Freshers hold the aces in league decider

DCU 1-8

Carlow I.T 0-10

 by Gavin Cawley

At Newscastle

DCU captured their first piece of GAA silverware with this hard fought victory over Carlow IT in what turned out to be a cracking contest played at Newcastle GAA grounds on Tuesday week last.

Finals tend to be curious phenomena and don’t often lend themselves to any sense of sporting glasnost, but that could not be said of this rip-roaring league final which was in the proverbial melting pot right until the death.

Carlow were off the mark first with a well taken score, but DCU replied in the eighth minute through Shane Carey. The sides traded score’s subsequently, before Carey edged DCU in front for the first time in the match.

Carlow replied once more as their midfield was starting to gain a stronghold, but another free, this time from the boot of Cavan man Enda O’Reilly, put DCU ahead after 22 minutes of action.

O’Reilly knocked over another point for DCU as the reigning champions held a two point initiative for the first time. That said, Carlow fought back approaching the interval to level proceedings at 0-5 apiece with two unanswered minors.

The game’s key score arrived two minutes after the change of ends as Dublin’s John Small planted an unstoppable effort to the corner of the Carlow goal after a powerful run. Carlow though refused to yield and replied with a pair of points to reduce arrears to the minimum.

At a time when Carlow were starting to get on top, the DCU midfield really stood up to be counted with Galway’s Thomas Flynn giving an exhibition under the high ball. Carey stretched it out to two subsequently with a neat effort, before O’Reilly split the posts to leave Carlow trailing by three.

To their credit, Carlow continued to chizzle away at the DCU lead registering two points without reply, but the character of Ross Munnelly’s side came to the fore once more as they knocked over a point through Enda O’Reilly to put two between the sides with three minutes remaining.

Carlow replied with a point, but were unable to unlock the DCU defence for that equalising score and so the Dublin University held out for a deserved win.

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