DIT's GAA Development Officer, Darragh Biddlecombe remains upbeat about the senior camogie side achieving success, despite a second successive Purcell Cup Final loss.
Dublin Institute of Technology’s GAA Development Officer, Darragh Biddlecombe has said that the club’s senior camogie side are very close to success, after another devastating Purcell Cup Final replay defeat, on Wednesday night to Mary I.
The ladies, who battled back from 5 points down in the latter stages of normal time in the drawn game and a goal down in extra time, just came up short in the decider, having taken an early 5 point lead, in Ballykelly.
However, Mary I came back to draw level at 5 points apiece at half time, and when a speculative ball was dropped into the square, and the sliotar could only be cleared as far as Mary I’s corner forward, who pounced at the opportunity and buried it into the back of the net, to put daylight between the two teams.
The Belfast side tagged on a few more scores late, with DIT unable to replicate the heroics of the previous week, the game ending in a six point winning margin for Mary I.
The result ensures a better ending to the week for DIT’s opposition, who have been making headlines controversially in recent weeks, being at the centre of an appeals fallout in the Fitzgibbon Cup, where they have been knocked out, reinstated and upon appeal eliminated again, in Ireland’s flagship third level hurling championship.
Having lost two Purcell Final’s in succession, Biddlecombe admits it’s hard to take, but that signs that they’re an upcoming force are there to be seen.
“It just goes to show how close we are. We’ve gotten to two finals and just been a little unfortunate to come out the wrong end on both occasions,” said Biddlecombe.
“But we’ve got there, and if you’re not in it you can’t win it, so hopefully, once we keep the nucleus of this group together, and have a few additions next year, we can go all the way, finally,” he continued.
“The group of players we have at the moment are fantastic, they really are. There’s a great team spirit, and they’re not only good teammates but they get along great outside of the game,” said Biddlecombe.
There is certainly room for optimism within the DIT camogie ranks as they look to defend their All Ireland Fresher’s Championship in the near future, with 7 senior players eligible to represent the fresher’s side.
Last year, there were 12 Fresher’s on the senior camogie panel, so with the new talent influx each year, going that final step is inevitable, eventually, according to Biddlecombe.
However the season is not entirely finished for the senior team, with a league semi-final against Ashbourne Cup champions, Waterford IT, which was originally meant to take place before Christmas, but was abandoned due to floodlight failure, still yet to be fixed for a new date.
“It’s strange alright,” said Biddlecombe. “We were looking to reschedule it before the Christmas break, but that didn’t suit WIT because they had exams around that time, and then they were looking to have it in January, but that didn’t suit us because we had exams.
“We were then straight into the Purcell Cup and they were in the Ashbourne Cup (where both sides got to finals), so there just hasn’t been a time settled for it yet. I presume it will be played, but we’re still waiting on the CCAO (third level camogie body) to get back to us on it,” said Biddlecombe.
DIT memorably defeated WIT in last year’s league semi-final, one of the biggest scalps in its camogie history, and went on to face this year’s finalists, University of Limerick in the final, where they were narrowly defeated. However Biddlecombe admitted that it will be even tougher this time round.
“Well they’re on the back of an Ashbourne Cup win, so they’ll be a very strong outfit. And they’re operating at a very high level, but we’ve shown in the past that we can reach that level, and we’ll be looking to do that again, whenever the game gets played,” insisted DIT’s GAA Development Officer.
Photo: DIT Captain, Ali Twomey/ilivephotos