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29 September 2010

Sport Off the canvas and back swinging

Colin Keane Sports Editor

And so we begin again! Welcome to all you new faces, welcome back to all you old faces. I’m delighted to resume my post as sports editor. Hopefully with your help, we can build on last year’s success and make this an even better section. So who am I? Well after a success-

ful bout of Autumn repeats I’m a third year zoology student with a stunning obsession with almost all things sporty. A healthy obsession I might add. This is my second stint at the helm of the sports sec- tion for the Express and I’m hop- ing to keep the theme of last year going. The theme in question is a simple one: this is a college paper; therefore we’ll concentrate on col- lege clubs rather than the outside world. I’ll still be here, ranting on about some issue in world sport but the aim is to concentrate on col- lege. With this in mind, I’m on the lookout for willing sports writers. Hopefully people involved in clubs will help us write reports on matches and intervarsities but if there is anyone at all interested in writing for this section please e- mail me and we’ll find a piece you can do. Just e-mail sport@uccex- and I’ll be happy to find you some work. With over fifty

clubs here in UCC, I’m sure we can find you something you’re in- terested in.

That’s the important stuff out of the way so let’s try for the rant. Two weeks ago Ireland gained a new world champion. Well, not really new. In fact the champion in ques- tion retained her world title. That’s not accurate either as the young lady won her third consecutive world title. Have you guessed who it is yet? It is, of course, Katie Tay- lor, Ireland’s top athlete and the top women’s boxer for the last four years. Taylor won her AIBA Women’s World Boxing Title on the back of an impressive 18-5 vic- tory over Cheng Dong of China in the final. Taylor has dominated women’s boxing on the world stage since 2006, when she claimed her first world title. Her second came in 2008 and she proved too strong for her rivals this

Ta Rax Rum:

PhD Student David Toms researches the archives of UCC Sport, this week analysing Rugby.

Sports clubs in UCC abound today, and whatever you’re interest there’s probably a club to cater for it. Back in the old days, things were somewhat different and the club that was to the fore of college life at that time was the College Rugby Club. Rugby began in Ire- land with the formation of the Trin- ity College Rugby Club in 1854, making it officially the second old- est rugby club in the world, behind Guy’s Hospital of England, founded in 1852.

UCC (then Queen’s College) would have to wait until 1874 be- fore its Rugby club would come into being. The club didn’t play its first game however until 1875, when they played a team from

Montenotte on the 25th of January. Much of the period between 1875 and 1890 has been lost to us as no club records from that time sur- vive. Fortunately however a letter does exist from 1891 which out- lines plans for the upcoming year and because of this we know that none other than Harry Potter was Treasurer for that season. (I am not making this up, ask the College Archivist to see the letter if you don’t believe me!)

The running of the Club was largely in the hands of the faculty as the office of President always had to be a member of the Aca- demic staff in those days. The game in those days was a good deal different to the game of today.

year to claim her third World Title in four years. While her road to the final wasn’t always easy, notable her 18-16 win in the semi final, Taylor proved once again how tal- ented an athlete she is.

Fighting in the 60kg weight class, Taylor has also claimed four Euro- pean golds and three European Union golds. Her phenomenal win record now stretches to one hun- dred, with the century of wins completed when she defended her World Title successfully. Taylor, away from the ring, represents Ire- land on the field, being part of the Irish Women’s senior soccer squad. She also represented Ireland in soc- cer at underage levels.

Her ability and drive make her nothing short of exceptional. In my mind she is the best athlete Ireland has produced in the last ten years. I cannot think of another Irish

sports star to rival her, nor can I foresee someone to rival her in the next ten years. She is Ireland’s best hope for a gold medal at the Lon- don Olympics in 2012 and a gold medal for any Irish athlete would be a rare and wonderful thing when we look at our performances in the Olympic Games in recent years. Publically Taylor seems like a down to earth, honest competitor with an uncharacteristically mod- est streak for someone with so much sporting success. This could be down to the stunningly low media coverage she received up to this years World Title defence. I have been shocked at how little at- tention this sporting genius gets on our small island. And I’m not the only one. Now the Irish media as a whole has realised her gift and her genuine chances for a gold in Lon- don. Success sells papers. Up until now Katie Taylor’s success didn’t. In the next two years you can ex- pect to see her appearing far more often on your screens and in your papers. And it’s about time too.

cett’s XI, College Road and St. Luke’s.

A Brief history of UCC Rugby’s early years

Kicking was a much more integral part, with the college awarding sil- ver medals annually to the best place kickers, drop kickers and punters. The overall nature of the game then was also much more ad- hoc, it not being unusual in the very early days for games to last for two halves of twenty-five min- utes or occasionally two-thirds of twenty minutes and one third of fifteen minutes.

Many of the clubs who College played are still with us today, the majority of their competition com- ing from within Cork and Limer- ick. They played teams like Constitution, Sunday’s Well (dif- ferent from today’s incarnation), Old Berkeley’s, Presentation, Christians and many more ad-hoc teams, who often only ever played one or two games such as Faw-

Aside from the competitions that we are all familiar with today such as the Charity Cup and the Munster League and Cup, QCC was also one of the first clubs to compete for the Dudley Cup, which was inau- gurated in 1903/04, by the then Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. This competition which was initially contested between Cork, Belfast and Galway has since become one of the premier competitions in Irish College rugby.

The jubilation that Cork’s first Dudley Cup win was met with in 1906 in the pages of QCC was a re- flection of the importance being placed on this new competition. Another big event in the calendar for QCC’s Rugby Club was the Dublin Tour. This was an annual event where the club went to play Dublin University (Trinity), Clon- tarf, and usually Bective Rangers over the course of a number of days. At this time, Dublin Univer- sity was not in the Dudley Cup, and was not to join the competition

until 1919/20 but there seems to have been a great deal of rivalry between Cork and Trinity, if the reaction to the first loss that QCC had to Trinity in four years is any- thing to go by. This particular loss came at a time in the Club’s history when things were going a bit sour: Since the 1907/8 season, there had been a turn in the clubs fortunes; The First XV were dropping in quality, with QCC commentators lamenting frequently about the lack of regular practice for the team. It was in the 08/09 season that QCC lost to Trinity for the first time in four years. The manner of the win was quite telling: Trinity beating College 27-5.

UCC were to have to wait until the 1912/13 season before things looked up. In that season they were winners of the Munster Senior League, Munster Senior Cup, Dud- ley Cup and Cork Charity Cup. This great success was to be ham- pered by the onset of World War I, which was to effectively put a stop to sport of any kind, not just rugby for the next few years.

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