A resolute display from DCU’s senior football team earned them a place in Saturday’s Crowley Cup semi-final with a 4-0 win over UUC on Friday afternoon at St. Clare’s
Goals from Kevin Hughes, William Dunne, Sean Ryan and Festus Ejike booked the hosts’ place in Saturday’s semi-final fixtures where they will face either Queen’s University Belfast or UCC.
DCU were 1-0 up after only eight minutes of play as a William Dunne effort from fifteen yards could only be palmed away by UUC goalkeeper Jamie McAtarsney into the path of midfielder Kevin Hughes who rebounded the ball into the back of the net to establish an early lead.
UUC offered an immediate response to this setback by countering the DCU setup from the tip-off as forward Tom Higgins found himself one-on-one with DCU goalkeeper Abdelhamid Founan however the striker’s effort dragged narrowly wide of the goal.
The visitors built on their early confidence and pushed DCU further as link-up play between forwards Cormac McMillan, Ryan McMullan and Tom Higgins caused the hosts problems all throughout the first half, with the closest opportunity falling to midfielder Chris Simms.
A Jason Haire corner was not dealt with properly by the DCU defence, with the ball falling to Simms who’s shot lacked a firm connection and was saved comfortably by DCU ‘keeper Founan.
DCU came back at the visitors and maintained dominance throughout the remainder of the first half. Despite the compact nature of the game and the lack of space the tight pitch afforded, DCU midfielder Tolu Asemota was able to carve chances for forwards William Dunne and Abdulgzes Mahamoud Giumaa.
The two striker’s combined effectively throughout the game with Giumaa acting as a fulcrum to Dunne’s runs, with the two exchanging passes excellently. Dunne finally got his break before the interval as a Killian Ward corner was knocked on in the direction of the UUC goalkeeper before being flicked into the goal neatly by Dunne – the game now effectively over as a contest.
UUC came back into the game after the break however a lack of presence from many of their players showed the gulf in class between the two sides. Individual performances from UUC’s standout players brought a sense of balance to the game before a Sean Ryan strike from outside the UUC penalty area rifled into the back of the net to put the game to bed.
A fourth and final goal was added in the final minutes for DCU as left-back Festus Ejike latched onto a Ciaran Faherty pass before dribbling past two UUC defenders and dispatching the ball accurately into the back of the net.
DCU: Abdelhamid Founan; Shane Murphy, Aaron Flanagan Gannon, Sean Ryan, Festus Ejike, Kevin Hughes, Killian Ward (Tosin Tokin 80), Tolu Asemota, Ciaran Faherty, William Dunne (Mahmoud Grumaa 89), Abdulgzes Mahamoud Giumaa (Cathal Duggan 73)
UUC: Jamie McAtarsney; Grant Troupe, James Brennan (Ryan Caren 61), Paddy Hughes, Daniel Winchster, Jason Haire, Mitchell Finlay, Chris Simms, Cormac McMillan, Tom Higgins, Ryan McMullan
Image Credit: Cian Roche