The University’s snooker team recently reached the semi-final of the Intervarsity Cup, where they were beaten by eventual champions Maynooth for the second consecutive year. However, club captain Steven O’Reilly will be captaining the Irish team in the upcoming Home Nations tournament for the third year in a row. Boosted by the presence of teammate Vinny Muldoon, a former Irish Champion and ex-professional from Maynooth, O’Reilly will feel confident that he can lead his team to victory in April.
The recently formed UCD Elite Swim Team won their first national title in Leisureland, Galway, at the Short Course National Championships late last year.
Coached by Earl McCarthy, who swam for Ireland in the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta, the team competed in the 4×100 Freestyle Team Relay. The quartet of David Cooney, Niall McCauley, Conor Hillick and Paul Murphy won gold in a time of 3mins 41.33secs, holding off the challenge of Dolphin and Trojan.
Aisling Cooney took gold in the women’s 50m butterfly (28.15 seconds) and was named the swimmer of the meet. Cooney has enjoyed a hugely successful career thus far – the 20-year-old Food Science student from Sandymount is already an Irish Olympian. Cooney competed in the 2008 Beijing games and in November of last year, she competed in the European Short Course Championships in Eindhoven, finishing in ninth place.
Cooney was unlucky to miss the women’s 50m backstroke by an agonising three-hundredths of a second. The next big dates on the young swimmer’s calendar are the World Championships and World Student Games, both of which take place in China this summer. Cooney will no doubt be motivated by her success in Eindhoven and aim to step up to the next level required to make the finals this summer.
– Ryan Mackenzie