DCU’s Intermediate football team were crowned league champions after a hard fought two-point victory in an enthralling final against rivals UCD last Thursday at St Clare’s.
On a freezing cold day at the north Dublin venue the home side fought back from a three point deficit at the break to take the title.
UCD made a dream start, scoring a goal and a point within the opening three minutes after a sustained period of pressure on the DCU defence.
DCU responded with a point from the inspirational Conor McGraynor and could have levelled matters soonafter when the big centre-forward split open the visitors defence, but blasted his shot inches wide of the left hand post.
The home side continued to press forward and by the end of the opening-quarter, they found themselves a point in front, having weathered the early storm with three further points from McGraynor and one from Finbar Cregg.
The DCU midfielders were well on top at this stage, with Peter O’Hanlon in particular dominating the aerial battles. With five minutes to go before half-time, disaster struck when against the run of play, UCD found the back of the net.
McGraynor with his sixth point of the half and Tommy Rooney managed to regain parity, before UCD broke forward to score another goal right on the half-time whistle to leave the home side trailing on a scoreline of 3-2 to 0-8.
Both sides traded efforts at the change of ends, but thereafter DCU began to take control and managed to notch up a goal and four points without reply in a hugely productive 10 minute spell.
The goal was scored from the penalty spot after Finbar Cregg was pulled down in the square and McGraynor, who finished with a tally of 1-9, duly converted the spot kick.
Cregg added to his first-half point during this period along with full-forward John Quinn. Substitute Simon McCoy was instrumental in the build-up to these scores, with his pace causing problems for a troubled UCD rearguard.
UCD produced a late rally to provide the crowd at St. Clare’s with a nail biting finish. The Southsiders managed to reduce the deficit to a point as the game entered injury time.
In the end however, DCU found that extra gear when needed and Conor Boyle landed one final point for the home side to give them a two-point victory and the league title.
By Ben Egan at St. Clare’s