Semi-final awaits for Fresher hurlers

DCU’s fresher hurling team progressed to the semi-finals of the league on recently with an impressive 6-24 to 3-09 victory over Carlow IT at St. Claire’s.

The result adds to previous wins for the DCU hurlers over DIT, St. Pats and NUI Galway that leaves the Dublin side top of their group with a semi-final fixture against either UCC or CIT set for Thursday.

An inspired performance by DCU’s Seán Gray proved the difference between the sides, with the
half-forward racking up 0-9 in the first half alone. A system of high-intensity pressure was the game plan from the off for DCU, not allowing Carlow any space or time on the ball.

DCU ran into a five point lead early on before a Carlow IT penalty was scored through a rebound after being initially cleared off the DCU line. This was followed up by another Carlow point that left the home side only a point ahead.

A Seán Gray free stretched the DCU lead to two points before another goal from Carlow brought the visitors ahead for the first time in the game. The use of long pucks into the DCU box were extremely effective for the visitors with the goal coming from a long ball dropping behind the DCU full-back line and being pulled along the ground into the net.

The last ten minutes of the first half was largely dominated by DCU with points from Páidí Foley and the ever-present Seán Gray converting all frees that came his way.

A late point for Carlow IT separated the sides at the half before another round of DCU pressure was unleashed upon the visitors after the interval.

A hugely entertaining second half saw early DCU goals from full-forward Sean Ryan as well as points from Daragh Barden and Seán Gray that saw the home side race into a four point lead. This lead was furthered by points from Peter Hogan and second half substitute Padraig Dorran. A display of individual masterclass would see the sub score a further two goals late on, ensuring the win for DCU.

Whereas the first half had been an evenly contested joust between two well balanced sides, the second was nothing less than a rout for DCU. Even the brilliance of Carlow IT full-forward Sean Stafford, who managed to keep his side in the game throughout the first half, could not impede the DCU blitz.

More goals for DCU’s Sean Ryan, created through wonderful link-up play with fellow forwards Peter Hogan and Pádraig Dorran, put the game to bed as far as the contest was concerned. Capable and reassuring defensive performances from DCU’s James Tyrrell and Eoghan O’ Donnell ensured no late revival for Carlow would be on the cards.

Aaron Gallagher

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