Strong start to the season for DUHC and DULHC

Trinity hockey has kicked off its campaigns in style, with impressive opening performances from the mens’ and ladies’ squads

Some sports enjoy the luxury of a “less is more” approach to competition, but hockey encamps itself firmly and far away from such a stance. Last season saw the assorted teams of both Dublin University Hockey Club (DUHC) and Dublin University Ladies’ Hockey Club (DULHC) average a match per week from the end of September until March. This season is shaping up to be no different, with a preseason tour and four weekends’ worth of matches due to be completed at the time of print.

Mid-September brought about the return of DUHC’s traditional preseason trip to England, with DULHC also in attendance. DUHC enjoyed two stiff battles against Nottingham Trent University Men’s Hockey Club and Loughborough University Student Men’s Hockey Club, while DULHC defeated their female counterparts 4-2 and 3-0 respectively. A weekend of scorching sunshine and great play was an unmistakably positive note on which to kick off their respective seasons, a sentiment clearly felt by the both Clubs.

Regular season opened first for DULHC on September 23, with the First XI taking on Kilkenny 1s in Division 1, the Seconds facing up against Pembrokes 2nds in Division 2, and the third and fourth teams taking on UCD 5ths in Division 4 and Carlow 2nds in Division 10 respectively. Two well-matched games culminated in a 1-1 draw for the Firsts against Kilkenny and a 3-3 game for the Thirds against UCD, while the Seconds and Fourths took losses on board.

An immediate refocus had to take place with all four teams out to play again the following weekend. A packed day of action saw the Seconds, Thirds and Fourths take losses against the second teams of Loreto, Glenanne and Newbridge respectively, while the Firsts dug deep to tough out a 1-1 draw against Bray 1s.

DUHC, meanwhile, have been kept equally preoccupied as the academic year has restarted. While the men’s club doesn’t reach DULHC’s standards of regularly fielding four teams – an achievement which puts them among the largest competitive female sports clubs in College –  DUHC nevertheless regularly compete across three divisions, with a first, second and third XI. 

DUHC’s season opened on September 16, with the First XI taking an impressive 3-0 win in an away Neville Cup fixture against North Kildare 1s, with goals from Evan Rankin (Captain), Ben Hickmott (Vice Captain) and Liam Bean. This was followed, however, with a challenging 6-0 defeat at home to Pembroke Wanderers 1sts a fortnight later in Division 1A.

The Seconds and Thirds played their opening games on September 30. The Seconds executed well to pull off a 2-2 draw against Wicklow HC 2nds in Division 4, while the Thirds suffered a 3-0 defeat to North Kildare 2nds in Division 6. 

Outside of their busy competitive and training schedules, both hockey clubs of Trinity are known for their collaborative and vibrant social scene, and the close ties maintained with club alumni.  In collaboration with Trinity Sailing, DULHC and DUHC co-hosted a Freshers’ Pub Crawl over Freshers Week, and followed that up with an exclusive DULHC x DUHC mixer in the shape of the infamous “cable tie” event, wherein a member from each club is connected via cable tie to a member of the opposite club, with the duos then having to complete challenges around Dublin before landing in Doyles’ pub. Last March also saw DUHC and DULHC team up with Sailing, LawSoc, DUMSS, DU Tennis and DUBES for Trinity Ents’ largest collaborative event of the year, a “Shit Shirt Shindig” in aid of Pieta House. Alumni relations are also notably strong for both  clubs, both of whom traditionally complete annual challenge matches against their former members. DUHC take on their alumni for the Coulson Cup and DULHC face up to their alumnae for the Wheeler Plate, inaugurated in 2017. 

DULHC trains exclusively in the Trinity Sports Grounds in Santry. The 1sts train on Mondays, 7:30pm – 9:30pm and Thursdays, 7:30pm – 9:30pm; the 2nds train on Mondays 7:30pm – 9:30pm and Wednesdays, 7:30pm – 9:30pm; the 3rds train on Tuesdays, 6pm – 7:30pm and Thursdays, 6pm – 7:30pm; and the 4ths trains on Wednesdays, 7pm – 8:30 pm and Thursdays, 6pm – 7:30pm. Contact [email protected] with any enquiries.

DUHC 1sts and 2nds train in Trinity Sports Grounds, Santry, on Tuesdays, 7:30pm – 9:30pm; the 3rd train at 5pm on Wednesdays in Botany Bay. Contact [email protected] with any queries.

Jane Prendergast

Jane Prendergast is Co-Sports Editor of Trinity News. She is a Junior Sophister student of Law.