Netball Intervarsity Champions
Ulster University are All Ireland Intervarsity Champions for 2015. The ladies won the tournament which was held at UCD, Dublin over the weekend on the 27th and 28th of February.
The girls played six games of Netball over the two days before being crowned Intervarsity Champions. On the first day the ladies defeated Queens University Belfast 25-11 and drew 17-17 with UCD 1st’s. They also beat Trinity University, Dublin.
On the second day of the tournament, the Ulster ladies beat UCD 2nd’s 40-4. The ladies finished their group in top position above rivals UCD due to goal difference.
The ladies went on to beat Trinity in a gruelling semi final. The final was set to be a repeat of the 2014 final, Ulster University Vs UCD.
UCD took a 6-0 lead at the start of the first quarter, but the Ulster Ladies made a comeback and brought it back level to 6-6. The Ulster ladies then pushed on to win the final 20-15.
The victory was even sweeter for the Ulster University ladies as UCD defeated them last year in the 2014 Intervarsities Championship final.
“Last year it was heart breaking to get beat by one goal after two periods of extra time. I also captained the girls then and promised them that it would not happen for a second time. It was our time to beat the reigning champions on their home court. We wanted to get our revenge against UCD after coming so close.” Said team captain Catherine Hamilton.
The Ulster University team was made up from girls from Coleraine, Magee and Jordanstown campuses. The ladies team held trials to select the team to represent the University in the tournament. The girls then faced the challenge of building a team in a short amount of time.
“With the Ulster squad all being from different campuses we only had four training sessions prior to the tournament so we had to gel quickly to ensure that we reached our goals and won the trophy. Luckily we did! Every girl gave their all on the court and in my opinion Nicola O’Gorman, was our stand out player. She grew in skill at each training session and did everything she was told to do by our manager Teresa.” said proud captain Catherine.
The ladies team was managed by Teresa Gillespie who used her extensive knowledge of the game to help the ladies with their success. “Our manager Teresa was brilliant throughout due to her breadth of knowledge of netball and her ability to get on so well with all the girls. She gave everyone individual feedback and everyone would love to have her back next year.” said Catherine.
There was further success for the Ulster University team as player Hannah Adair, received player of the tournament.
The Ulster ladies are now setting their sights on the 2016 Intervarsities in the hope of retaining the title. Outside of Intervarsity netball, the Coleraine team are hoping to get their hands on another trophy when they play in the Student Sport Ireland league final on March 11th.
Article by Emma Ryan.