The pinnacle of the third level camogie calendar begins this week as the top tier camogie teams set their sights on their bid for the Ashbourne Cup.
The first game of round one sees Mary Immaculate College take on University College Dublin in Mary Immaculate Sports grounds. MIC will be going into this game very eagerly as their Fresher counter-parts were crowned All-Ireland Champions last week and will be sure to feature a number of this up and coming stars. The Limerick side also won two of their league campaign games against UCC and NUIG. Taking on MIC, UCD ran a poor league campaign only winning one of their three games over their neighbours DIT. Freshly promoted from Purcell cup MIC will be hoping for a victory given their new Ashbourne status while UCD will be keen to show the new kids on the block the jump in standard at the top tier.
Wednesday hosts the remaining three games of round one. UCC host NUIG in Mardyke Park in the first game of the evening at 6:30pm. During their league campaign both UCC and NUIG meet in round 3 as the Cork side registered a huge scoreline of 8-13 to 0-13 and will be hoping for a similar victory on Wednesday evening. UCC ended mid-table from their league campaign with victories over NUIG and 2015 Ashbourne Champions WIT. NUIG have yet to register a win for the Connaught side. The Galway college will be hoping for their first win of the year as they host the Ashbourne 2016 weekend away.
The second game of the evening welcomes DCU to WIT as the 2015 winners aim to retain their crown as Ashbourne champions. WIT ended their league campaign in second place of group 2 after a shock UCC win prevented the Waterford side to progress further in the league. DCU ended bottom of their table in group 1 and will be determined to get a win under their belt after the Dublin college managed a single win over their neighbours UCD.
In final game of the night, University Limerick will take on Ulster University Jordanstown in a neutral venue of Ballykelly GAA grounds in Kildare. An unbeaten UL will be hoping to continue their winning streak as the League finalists are strong contenders for the Ashbourne title. Building on their success at also reaching the Fresher All-Ireland final, UL will also hope to factor in some of these new talented players. UUJ narrowly missed out on UL’s league final spot as UCD cut their hopes for a league final spot min-November and will be hoping to get off to a winning start against the 2015 Ashbourne finalists.