Heartbreak as Orla Cronin loses her fourth Ashbourne Cup final

February 23rd, 2020 12:00 PM

By Kieran McCarthy

UCC’s Orla Cronin gets away from UL's Alannah Ryan during the Ashbourne Cup final at the WIT Arena in Waterford on Sunday. (Photo: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO)

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THE Ashbourne Cup has not been kind to Orla Cronin.

Prior to last weekend, the Enniskeane woman had lost three Ashbourne Cup finals in the colours of UCC, including one as captain in 2018.

Not involved with UCC last year, the Cork forward (24) is back on campus with the college this season and a massive addition to their hopes of wrestling the Ashbourne Cup off five-in-a-row chasing UL.

But there was no fairy tale story at the WIT Arena in Carriganore last weekend.

Cronin was on target with two points in Saturday’s semi-final win (0-6 to 0-2) against DCU, and that sent UCC back into the final against their familiar foe, UL.

UCC were hell bent on ending their 17-year wait for Ashbourne Cup glory, but the camogie gods favoured UL’s five-in-a-row success instead. Those five titles on the trot have all come at UCC’s expense in the final.

The Limerick college won Sunday’s showpiece decider by 3-14 to 0-12, despite the best efforts of Cronin who top-scored for UCC with six points, five from frees.

Cronin was well supported by Cork intermediate players, Hayley Ryan and Finola Neville, and Tipperary forward Caoimhe Perdue, but UCC never looked like upsetting the odds against a UL team inspired by player-of-the-match Beth Carton.

Four-time All-Ireland winner Cronin kept UCC in touch with her frees in the first half but they trailed  2-9 to 0-7 at half-time.

The goals that UCC needed in the second half never came, resulting in more Ashbourne Cup heartbreak for the West Cork woman. Maeve Lynch from Newcestown came on as a second-half sub for UCC.

Earlier on Sunday, Ballinascarthy’s Moira Barrett was involved with the UCD team that won the Purcell Cup and earned their return to the top tier with a 1-6 to 0-5 victory against Technical University Dublin.

In 2018 Barrett captained the Cork minor camogie team to All-Ireland minor A glory.


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