WATER POLO: Irish Senior Cup Finals

by Aaron Dunne
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St Vincent’s (Dublin) Men and Women have claimed the 2023 Irish Senior Water Polo Cups at the Aurora Aquatics Complex in Bangor.

St Vincents Women retained their Irish Senior Cup title beating Drogheda 8-2 in this evening’s Final, in what was a repeat of the last two Irish Senior Cup finals.

With both teams unbeaten coming into the final, it was Drogheda who started the stronger, leading 3-1 at the end of the 1st quarter.  St Vincents came back strong in the second quarter to lead 5-4 before extending their lead to 9-5 by the end of the 3rd.

Drogheda continued to fight hard to get back in the game but struggled to break down St Vincents, who continued to control the game right to the end, with tournament MVP Ciara Franke getting four goals in the final.

The final score of 14-6 saw St Vincents win the Irish Senior Cup for the 11th year in a row; adding to the National League Title already won this season.

Already 2023 League Champions, St Vincents won the Men’s Cup, where they faced off against local side Cathal Brugha (Belfast) who were aiming for a third Senior Cup in a row.

It was the Dublin team who were quickest out of the blocks racing into a 4-0 lead to close the first quarter and quiet the local crowd.

The second quarter was a much tighter affair as Brugha tried to find a way back into the game, both teams traded goals before St Vincent’s scored again to lead at half time 6-1.

The third quarter saw a similar pattern, St Vincent’s winning 2-1 to extend their lead to 8-2 going into the final minutes.

The final quarter end 2-2 with the league champions going on to complete the double winning 10-4, winning their first senior cup since 2019 and fourth in the club history.

Next weekend will see a number of the players (men and women) who competed this weekend face England, Scotland and Wales in a home Four Nations. The tournament starts Friday, May 19 and runs to Sunday, May 21 at the Sport Ireland National Aquatic Centre.

Water Polo Mens Irish Senior Cup Final, Bangor Aurora Aquatic & Leisure Complex, Down, Northern Ireland 13/5/2023 Cathal Brugha vs St Vincents WPC St Vincents celebrate with the League Trophy and Cup Trophy after the game Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Tom Maher

 Women’s Team of the tournament:  Hannah Taylor (Cathal Brugha), Gillian Fritz (Drogheda), Ciara Franke (St Vincents), Cliona Colvin (St Vincents), Eva Ramsey (Cathal Brugha), Mairead Baker (St Vincents), Sophie Moran (Tribes).

Women’s MVP of the tournament:

Ciara Franke (St Vincents)

Men’s Team of the tournament: Shane O’Brien (St Vincents), Desmond Donnelly (Cathal Brugha), Stiofan McMahon (Cathal Brugha),  Zoran Jerkovic (St Vincents), Cillian Colvin ((St Vincents), Max Connolly (Sandycove),  Adrian Hanna (Cathal Brugha).

Men’s MVP of the tournament: Shane O’Brien (St Vincents).

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