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HISTORY
 
Queen's Camogie History
 

In October 1932 I presented myself as a student in Queens. Several “old girls” were already there: - May McCarroll, Una McClafferty, Grace McClafferty, Frances McNabb and Eileen O’Kane, from the same school, St Louis’ Convent, Kilkeel.

With me in 1932 was my classmate Madeline McKenna (who eventually entered the convent).

We were all enthusiastic camogie players. In St Mary’s Training College there were students from our school who attended lectures regularly in Queens. When the Irish University Camogie Club approached the authorities in Queens with an invitation to play in the University Camogie league, we were delighted to include “St Mary’s” students to make up the numbers for a team to partake in the University match. The authorities in Queens valiantly furnished us with a pitch on the Ravenhill Road Grounds. Even though we were short in numbers, we had established ourselves as the Queens University Camogie Club!

Veronica MacQuillan nee Laverty



Queens Camogie Club was formed in the 1950's joining UCD, UCG and UCC in the famous Ashbourne Cup Competition. Although QUB were more participants than serious contenders for the cup, this dedicated band of ladies set the foundation stones for what is now one of the strongest camogie colleges in Ireland.

By the 1970's Queens Camogie Club were beginning to attract county players from all over the province of Ulster. Among them were Margaret Moriaty (Armagh), Mary Mc Coy (Down) and Anne Mc Allister (Antrim). However, in spite of intensive training and sound organisation that coveted prize of Ashbourne still eluded them.

By the 1980's a new bunch of ladies had joined the club. These included Teresa Allen (Down), Patricia Mc Allister (Antrim), Yvonne Redmond (Dublin) and their present coach Bernie Mc Nally (Armagh). With these players Queen's success came in the form of an historic defeat of UCG, which allowed Queens into their first ever Ashbourne final in 1984. Although on the losing side to UCD, Queens had now become a force to be reckoned with. That Ashbourne defeat however by UCD was to start a log and frustrating trend of defeats in Ashbourne by the Dublin college. Between 1984 and 1991, Queen's exit from Ashbourne came at the hands of UCD.

Queens however continued to grow and develop and a major breakthrough came in 1989 when Queens captures their first ever national title, defeating Maynooth College in the CCIA League Final. This victory was only possible because of their magnificent win over Ashbourne champions UCG in the semi final. At that time players like Antrim's Siobhan Mc Erlain, Derry's Catherine O'Neill and Down's Bronagh Mc Cann proved that Ulster Colleges camogie was on the way up.

By 1991 Queens had gathered together one of the strongest ever university teams storming through a northern league campaign, which was to give then the confidence to capture both the National League and Ashbourne titles. An outstanding display of skill and ground hurling helped them to see off the challenge of UCC in the first round in Belfast. Then came the bogie team UCD in the semi final. A 12 point victory over their old rivals laid to rest that particular ghost and out Queens into their third Ashboure final. I spite of having home advantage, Galway had no answer to the power Queens team and at the final whistle Queens were 12 points clear and Ashboure champions at last. Outstanding displays by Joan Tobin (Tipperary), Bronagh Mc Cann and Monica Mc Cartan (Down) and their Derry captain Deirdre O Doherty will go dow in history as contributing to Queens finest hour.

The 1991 Ashbourne and League team winners were:

Lorraine Finn
Roisin O' Neill
Brid Mc Corry                  Deirdre Cunning                  Lorraine Devlin
Monica Mc Cartan            Brona Mc Corry            Joan Tobin
            Orlagh Higgins                      Mary Black              Deirdre O Doherty (capt.)
Bronagh Mc Cann


1991 Ashbourne Cup & League Winners

In spite of these honours, success in subsequent years has eluded Queens. A new threat has emerged in the form of Jordanstown, who defeated Queens in the next two Ashbourne finals as well as ending Queens dominance of the northern League.


Queens Camogie Team 1997-1998

At the Ashbourne Cup competition in 1998, Queen's reached the semi-final stage in Waterford before losing to eventual winners University College Cork. However, the most controversial moment of that weekend came when the Queens team realised that there would be no alcohol served at the evening function, a decision that had many a resulting consequence. In the league in 1998 the only team to beat Queen's was (of course) University of Ulster, Jordanstown.

In 1999, QUB were entered into the Ashbourne Shield competition, an event that took place in Limerick. Again Queens proceeded to the semi-final stage but on this occasion were stopped in their tracks by Galway Mayo Institute for Technology (GMIT). The score line at the end showed a 4pt advantage for GMIT but even this did not reflect the intensity of the battle nor the closeness between the two teams. Incidentally, Queen's player Mairead Dowds was selected as goalkeeper for the Combined Purcell Universities team, an achievement of which Queen's Camogie Club remains very proud. In the league competition in 1999, Queen's were successful in every match except (of course) in the game against UUJ - again!

Again in the February 2000, Queen's played in the Ashbourne Shield competition, hosted that year in NUI Galway. Somewhat like history repeating itself Queens made it to the semis. This time round their victor was Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. This was a disappointing match from Queens' point of view (well obviously since they lost) but particularly because Mary I scored 3 goals inside the opening 5 minutes of the game.

There were still 9 points between the teams at the interval but manager Paul Welsh devised 'a cunning plan!' to outwit their Limerick opponents. It must be pointed out that the Mary I manager was the former Offaly and Limerick hurling manager Eamonn Creagan but even he was at a loss on how to cope with the Queens new attacking formation which was basically: goalkeeper, 1 defender, 1 midfielder and 9 forwards. This revolutionary tactic almost paid off as Queens reduced the gap to 3points but unfortunately could not find that longed for puck into the net.

Undeterred though, the disappointment didn't prevent the yearly ritual of going out mad on the town to ensure that the locals wouldn't forget the girls in a hurry. Armagh star Áine Marsden, Diarmuid's sister, lost the camera which she had so safely stored…down her trousers and Brenda Gallagher was duly escorted home…in a shopping trolley. In the league that year…need I say more?!

February 2001 saw Queens into the Purcell Shield Competition held that year in Limerick, where they (of course!) reached the semis. This time it was Maynooth to stick the nail in. The shenanigans nevertheless continued. In 2002, QUB were successful and unsuccessful all on the same day. Despite beating Dublin City University in the first round of the Purcell Cup at Queens by 2.10 to 0-2 (a first championship win for the club since 1999 I might add), QUB were forced to leave the competition due to unforeseen circumstances way beyond their control! The win was not to be laughed at though and in true QUB style the girls celebrated as if the had won the Liam Mc McCarthy cup itself!!

Falling into the Father Maher Cup Competition in 2003 QUB were out of the competition following 2 defeats to Trinity and Maynooth. In the final match however QUB defeated the mighty UCD by 2.06 to 0.02. Again this provided the excuse to party like they had been crowned champions!

2003 also saw QUB register their first league point in 3 years following a draw with Marino College Dublin. The score line ended 0.1 to 0.1! Tyrone County star Sinead O Neill secured the vital league point with a fine-pointed '45' in the dying minutes.


 
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