St Patrick’s College 1-08
Dublin City University 6-14
Captain Siobhán Woods scored a hat-trick in Dublin City Unversity’s win over its nearest neighbours St Patrick’s College in their O’Rourke Cup match on Wednesday, October 19th.
A strong second half performance from the DCU ladies’ team saw them build on their two-point lead at half time to take a comprehensive win over the home side. Siobhán Woods and substitute Margaret Mohan contributed to score five of the team’s six goals.
St Patrick’s College kept DCU under pressure during the first half with captain Muireann Ní Scanaill scoring the team’s opening three points. After her first free kick dropped short into the keeper’s hands, Ní Scanaill went on to score her next five frees consecutively.
The DCU defence were quick to put in tackles and get in front of their markers when Pat’s were on the break, making it difficult for them to carry or pass the ball with ease. Pat’s had to resort to playing in the high ball which worked in favour of the home team who were creating chances off the break.
DCU showed composure to score their only goal of the first half after finding it difficult to create space due to Pat’s dropping a player in the backs operating as a sweeper.
After stopping a Pat’s attack, centre back Leah Caffrey carried the ball forward on the counter in to the half forward where Muireann Atkinson laid it off for Eva Woods to find the net.
Caffrey, who was recently nominated for her first TG4 All-Star award for her role in Dublin’s All-Ireland runners-up campaign, proved her class tidying up loose balls at the back and moving the ball forward efficiently.
St. Pat’s responded positively to conceding a goal through Sarah Shannon who scored a well-placed goal. The high ball proved troubling for the visitors once again as Pat’s half-forward Laura Griffin had an opportunity to put the Drumcondra side ahead only to pass it off when in space in front of goal.
DCU once again broke up the attack and countered. The ball was played forward to Éabha Rutledge who plucked the ball from the air and scored with her right foot from just inside the 15 meter line to put DCU two points ahead at half time, 1-06 to 1-04.
DCU stepped up a gear in the second half bringing on fresher Margaret Mohan and Mayo senior player Sarah Rowe, adding pace to the full forward line. Rowe made her presence known immediately notching the first score of the second half.
The Mayo star assisted two of the team’s goals while being involved in most of the team’s attacks throughout the second half.
DCU proved too strong as the dominance of the forwards continued, with Siobhán Woods running riot to score an unanswered 2-1 and Rowe scoring a further two points. Woods went on to score her third, completing a hat-trick and finishing the match with 3-2.
The DCU attack didn’t let up in the closing stages of the match as Margaret Mohan scored two goals and Sarah Rowe nearly netted a goal herself, hitting the cross bar from a long-range effort just before the final whistle.
Despite the wide margin of victory, Woods spoke after the match about the attitude change at half time and where they went wrong in the first half.
“We were very poor in the first half in terms of our first touch. It was probably just nerves in that half so we settled down, made the simple ball and took our scores.”
She also commented on how their rivals put it up to them, only for her team to raise their game and close out the second half in style.
“They asked questions of us in the first half but we definitely stepped it up in the second.”
With the game slipping away from Pat’s, they still kept up the pressure and intensity throwing bodies over the ball blocking two consecutive shots. They were rewarded for their perseverance with another free from Ní Scanaill.
Student manager Richie O’Sullivan gave credit to his team for their effort throughout the match noting one or two players for their exceptional performances.
“Ellen O’Brien and Muireann Ní Scanaill had a great game but you can’t really pick out one player. They all had great games.”
He also noted the areas he will look to improve going forward.
“We’re going to go back to the training ground and work on fitness. We weren’t ourselves today.”
Image credit: Darragh Culhane