The College View 14
A complete team performance from The College View saw them retain the Bill O’Herlihy Cup in a tough match against a game DCUfm side at the DCU Soccer Centre on Wednesday afternoon.
The initial threat of rain gave way to a bright afternoon’s day, and both sides produced an epic worthy of the occasion, but it was the Reds who brought home the gold, winning 14-12.
A three-goal advantage at half-time was retained for much of the second half before FM – led by an inspired performance from man-of-the-match Enda Coll, who scored six of their 12 goals – pulled the deficit back to just a single goal, heading into a heated last three minutes.
However, View weathered the storm to take home a second consecutive success in the annual showpiece of the DCU sporting calendar. Team captain Aidan Geraghty spoke of his delight as he lifted the trophy again before his departure from the paper in a few weeks.
“[DCUfm] gave us a great game this year,” he said, “even for the neutral spectator it was a great game to watch, but I’m delighted that we won.”
“Especially seeing as I came in with The College View having lost three Billo Cups in a row, I’m absolutely delighted.”
A rowdy audience of approximately 40 descended upon the Soccer Centre, and didn’t have to wait long for a goal. Coll gave FM the lead after just three minutes, with a well-struck shot after an unlucky bounce wrong-footed View goalkeeper Gavin Quinn.
The sides went blow-for-blow for much of the first half. View relied on strong dribbling power and individual play going forward, while FM looked to exploit the large gaps in the middle of the park that continuously opened up.
With the scores tied at 4-4 in the 22nd minute, the champions shut out their challengers for the rest of the half, with a nasty deflected goal followed up by a brace for Liam Ashton sending View into half-time 7-4 up.
Fans continued to file in as the second half started, with the Reds noticeably looking to slow the game down and control the advantage they had built up.
Danny Quinn got the radio boys on the second half scoresheet but was later booked for excessive celebration after removing his shirt.
A penalty was awarded to FM with nine minutes gone in the second half after an Aaron Gallagher handball. Coll put it away past Gavin Quinn to complete his hat-trick.
Coll, described as “an absolute horse of a man” by Geraghty after the game, took over the next ten minutes, bagging another three goals in an exemplary one-man showing of strength and skill. However, defensive weaknesses from the Greens continued to cost them as the scoreline read 12-9 entering the final ten minutes.
The legs began to wear down for View as FM seemed to be the fitter side, and a fabulous save from Cathal O’Rourke to deny Ashton his hat-trick with seven minutes to go could well have been a spirit breaker.
But FM, plagued by inconsistent luck in front of goal all game (they hit the frame of the goal four times in 15 minutes in the first half) were unable to find the equaliser in those final three minutes, and View held on to win.
Geraghty praised the spirited performance of the FM side after the game, citing their energy at the end and determination to keep going, but also said it was great to bow out a winner.
“This was my last act as sports editor, so I’m glad that we went out on a high.”
Image Credit: Sarah O’Neill