The dominance of UCD’s Tipperary pairing of Colin O’Riordain and Liam Casey proved to be the main difference in this Fresher’s Football Division 1 league final in St. Clare’s last Thursday.
The midfield pairing dominated the highball throughout the game and DCU struggled to maintain possession any time they were allowed win their own kick outs. UCD pressed high up the pitch forcing DCU to kick high and long playing perfectly to the of the UCD side who were physically taller and stronger than their DCU counterparts.
The opening quarter was evenly matched with DCU’s midfield pairing of Kevin Traynor and Shane Carthy matching the UCD pair but UCD seemed to have more composure on the ball and found themselves leading 0-4 to 0-2, three of those points coming from the boot the impressive Conor McCarthy who DCU struggled to deal with throughout the game.
It was a UCD blitz that followed, and they left DCU really struggling for answers with the southsiders outscoring DCU five points to one. Yet again, UCD’s Conor McCarthy left little doubt of his shooting skills by chipping in with another three points having yet to hit a wide. UCD found themselves 0-9 to 0-3 with 20 minutes gone and DCU couldn’t effectively respond to UCD’s resilient defensive work.
DCU began to show encouraging signs as they chipped over some points, but yet again UCD had the answer, outscoring DCU 0-3 to 0-2 going in at half time. DCU found themselves with a big hill to climb finding themselves six points down before the second half.
The tempo dropped considerably in the second half with UCD finding themselves with loads of time in space able to chip away at the scoreboard. With the half coming to a close DCU found themselves nine points behind. A goal from Adam Byrne for DCU gave hope of a comeback, but it was not to be.
UCD finished strong, scoring a further four points without reply and finished the game as deserving winners. It was not all bad for DCU though as there were some very positive performances, from Cian Mulligan and Shane Carthy in particular both of which looked very dangerous any time they got their hands on the ball.
DCU: Seán Daffin, David Neary, Des Reynolds, Eoghan Bateman, Liam Henry, Brian O’Shaughnessy, Kevin Breslin , Kevin Traynor, Shane Carthy, Cian Mulligan, Aaron Byrne, Alistair Fitzgerald, Conor Bradley, Patrick Dunican, Diarmuid Breathnach.
Subs: Shane Fitzpatrick, Mustaffa Ahmed, Michael Hall, Ryan Burns, Mark Plunkett, Chris McAneney, David Toner.
Image Credit: Gianluca Avagnina