Intervarsity Championships

The colour was blue at the Intervarsity Championships hosted by Trinity College in their city centre hall on 16/17 February 2018, as the Dublin colleges took the titles on offer at the event, with UCD Mens 1st team extending their incredible 18 year run in the competition.

In the Ladies team event, it had been 10 years since the title was last taken outside Dublin or Cork, with UCD and UCC sharing the spoils since DCU took their sole team title in 2008.  However, it was surprise package NUI Galway who brought the main challenge to UCD on this occasion, lead by Connacht Interprovincial Amanda Taylor.  UCD were just too strong at this event, with a team lead by Senior International players Nga Nguyen and Hannah Lynch Dawson, as the Belfield girls bossed every match, taking the title ahead of NUI Galway on an 8-0 scoreline.

In the Ladies Individuals, the class at the top of the seeding told, as it was again Nguyen and Lynch Dawson in control of proceedings, coming through against Taylor and UCD’s Meadhbh Slattery, with Lynch Dawson taking her first title on a 3-2 scoreline.  This was the highest ladies entry in the Championships for many years, with many 1st Years taking part for the first time, spread across six different colleges – hopefully a mark of things to come.

In the Mens team event, there were scholarship athletes on display from three different colleges – Ryan Farrell from DCU; Alan Walsh from UCC; and Tom Davis, Alex Gillen and Charlie FitzGerald from UCD.  All eyes were also on the UCD team to see if they could rise to the occasion as the red hot favourites for the Mens Team title, after such an incredible final in 2017 between UCD and UCC.  Chasing a record extending 19th consecutive title in the Mens competition for the Hubert Wine Cup, UCD boasted a team including four Irish Internationals and two Leinster Interprovincials, and unfortunately for everyone else at the Championships brought their A game to the team event, securing all their group matches on a 12-0 scoreline, followed by defeats of DCU in the semi-final and UCC in the final, both on 8-0 scorelines.  Earlier, UCC had topped their group and come past NUI Galway in the semi-finals.  UCD 2nd team weren’t to be left out, as an exciting Team Plate final between UCD B and RCSI went all the way to the last doubles, with UCD taking an 8-7 win.

In the Mens Individuals, from an entry of 52 players, the quarter final lineups were strong enough to grace any senior ranking event, with the UCD quintet of Davis, FitzGerald, Gillen, Luke Dempsey and Thorsten Schwickwrath joined by UCC’s Walsh and Declan O’Brien, and DCU’s Farrell.  Proceeding as seeded, the semi-final line up of Gillen/Walsh and Farrell/Davis brought a final of the top two seeds, Farrell and Gillen, where Ryan Farrell got sweet revenge for his losses to Gillen in the team event, as well as the recent Munster Open, to take the title at his first attempt, on a 3-1 scoreline.