Hurling & Camogie

Roisin McCormick on the up with TUD, Loughgiel, and Antrim

Roisin McCormick of Loughgiel and Antrim, who will play for TUD against holders DCU DE in the Electric Ireland Camogie Third Level Championships' Ashbourne Cup at Grangegorman tonight (7pm). Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan
Roisin McCormick of Loughgiel and Antrim, who will play for TUD against holders DCU DE in the Electric Ireland Camogie Third Level Championships' Ashbourne Cup at Grangegorman tonight (7pm). Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan Roisin McCormick of Loughgiel and Antrim, who will play for TUD against holders DCU DE in the Electric Ireland Camogie Third Level Championships' Ashbourne Cup at Grangegorman tonight (7pm). Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Electric Ireland Ashbourne Cup Group A, round two: Technological University Dublin v Dublin City University Dóchas Éireann (holders) (Grangegorman, 7pm)

Biting off more than she can chew is something Roisin McCormick knows not to do. Indeed she's optimistic that she can dine comfortably at the top table with club, county, and university.

Tonight she's that rarity in recent times, an Ulster player involved in the Electric Ireland Ashbourne Cup, for Technological University Dublin against the holders, Dublin City University Dóchas Éireann.

Late last year she helped her club Loughgiel Shamrocks to the All-Ireland Senior Club Camogie Championship Final, losing out narrowly to recent top guns Sarsfield's of Galway.

Next month she'll be with Antrim in Division 1B of the Camogie Leagues, in preparation for a second tilt at the All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship with the Saffrons after a solid return to the highest level last year.

Still only 21, she has ambitions on and off the pitch. In the third year of four in her Sports Science degree at TUD, her sights are set higher than that:

"I would like to go into sport nutrition, work with big teams – that's my plan at the moment. We're doing a nutrition module, which I'm enjoying, although it's quite difficult, and I see myself working in that area."

The next step would be to do a Master's in Sports Nuttition, which is "actually at Ulster University, so I could possibly be moving home, but I'll just focus on my studies at the minute."

Yet she insists she's not bugging her team-mates about their intake, far from it, explaining with a laugh: "Oh, Jeez, I'm not that annoying – yet. I'm more so one of the bad ones at eating at the minute. I'm not preaching much. I don't have a leg to stand on."

When we spoke, she was at home, only returning to university at the end of this month, so there's a fair bit of travelling, even when at uni. She lives in Phibsborough, which is beside Grangegorman campus, but she studies at the Tallaght campus, so it's "a bit out of the way."

Even so, she's enjoying the upward journey of her camogie career: "After winning the [second tier] Purcell Cup last season we went into the Ashbourne on quite a high. Now, we did lose a few players, but we gained a few from the likes of Kilkenny, Waterford, and Dublin.

"We believe we're capable of going far enough, seeing how well we did in the League, getting to the semi-finals before losing to UL.

"We still knew we had to step it up another level, but we went quite well in the first round before Christmas."

That was a narrow 1-17 to 1-15 loss away to University of Limerick, but it means TUD almost certainly must beat their Dublin rivals DCU tonight after the latter thrashed Maynooth in round one.

"Basically we need to win to have a chance of getting through," accepts McCormick. "We know some DCU players from playing them, and friends at TU are friends with them

"I know the likes of Ciara O'Connor, of Wexford, and a few others, from playing against them with the county too.

"It's a fresh new scene, but I'm glad to be playing at the top level. It's definitely a major boost for myself and for the college. We've been waiting for this for a while."

She has the same ambitious attitude for Loughgiel and Antrim: "Beating Slaughtneil for the first time in seven years was a major boost for us girls, the club and the supporters.

"It was disappointing not to win against Sarsfield's, but it shows how far we can get if we keep going. Slaughtneil was a mental hurdle, more so than a physical one. We never believed in ourselves enough to win. This time we went into that final thinking, 'You know what? Who cares what the outcome is?' We were unbelievable, best performance all year.

"We know what we can do and hopefully in the next few years we'll win an All-Ireland medal.

"Everyone's buzzing to get back into club camogie again, I know there's a lot looking forward to county as well."