After 10 years in the second tier, victory over IT Tralee in Limerick in November 2017 finally put Trinity at the top table.

“This group of players deserved the chance to compete at the highest level,” says manager Shane O’Brien (pictured above). “Over the last four years I’ve had the pleasure of watching the team develop and grow and I was very confident that they would be well able to compete in Division One.”

And compete they did. In a group alongside DCU, Maynooth, DIT and UCD, Trinity narrowly missed out on qualifying for the knockout phase.

“Looking back on our league campaign there is a mixture of emotions. Part of me is immensely proud of the performances and especially the victories over UCD and Maynooth but there is also a sense of frustration that we didn’t qualify for a league semi-final.”

For captain Fionn Ó Riain Broin, the win against UCD in particular is something that will give the team confidence going into the Fitzgibbon Cup campaign.

“A statement win like that confirms to everyone else in the division that we’re a serious outfit who aren’t here to make up the numbers. But more importantly it just confirms the belief we had in ourselves to go out and compete at the highest level.”

For players like Fionn, who have been part of a period of massive growth for hurling in the college, it’s easy to pinpoint one key element of their success - the management team of O’Brien, Eoin O’Leary, Pascal Conboy and Manus Malone.

“It was an up-and-coming team who needed to find that little bit extra to become a top-tier college team, and we were incredibly lucky to get that when Shane O’Brien came on board.

“He brought a professional set-up with him that has given us the platform to compete at the top level and also the belief that we can beat anybody.”

Fionn also recognises the contribution of GAA Development Officer Conor Laverty and pays tribute to his fellow students in what he describes as a ‘player-led’ club.

“A lot of work has gone into the club, not just in my time in college but before, and it would be wrong not to acknowledge the work that they put into the club to bring us to where we are today.”

Next step for the senior hurling team is the Fitzgibbon Cup and trying to make more of an impression in the competition, something that has eluded them thus far.

O’Brien is quietly confident that they can rattle some cages in the group stage and after that, who knows.

“We developed a certain game plan and got results from it so it’s hugely positive. There is no doubt that the intensity and physicality will increase and we have to be ready for that.”

  • Fitzgibbon Cup games begin on Thursday February 1, 2019