Bowling over the Creases
DU Ladies Cricket Club provide a roadmap to social media and on-campus success
“By dragging their friends down to Ancillary Hall and College Park, the new committee made Trinity women’s cricket something fun and approachable.”
The Cricket Club is one of the oldest sports clubs on campus, and an iconic part of Trinity’s history. The women’s club has been part of this for almost half a century. Recently, however, cricket has been seen as an outdated and boring sport with no room for girls at all, let alone for beginners. The arrival of second year students Maria Jan-Jua, Ciara Sexton and Rachel O’Brien in 2015 signalled a change. The committee set about turning things around with a media campaign the Kardashians would have been proud of.
By dragging their friends down to Ancillary Hall and College Park, the new committee made Trinity women’s cricket something fun and approachable. They set about boosting the club’s profile and modernising it in a way that hadn’t been seen before. When they left Trinity, the mantle of promoting ladies cricket was left in the very capable hands of Captain Sorcha O’Carolan-Murphy and Secretary Aoibhinn Cunningham Smyth.
Under the guidance of Smyth and O’Carolan-Murphy, DU Ladies Cricket Club’s (DULCC) goal this year was to boost the once-renowned club and make it a familiar name on campus again. This would prove to be a difficult task, as there’s not a huge hype around the sport of cricket, the general consensus being that they “just stand around and try to catch the ball”. But all that is due to change.
Arriving in almost synchronised time with the highly anticipated second season of Trinity’s Ladies Cricket Club, season seven of Orange Is The New Black is set to turn almost as many heads as the black-clad beauties who’ll be taking up residence on College Park this coming April. There are some glaring similarities between the two, although not in the way some may like to imagine.
“She says cricket lets her forget about all the trials and tribulations of being locked up in the Ussher for hours on end, and that she finds an escape in the bright lights and comforting aura of Monday training in Ancillary Hall.”
Both feature strong leading ladies and an even better supporting cast, with O’Carolan-Murphy as DULCC’s shining star and the formidable Cunningham Smyth taking an unforgettable supporting role. Much like the Litchfield ladies, the club would not be what it is without its 9-woman-strong committee: Laura Furlong, Phoebe Coulter, Ciana Jennings, Niamh Whelan, Aoife Livingston, Jessye Faulkner and Aoife O’Donovan. This group of girls is a force to be reckoned with, currently more off than on the pitch.
Another similarity lies in the fact that both Orange Is The New Black and DULCC are out to foster a feeling of inclusivity and diversity. The club features no shortage of College Park virgins this year. Treasurer Laura Furlong, a stressed and tired second year BESS student is one of these. She says cricket lets her forget about all the trials and tribulations of being locked up in the Ussher for hours on end, and that she finds an escape in the bright lights and comforting aura of Monday training in Ancillary Hall.
Not unlike OITNB’s Piper, Furlong has found herself thrown in with a group of girls from different backgrounds (read: not BESS). The diversity is part of what makes DULCC such a welcoming place, with the girls ranging from Health Science students like Aoife Livingston to Jessye Faulkner, a student as deep into TSM as one can get.
Led by their captain, O’Carolan-Murphy, the committee are working hard with the sticks and balls kindly donated by the men’s cricket club. Previously the two clubs had little interaction, but Phoebe Coulter, the social secretary, set out to change that. “I just love balls,” she laughs when asked what brought her to cricket. A St Columba’s College alumna, she struggled to burst through the bubble that such a title comes with, but found friendship and access to the wider world through her involvement in DULCC. The aim is to encourage people to come and join, even if they have no sporting prowess or not much free time. This has proved highly successful throughout the year thanks to socials, post-training drinks and “more chilled” training sessions on Monday afternoons.
“I’ve found my calling in life I think – don’t know why I ever bothered with nursing[…]”
Despite Generation X’s warnings about what “all that time on the Facebook” will do to a person, newly-created Instagram and Facebook accounts have had a huge influence on the number of girls who show up at training. At the forefront of this social media presence is Ciana Jennings, club Public Relations Officer (PRO).
“Cricket is way more exciting than I’d thought,” Jennings admitted after her first two weeks of training. She took on the role of DULCC PRO despite a lack of familiarity with the game itself. Having been turned away from many other sports, she found refuge in DULCC. “I’ve found my calling in life I think – don’t know why I ever bothered with nursing,” she admitted. Jennings may have committed crimes against fashion, but her sentence with DULCC is something she’s revelling in.
Aoife Livingston, a veteran in the cricket world but a fresher on the Trinity scene, was given the position of team co-ordinator. Being one of the only ones on the committee with a comprehensive knowledge of all of the many rules of cricket, she is an integral part of the team. They also needed someone to “set a field”, whatever that means. Clearly an unusual collection of characters, the girls have come together and produced a union of experience and youth in DULCC which has resulted in an unlikely miracle. Without a doubt, these women are well on the way to proving that cricket is indeed the new black.
So whether you’re looking for a team sport to sink your teeth into, or you’re just the type of person who really enjoys pints during a match, DULCC is definitely a club to look into. With training sessions every Monday and Thursday in Ancillary Hall, plenty of socials and outdoor season just around the corner, the Ladies Cricket Club will cater to anyone of any level, be it for one day or the full (1 month long) season.