As the war to advance to the Fresher league quarterfinals rages on, DCU faced their biggest battle yet in Ballgriffin on Monday night when they came up against Queen’s University.
Cian Breheny was DCU’s best player in the first half using his speed to tear open the Queen’s defence. Breheny dropped into the half forward line, which forced the Queen’s defenders to double mark the Sligo man. However, both Killian O’Gara and Evan Keane used their newfound space to their advantage and once DCU’s midfielders Stephen O’Brien and Diarmuid O’Connor started making use of Brendan Flynn’s massive kick outs, they always looked like scoring. It was no surprise that DCU had seven different scorers throughout the game, including five out of the six forwards.
Once DCU exposed the space they hit the back of the net after 10 minutes. Midway through the half they led 1-3 to 0-4. Queen’s played at a very high tempo delivering in diagonal balls, which caused the DCU full back line all sorts of problems. Referee Garry McCorrmack was quick to give the Belfast side frees as DCU were very sloppy in their defensive tackling.
After last week’s draw to UCD, DCU had a point to prove and slotted home goal number two when they turned over a loose pass in their own full back line. This rattled Queens and they were desperate to knock over a few more scores before the end of the half. Another dead ball score and a point from one of their midfielders and full forwards helped push the Belfast university on.
However, an easily collected ball from goalkeeper Brendan Flynn then led to the score of the game when Mayo minor Conor Lofus ran the length of the pitch and played a super cross field ball into the arms of the on rushing Evan Keane, who tapped the ball over the bar for his third point of the game. This scored ended the half at 2-6 to 0-8.
The second half was a different story but nonetheless entertaining. The scores dried up but the blood began to boil as from the throw-up DCU rattled the base of the post from thirteen meters out, a chance that should have been goal number three. However, it was Queen’s who hit first with what was to be their only score for 25 minutes. As the game entered its’ final quarter tempers began to rise, increasing the workload of the referee. However, DCU kept their heads and began to pile on the pressure.
Three unanswered points, which included a 45 from Man of the Match Stephen O’Brien, really killed the tie as Queens never looked like troubling Flynn’s goal.
Yet this game had another twist; an attempt from DCU’s Adam Gallagher went over the post, which is technically classed as wide. However, the umpire raised the white flag. The Queen’s goalkeeper then ran over to the umpire and struck him in the chest. Referee McCorrmack must have been feeling very generous however as he only showed the net minder a yellow card.
The game then fizzled out as DCU’s solid defence only allowed Queen’s two more points in the remaining minutes. The game ended up an easy 2-10 to 0-10 points victory for the Glasnevin outfit.
DCU are now set to play Jordonstown this coming Thursday with the venue and time yet to be confirmed.