DU Ladies AFC (DULAFC) last week won the CUFL Women’s Division 1 final against the University of Galway. Played in brisk conditions in Athlone Stadium on November 30, Charlotte Connolly and Caolinn Durkin found the net to secure a 2-0 win for College. Durkin was also awarded Player of the Match.
DULAFC saw success in early season League matches, including a 7-0 win over RCSI in College Park and a 5-0 win over Dundalk IT. After reaching the knockout stages, DULAFC took a 6-1 triumph over Queens’ University Belfast, before they faced a tougher test in the shape of a sem-final against ATU Donegal. A tough 3-2 victory was eked out, with goals courtesy of Rebecca McMahon and Leah O’Hagan, lining up the final clash against the University of Galway.
“The game was great, I’m so proud of the girls, we did so well”, said Katelyn McDaid, third-year student and informal manager of DULAFC. She added, “We kept the spirits high, kept the momentum high, kept us together, a team, something we could all connect on.”
DU Ladies AFC Captain Jasmine Relf told Trinity News what the win meant to her. “I am so proud of the girls. We put in so much work, and it’s extremely rewarding to be able to take home the trophy.”
Symbolically, the final was played on the training grounds for Athlone Town who won the 2023 Women’s FAI Cup just weeks before. The game was also live streamed so people could tune into the match remotely.
The win is even more impressive considering the facts that came to light in October, when an article in the University Times discussed the challenges faced by DULAFC. The article alleged that the team does not receive adequate support from Dublin University Central Athletic Club (DUCAC), the central governing body for all sports clubs in College, and also highlighted the team’s lack of a manager or coach. Contrasted with the men’s club, DUAFC, these failures become more alarming; DUAFC have three coaches and a manager.
DUAFC played UCDAFC in the CUFL Premier Final the same evening as DULAFC’s win, losing 5-0.