The DCU Freshers football league ambitions have been put in doubt after their epic draw with DIT freshers in St Clair’s last Wednesday.
After an early DIT blitz DCU came roaring into the second quarter of the half with two quick goals.
Half forward Jordan Morrissey created the first chance winning then ball outside the ‘D’ and running through before being tripped in the square. David Garland converted the penalty and DCU were visibly growing in pace and confidence into the half.
Moments later DIT were reeling again as a combined effort from Morrissey and Garland gave the ball to powerful full-forward Luke Gilmartin, who palmed the ball over the line. Frees from DIT’s full-forward kept them in check before the team’s number 13 ran through, smashing a brilliant goal into the top right-hand corner.
The halftime score gave DCU a two-point lead 2-9 to 2-7.
Garland got things underway in the second half with an easily fisted point for DCU following a pacey opening attack. A minute later, DIT’s full-forward was black carded for a deliberate pull down, but his departure served to strengthen their resolve.
DCU’s Shane Tierney pointed a free before DIT went on a four point scoring crusade, narrowing the gap to 2-11 to 2-10.
Interceptions and turnovers in midfield provided this platform for attack as DCU were caught going forward on all four occasions. The remainder of the half was nervy, with wayward passes and easy scoring chances blundered on both sides, leading to pleas from the side-line to “take your time on the ball”.
Four out of DCU’s remaining scores came from frees, with centre forward Frank O’Reilly getting their last point from play. DIT were in the driving seat going into the last quarter as they kicked four points on the trot to go a point ahead of DCU at 2-16 to 2-15.
David Garland saved DCU from total elimination from the tournament with a free kick sealing the draw with the last play of the game. DCU’s hopes in the league will now depend on other results following the draw.
“It’s frustrating. We had the winning of it. But, overall I’m proud of the lads for the way in which they came back” said DCU manager Brendan Gillen.
In regards to the year ahead Gillen is now focused on the Freshers Championship.
“It’s (the Freshers League) out of our hands now so we’ll focus on the championship” said Gillen.