Trinity College: 0-7
Cold was the night, bright were the lights and dazzling was the display from DCU last Wednesday night, October 21st as they beat Trinity College Dublin by a clear margin of 3-19 to 0-7 in Ringsend.
The Ryan Cup Division One clash saw Niall Moyna’s DCU run into a quick five point lead, with Wicklow full-forward Conor McGraynor tagging on three points inside the opening five minutes to get the Sigerson champions going.
McGraynor’s patented catch, swivel and hooking of the ball over the crossbar was added to by scores from half-back Conor Moynagh and Rory Connor all before Trinity’s full-back Sean Mulhern was forced off due to injury.
Trinity registered their first score as Eoin Kent reeled away from his marker to find the time and space to slot the ball over from twenty metres after 15 minutes, before Ryan Lyons’ side-footed effort on goal, destined for the back of the net flew over the crossbar to put DCU 0-6 to 0-1 ahead.
Their lead however was cut to three points when Tiernan Daly dummied his way past Colm Begley to get his first score of the game, with David Boothman kicking over a free from range.
DCU began to put distance between the teams as Enda Smith and Desmond Ward each kicked points before Rory Connor etched the lead to six points, the forward running directly through the heart of the Trinity defence before hitting over.
This before Trinity’s consistently spirited display reaped rewards as Mick O’Grady got the score of the game before half time. O’Grady balanced the ball neatly between his shoulders before releasing a shot into the unpredictable conditions of the night – the ball seemingly directed wide before an unknown ally in the form of the night’s wind steered the ball gracefully to lick the post and ping over.
However the game was ultimately steered by the overlooking command of DCU who took control yet again to pull back two more points to end the half 0-11 to 0-5 ahead.
DCU single-handedly blew the game away early on in the second half as three goals in under ten minutes settled the result with little under half an hour still to play. Kevin Feely dispatched the first after a quick handpass from Mark Plunkett set the substitute goalbound.
This was followed by Conor McGraynor who rattled the ball into the top corner against the run of play, before provider turned goalscorer Plunkett ran onto a short McGraynor pass before sending his marker flying with a clever dummy and guiding the ball past Trinity goalkeeper Michael Shiel, the scoreline now set at 3-14 to 0-6.
Late scores from Enda Smith, Ryan Lyons and Jonathan Bealin on top of two more from Rory Connor ensured DCU ran away comfortable winners on the night.
DCU manager Niall Moyna reflected happily on his side’s win as the reigning Sigerson champions made it two wins from two following their 4-16 to 0-3 hammering of IT Carlow.
Trinity’s spirited first half display however, down 0-11 to 0-5 at the interval, earned the respect and praise of the long-serving DCU manager Moyna.
“I thought they were outstanding in the first half, definitely,” he said. “To be fair to them playing against the wind I thought they were extremely good. We were fortunate at the beginning of the second half to get the early goals which gave us a great platform.”
The win sees DCU go top of Division One Group A in this year’s Ryan Cup, with Moyna asserting there was still progress to be made within the team to reach the level of ability showcased in February’s Sigerson Cup final.
“There’s a lot of work to be done. It was nice that a lot of players got to play and that’s the key at this time of the year that as many of the panel get the opportunity to play (as possible). After Christmas they will all have felt that they have gotten the opportunity to be seen.”
Next up for DCU is an away trip to Belfield on November 3rd where they will face off against last year’s beaten semi-finals UCD.
“Look, they’re a perennial powerhouse,” Moyna noted. “33 Sigersons – they’re always the team to beat. But we always love playing them.”
DCU: Brendan Flynn; Stephen Attride, Cian Burke, Jack Smith, Jonathan Bealin, Conor Moynagh, Colm Begley, Stephen O’Brien, Kevin Brady, Rory Connor, Enda Smith, Mark Plunkett, Ryan Lyons, Conor McGraynor, Desmond Ward
TCD: Michael Shiel; Gareth Deery, Sean Mulhern, Jack Bell, Karl Archbold, Mick O’Grady, Tadhg McGovern, Simon Owens, Tiernan Brady, Cian O’Donoghue, David Boothman, Eoin O’Neill, Luke Tynan, Conor O’Driscoll, Eoin Kent
Photo credit: Chaitanya Brady