Fightback sees DCU Fresher Footballers progress to All-Ireland semi-final

Conor Breslin

DCU 3:17 Queens 3:11

DCU Fresher Footballers came from six points down at half time to overcome Queens University after extra time in St Clare’s to advance into the All-Ireland semi-final.

In what was an extremely close match, it was the super subs from DCU who made the difference by netting three goals in extra time to snatch the victory for the University from North Dublin.

DCU got on the score sheet first with a point from corner forward Oisin Gallen, however Queens University would quickly reply with three scores of their own on the bounce from Cathal Gorman, Eoin McGeehan and the lightning half back Fintan Canavan. Queens looked far the stronger team in the first half offensively, and it showed.

Straight after DCU’s full forward Peter Gillooly scored a brilliant point for his team, Queens responded quickly with them sending a long ball into their full forward line which resulted in DCU goalkeeper Dean McDermott fumbling the ball in his box which Queens corner forward Liam Hughes responded to and fired the loose ball into the back of the DCU net in the fifth minute.

Oisin Gallen kept driven his team forward with two points from him and one from half forward James Doran who seemed to cover every inch of grass during the match. Queens kept calm and fortunately for them netted their second goal ten minutes after their first when half forward Ryan Cush drove through the DCU defence to display a hanging cross goal ball for Cathal Gorman to power into the net.

Things then went from bad to worse for DCU as corner back Conor Doyle came off injured and Oisin Gallen was black carded for a high challenge. Peter Gillooly and Mark Barry hit two late points to send DCU into the dressing room trailing by six points.

DCU eventually sprung to life in the second half only conceding two points in thirty minutes with substitutes Darragh Kirwan, David Lacey and Harry Ladd all landing on the scoresheet. Corner forward Mark Barry created havoc inside driving at the Queens defence and landing five points for his team.

With five minutes of the match remaining it was substitute David Lacey who levelled the sides for only the second time in the match. Moments later a foul on DCU resulted in the Laois native Mark Barry sending the ball between the posts to give his side the lead.

Queens did not die out however and immediately equalised with a free from Oisin Donnelly. A final kick for David Lacey on what could have been the winner resulted in a wide which sent the teams to twenty minutes of extra time.

The never say die attitude from the University from North Dublin was apparent as extra time opened with substitute Pat Lambert landing DCU’s first goal of the match. As DCU pressured the Queens defence and kickouts, Queens seemed to collapse of exhaustion.

Half back Oran Doogan increased the lead from a fisted point of his own, but it was David Lacey and Darragh Kirwan who put the icing on the cake with two goals deep into extra time in what manager Michael McConilouge referred to after the match as “Fergie Time”.

DCU now advance to the All-Ireland semi final where they will play UCD.

DCU Team: Dean McDermott, Daniel Corcoran, Matt Moran, Conor Doyle, Oran Doogan, Neil Matthews, PJ Masterson, Seamus Lacey, Neil Byrne, Joe Hagan, James Doran, Lanty Molloy, Oisin Gallen, Peter Gillooly, Mark Barry.

Subs used: Fiachra Potts, David Lacey, Darragh Kirwan, Harry Ladd, Pat Lambert, Dylan O’Connell;  

Queens Team: Raymond Kelly, Thomas Gordan, Ardan McAvoy, Jamie Lamont, Diarmuid Baker, Peter Fegan, Fintan Canavan, Tiarnan Bogue, Billy Campbell, Ryan Cush, Oisin Donnelly, Liam Hughes, Cathal Gorman, Eoin McGeehan, Paddy Finnegan.

Subs Used: Nathan McCarran, Oran Mallon, Rory Anderson, Malachai McAvoy, Adam Connolly.

Conor Breslin

Image Credit: DCU