The Fresher’s football side opened their campaign with a demolition of Carlow IT at St. Clare’s on Tuesday afternoon last.
In a match that bore little resemblance to a contest, DCU took on the alias of the German soccer team of Friday last as they led by eleven points at half-time, while if it weren’t for some poor second half shooting, their seventeen point winning margin could have been far greater.
Indeed, considering the Fresher class of 2011/12, which included Galway star Tom Flynn and Dublin’s John Small, beat the same college by only a point in last year’s league decider, there are strong indicators that Ross Munnelly has assembled a team brimming with talent.
There were little indications of the carnage which DCU were about to inflict on the visitors in the opening exchanges as the teams traded scores to be tied at two points apiece after ten minutes.
However Carlow IT would only score a single point between the tenth and 47th minutes as DCU pulled away in style. DCU’s dominance was built around a midfield master-class from Adam Flanagan and Enda Smith. The pair fielded superbly against Leon Fox and Declan Smyth and supplied a constant stream of ball for a forward unit which was conducted by the excellent Ciaran Byrne. The Louth man’s vision from the 40 launched several of DCU’s attacks while his delivery of ball into the full-forward line was a joy to watch.
Points from Dublin’s Conor McHugh and Donegal’s Conor McBrearty helped DCU open up a 0-08 to 0-03 lead, before Adam Flanagan scored a terrific goal. The home side enjoyed an eleven point advantage at the interval and when Ciaran Byrne pointed just seconds after the restart, it seemed that DCU would continue to keep the umpires busy throughout the second half. Instead, Byrne’s 31st minute score was the last point of the game for an astonishing 17 minutes.
During this fallow period, Carlow IT spurned many chances to gain some sort of a foothold in the match with Kevin Mulvaney’s frees often finding the welcoming hands of David Mulvihill. Two goal chances meanwhile, which fell the visitor’s way both careened off the woodwork. DCU were wasteful themselves during the game’s scoring famine- their shots often dropping short as the pace of the match dropped.
Substitute Niall Murphy, however, broke DCU’s drought after 50 minutes with a well taken point. The Sligo man embellished his case for inclusion from the start with two further points and a goal as DCU regained their verve.
Two late Mulvaney frees allowed Carlow IT to match their first half tally of three points but a yet another penetrating run and score from Ciaran Byrne and a point from Niall Mullen helped DCU finish with an imposing 2-17 tally.
There may be trickier assignments ahead for Ross Munnelly’s men, but for now the excitement and giddiness surrounding the potential of his new team will only grow after an imperious and commanding opening performance.
Barry Lenihan at St Clare’s