In what was an evenly matched encounter at times between DCU and Queens University Belfast it was DCU’s ability to convert their chances in the opening half that proved decisive in this Division 1 league tie, eventually winning out 4-9 to 0-6.
DCU conceded the opening score in the first half through some good play from the Queens half forward line but it was all DCU for the next 15 minutes. Enda Smith was the fulcrum for all of the home side’s play in this period of dominance.
Smith breaking out of his own half back line set up brother Donal, only for his shot at goal to be saved. Persistence paid off however as, soon after, a goalmouth scramble after good build up play from DCU led to a goal for Enda Smith, giving DCU a two point lead early on.
DCU pushed on with points from Murphy and Daly. The latter coming from particularly good link up play from the Smith brothers, a common theme in the DCU attack. After 15 minutes the brothers again combined to notch up another score with Enda having to leave the pitch soon after due to an injury picked up from a late tackle. DCU found themselves 1-4 to 0-2 up after 15 minutes.
The loss of Smith didn’t weaken the side however as his replacement, Gary Kelly, scored a fine point with his first touch from 30 metres out. DCU’s confidence was growing and they soon went for the jugular.
In a three minute spell that would have broken the spirit of most teams DCU converted three goal chances that put an end to the game as a contest.
Conor McGraynor was looking menacing at full forward and finally got his opportunity to strike; first turning his man who had been touch tight until and converting the chance with deadly accuracy. Donal Smith then added to his tally for the day as he also converted his goal chance after some good build up play further out the field.
McGraynor then finished the rout with a goal similiar to his first as he turned his man and dispatched the ball into the back of the net. The game as a contest was over as Smith added a final point before the half time whistle with DCU leading 4-6 to 0-2.
The second half was a dour affair with both sides having lost interest in the tie, DCU had it wrapped up and Queens just wanted to go home.
Overall it was an impressive first half from DCU where the game was killed off but the second half called for more ruthlessness that will be needed against some of the bigger opponents in the division.
DCU: Tadhg Lowe, Jack Smith, Donal Wrynn, Desmond Word, Jonathan Bealin, Colm Begley(0-1), Conor Daly(0-1), Thomas Flynn, Brian Donnelly, Enda Smith (1-0), Niall Murphy(0-1) Eoin O’ Connor, David Munnix, Conor McGraynor(2-1), Donal Smith (1-3).
Subs: Brendan Flynn, Gary Kelly(0-1), Connor McNally(0-1), Rory Connor, Ciaran Ward, Fintan Kelly, Simon McCoy, Edwin Murray.
Image Credit: Gianluca Avagnina