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30 Sport

September 28th 2010 Handball the sport of choice for ambitious students

Sean O Laoghairen is adamant the Olympic handball club is the one for you, and pleads his case here.

The previous college year proved to be a very successful one for UCC Olympic Handball Club. We had approximately two dozen reg- ulars at training and this consisted of a strong balanced mix between male, female, Irish and French stu- dents which, over the year, com- peted with the best Handball players in the country. During the year we took part in three tourna-

ments, collecting two silver medals as well as winning The Gelly Cup in March.

For the coming year we hope to build on the successes achieved the last two terms. The team are hop- ing to compete more regularly in the year and are looking to join the Irish Handball League to achieve this aim. Aside from the competi-

tive dimensions of the club we’re always looking for new players to join us and hope to introduce more Irish students to the sport in partic- ular, as it is part of their heritage. There is no need for previous ex- perience and everyone who wants to have fun, be part of a group or play competitively is more than welcome provided they have a pos- itive attitude! While many of last year’s team has returned to France or moved on, the remaining players on the squad are at a highly com-

UCC Hockey teams win with ease Alan Good

UCC's men's hockey first team will approach one of their main litmus tests this season with confidence, after they opened their campaign with a 5-0 away win over Cork Church of Ireland B on Saturday.

College are back at Garryduff this coming Saturday (2pm) to take on C of I's first team in their opening Munster Senior League Division One encounter.

Taking on the champions on their own backyard is no easy task, but the Rochestown venue will hold few fears after a new-look side disman- tled C of I's second string in the quar- ter-finals of the Peard Cup.

College have improved steadily under Neil Welch since being pro- moted to Munster hockey's top flight in 2008, finishing fourth last term.

Third place - and a shot at qualifi- cation for the Irish Hockey League - is once again the aim, and Welch will be heartened by the performance of some of his new signings last Saturday.

But it was two of the team's stal- warts - brothers Roger and Andy Gray - who gave College an early impe- tus. Roger broke the deadlock on 12 minutes after his initial drag-flick was saved, but he was there first to bury the rebound.

Skipper Andy Gray netted a switched drag-flick before a skilful upright reverse shot from younger sibling Roger had College 3-0 to the good at the break.

Fionn O’Leary, Peter Catchpole, Malcolm Coombes and Emmet Long all made their presence felt before College put the result beyond

doubt with the goal of the game on 50 minutes.

Andy Gray’s long pass from the back found brother Roger, who fed Colin Manning on the left. The Kilkenny man had put a reverse effort wide minutes beforehand, but made no mistake with a fine lofted finish on his openside, his first top-level goal in a red shirt.

C of I goalkeeper Andrew Whit- taker then denied Roger Gray his hat-trick with a stunning agile stop, sticking out a foot to direct a rolled reverse effort that seemed destined for the bottom corner.

College put a gloss on victory with five minutes remaining, when O’Leary connected with Roger Gray’s cross via a diving reverse only to strike the upright, but Nathan Gokul followed up to slot the re- bound for a debut goal.

Meanwhile, UCC's ladies' firsts put an indifferent start to their Munster league campaign behind them by thumping Belvedere 8-1 in Ballincollig last Saturday.

Having been held 1-1 at home by Bandon on the opening day of the season, College were keen to take out their frustration and found little resistance from their newly- promoted opponents.

UCC captain Andy Gray, seen here in action for Munster, will hope to continue his fine recent goalscoring record againt Cork C of I this Saturday

Captain Ali O'Regan led by exam- ple with four goals, while new girl Kate Humphreys, Irish interna- tional Miriam Crowley and Ali O'-

petitive level and have been im- proving from playing with more experienced players in various tournaments.

During the coming year, the team have planned for a training camp in a French university club in No- vember to continue our improve- ment as players and to gain greater experience which we can bring with us into competitions. Of course for this we will need to do some fundraising soon after the be-

ginning of the academic year. As well as the training camp the club will also be organising the UCC Olympic Handball Tournament. While our general assembly took place on the 23rd of September 2010 where we formed the club’s committee for the coming year, all are welcome to come along to meetings. Our Training takes place in the Mardyke hall on Tuesdays and Fridays.

UCC’s Irish international Miriam Crowley, who was recently se- lected as one of 24 athletes to participate in a centralised preparation programma in order to secure Ireland’s qualifica- tion for the 2012 Olympics

Connor also found the net in a routine win that sees them lie in third, a point off the summit, after two games.

The girls are also heading to Gar- ryduff to play C of I this Saturday (3.45pm), hoping for another win to build confidence ahead of their opening Irish Hockey League en- counter away to Dublin side Her- mes on October 10.

The clash is a repeat of last year's pool stages encounter which saw Hermes prevail 2-0, the beginning of a sequence of heartbreaking narrow defeats for UCC, as quali- fication for the semi-finals of Irish hockey's premier competition proved beyond them.

It will also mark a reunion of sorts with Aine Connery and Audrey O'Flynn, both former first-team captains at the Mardyke but now plying their trade in the capital.

Elsewhere, Miriam Crowley was earlier this month named in the 24-strong Irish panel, who are adopting a novel 10-month cen-

tralised preparation programme in the hope of securing qualification for the 2012 Olympics in London.

A number of players have relo- cated to Dublin for the intensive training programme, and although Crowley's studies in Cork have mitigated against such a move, she is one of a number of players who will commute for the sessions.

UCC MEN: Kieran Healy (GK), Brian Corcoran (GK), Malcolm Coombes, John Catchpole, Emmet Long, Andy Gray (capt), Nathan Gokul, Roger Gray, Peter Catchpole, Graham Catch- pole, Colin Manning, Fionn O'Leary, Conor Cadogan.

UCC WOMEN: Zoe Cremin (GK), Ali O'Connor, Aine Curran, Kate Humphreys, Fiona O'Connell, Eibhlín O'- Donoghue, Kate Murphy, Fiona O'Connell, Orla Crowley, Miriam Crowley, Ali O'Regan (capt), Olivia Roy- croft, Vicky O'Sullivan, Nicky Kingston

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