Footballers biggest test yet

After a Michael Murphy inspired victory in the last round of the Irish Daily Mail Sigerson Cup, DCU now look forward to a quarter-final tie with UCD at St. Clare’s this Thursday.

The defending champions have cruised through the first two rounds of the competition, first beating UL by nine points and then overcoming QUB by an eight point margin.

This round may prove to be a lot tougher, however, as they come up against a determined UCD side who knocked out Trinity College in the opening round on a score line of 2-11 to 1-5 in driving rain and gale force winds.

The Dublin 4 men are looking to end a 17 year dry spell in the competition and with stars such as Rory O’Connor and Kevin McLaughlin among their ranks, they will certainly pose a threat to DCU.

With Ballymun Kickhams playing Dr. Crokes in All-Ireland club semi-final the following Sunday, it remains to be seen whether James McCarthy and Dean Rock will line out for DCU.

The North Dublin University will definitely be without Aidan Walsh and Michael Boyle for the entirety of the competition, after the pair were informed before the QUB game that they are ineligible to play in the tournament. This is due to a new rule that was implemented by the GAA’s Higher Education Board last October.

The loss of two players of the importance of Walsh and Boyle could prove to be very harmful to DCU’s chances of success in the competition. Their absence will certainly place more of an importance on players such as Murphy, Philly Ryan and Antion McFadden performing to their potential against UCD.

The All-Ireland winning captain proved to be the difference in the last round of the competition but will he be able to perform as well again or is it time for a new member of the side to step up to the plate?

Ruaidhrí Croke

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