DCU Force suffered a heavy 15-3 defeat at the hands of UL at St Clare’s last Wednesday, seeing them knocked out after a great run to the semi-final.
In the first five minutes of the match DCU held their own and out-half Richie Keane slotted a penalty giving them their only points of the match.
UL were a physically stronger team but DCU held a strong defensive line with UL unable to break the tackles in the first half. Second row, Ben Mortimer, and Irish youth international, Collie Joyce-Ahern, made strong tackles against the physical UL players.
UL failed to keep their discipline in the early stages of the match, conceding 13 penalties in the first half in comparison to DCU conceding five, with referee, Paddy Mann, quick to call on fouls.
Both teams failed to capitalise on the penalties, with UL even missing a kick in front of the posts from inside the 22.
UL fullback, Callum McElligot, scored a try halfway through the first half, giving UL a two point lead, as DCU continued to battle the wind.
Tempers boiled over between the two teams towards the end of the first half as handbags were exchanged after a late tackle.
The second half kicked off with UL scoring a try, as DCU’s back line seemed afraid to tackle the aggressive UL players.
DCU came very close to a try as openside flanker, Jacob O’Keefe, broke clear of the UL line but was chopped down five metres out.
DCU had many chances and remained in UL’S 22 for much of the second half but were unable to break down the visitors.
DCU showed great ball skills and kept their discipline throughout the game but this was eventually compromised by UL’s brutal strength.
At the end of the second half, UL kept DCU camped within their 22 but the home side showed grit and determination to prevent UL from crossing the line again.
DCU had another chance to score a try with winger, Cathal Boyle, flying down the pitch, only to end up knocking the ball on.
In the last 15 minutes of the game, DCU upped the intensity and had another opportunity to score a try, but a choke-tackle saw the turnover go in the favour of the Limerick side.
UL, who had a 7 point lead over DCU, began initiating time-wasting techniques.
Concentration was high in the final minutes of the game. UL had two chances to score a try, with DCU maintaining their strong defence. A scrum in DCU’s 22 led to UL player Callum McElligot scoring his second try of the match, enough to see the visitors over the line.
DCU now look forward to hosting the annual All-Ireland Intervarsity 7’s tournament in April in which they hope to avenge last year’s defeat in the final against Queen’s University Belfast.