This year was an exciting time in the development of the Dublin Hospitals Women’s Football Club (DHWFC). This is the first women’s team for football for medical professionals and women in STEM in Dublin. The club was built from the ground up by its founders – University College Dublin medical students. They also thanked the men’s team for the many pointers and helpful advice along the way.
This year the women’s club went from occasional practices to weekly gatherings with pitches filled with more than 20 women. While these practices were a great deal of fun, the year culminated in an exciting event – the first ever Dublin Hospitals Women’s Football Cup. Much time and effort was put into the logistics of creating a sporting event of this magnitude. From advertising and booking a pitch big enough, to providing refreshments and trophies for the winners, the organisers’ work was cut out for them. However, teamwork paid off and the dream became a reality when the football cup competition was finally held on the St Benildus College football pitches.
It was a sunny evening last month when the women’s football cup kicked off between St Vincent’s and Mater Hospitals. The teams were in green (St Vincent’s) and blue (the Mater) jerseys respectively. The excitement could be felt in the air as the women squared up to play. The event organisers, supporters, and fans filled the sidelines, looking between the action on the field and the glorious trophies and treats that awaited the victorious team.
The game started off with some fabulous displays of skill and determination from both sides. But after only 10 minutes into the first-half St Vincent’s opened the scoring with right-wing Rebecca Reid sending a goal into the top right corner, despite best efforts to defend by the Mater goalie. The game was tense – with each team tightly matched for skill and persistence. This tough battle between both sides carried on and it took until the final two minutes for the Mater to even the score with Aisling Spratt’s golden right boot.
The final whistle blew and it was into extra time under the floodlights. Special mention goes out to our supporters whose enthusiasm and energy gave the teams a much-needed boost as the lactic acid began to build. Following a scoreless 10 minutes of extra time, the match was going to be decided by the divisive “golden goal” format – with the next goal being the winner. After much back and forth and St Vincent’s vigorously defending their territory, the Mater team eventually took home the win on the back of Sarah Freeley’s strike from the left wing. The crowd cheered and the teams celebrated both winning and the occasion itself, as photographer Rodney Smythe looked on and snapped some amazing shots.
When the cheers died down and the fatigue began to set in, tired but joyful smiles were flashed for some more pictures with the trophy for the winning team. This finished up an incredibly enjoyable experience and kickstarted what the DHWFC hopes will become a yearly tradition, growing into a multi-hospital event.
A big thanks goes out to Rodney for the fantastic photographs and to the founders of our club whose amazing work has taken the DHWFC from a dream to a reality: Drs Sofia Griggs, Corey Burke, Amy Schranz, Lemia Ismael, and Kat.
The event also couldn’t have happened without all the organisers contributing expertise and time – so a big thanks to all of them. Bravo to all of the players who stepped up to play in the cup and attend weekly training.
Finally, a big thanks to all of our supporters, the men’s rugby team for the jerseys, and our sponsor Medisec.
Find us on Instagram @dubhospwfc or on our website: https://sites.google.com/view/dublinhospitalswomenssoccer/home.