DCU Ladies continued their impressive form in the group stages of the O’Connor Cup with what appeared to be a comprehensive win over UCD in St Clare’s on February 26th.
The scoreline didn’t reflect the actual nature of the match, however, as both teams had an equal share of possession and scoring chances for large portions of the match.
DCU opened the scoring after nine minutes with a coolly taken free from corner-forward Siobhan Woods. The resulting kick-out went straight to midfielder Clodagh McMenamin. She passed to Woods who went on to score the second point of the game.
DCU settled down after opening the scoring and began making headway in the UCD half, looking strong when breaking up the field. After good build-up play by DCU’s forwards, the ball fell to full-forward Cliodhna McHugh, who scored the opening goal of the game.
DCU didn’t have to wait long before their next goal, as half-forward Leah Caffrey struck the ball into the bottom corner to give them an early lead of eight points midway through the half.
The UCD team had plenty of possession close to DCU’s goal at times, but weren’t able to convert it into scores. UCD were able to find plenty of space in midfield but their forwards struggled to get free of their markers, with play inside DCU’s 20-metre line very congested.
They got their first point of the match on 19 minutes when wing-forward Martha Byrne scored for the visitors. DCU got the last score of the half. Caffrey made space for an excellent point after a strong run to leave DCU leading by 2-4 to 0-1 at half-time.
Immediately after the game resumed, Laura McEnaney and Woods both scored points for the Glasnevin side. It was an explosive start but DCU seemed to peter out a bit afterwards, allowing UCD to maintain possession in their half for long periods.
The game should have been tighter than it was. UCD missed plenty of chances to pull themselves back into the game and hit far too many wides. They scored their second point of the game after 10 minutes of the second half. Full-forward Laura Nerney managed to keep the ball inside the post to make the score 2-6 to 0-2. DCU allowed just one more point from UCD in the game.
DCU corner-forward Woods scored four points in the last 10 minutes, bringing her tally to seven points for the day. Sub Róisín Colleary and wing-back Sinéad Greene added one point apiece to leave the full-time score at 2-12 to 0-3.
DCU face University of Limerick next with both teams on two wins and already qualified for the finals weekend in Queens University Belfast. DCU manager Mark Fitzpatrick said, “The last three games we’ve played against UL have been decided by a point so we’re expecting a tough match.”
DCU: 1. Aisling Tarpey 2. Naomi Doonan 3. Leona Ryder 4. Amy Bell 5. Sinéad Greene (0-1) (17. Lauren Farrell) 6. Mary Naughton 7. Deirdre Murphy 8. Becky Walsh (20. Lyndsay Peat) 9. Clodagh McMenamin 10. Fiona Skelly (23. Lorraine O’Shea) 11. Laura McEnaney (0-1) 12. Leah Caffrey (1-1) 13. Lucy Collins (21. Róisín Colleary (0-1)) 14. Cliodhna McHugh (1-1) 15. Siobhan Woods (0-7)
UCD: 1. Hannagh Tyrell 2. Ciara Murphy 3. Deirdre Kearney 4. Ciara McDermot 5. Karen McGarth 6. Jane Moore 7. Molly Lamb 8. Niamh Collins 9. Clara Fitzpatrick 10. Sinéad Kennedy 11. Louise Monaghan 12. Martha Byrne (0-1) 13. Gillian Dufficy 14. Laura Nerney (0-1) 15. Áine Heslin