DCU fall short to NUIG in All-Ireland Freshers Final

Conor McKenna

DCU Freshers side

NUIG 2-13
DCU 1-15

DCU suffered defeat in the All-Ireland Freshers football championship final, with a strong NUIG side proving too strong for the Dublin college.

Tommy Conroy was majestic for NUIG and they were never behind throughout the match, although DCU will be disappointed with the manner of this defeat.

DCU went into the interval level, but NUIG were just about the better side and deserved to lift the trophy.

The victors were prepared to do everything possible to win this match, with the referee showing two black cards to the Connacht side in the closing stages of the game.

NUIG had a dream start to the game as Tommy Conroy found the net in the first minute of the match, with what was a superb solo effort to beat the DCU goalkeeper.

DCU responded with a free from Laois’s Mark Barry, before corner forward Cathal Heneghan pointed for NUIG.

Three successive DCU scores levelled procedures, before Heneghan restored his sides advantage with a neat effort.

An Oisin Gallen effort doubled his sides lead, although the sides were level with 25 minutes on the clock, before Conroy added his second goal to give NUIG a three point lead.

The Neale player found himself in a great position and made no mistake with the finish and it was followed up with a score from Heneghan to give his side a four point cushion.

James Doran responded for DCU, before Mark Barry found the net on the stroke of half time, as the teams went into interval level on a score-line of NUIG 2-5, DCU 1-8.

It was tit for tat for large periods of the second half, with both teams cancelling each other out, but a series of excellent NUIG scores, gave the Connacht side a four team lead with four minutes left to play.

Darragh Kirwan registered a much needed score to reduce the deficit to three and twice DCU players were fouled in scoreable positions with the referee opting to show two black cards to NUIG players.

DCU were attacking and an overlapping opportunity presented itself, with the North Dublin side two points down, before James Doran was taken to the ground by Dylan Buckley who was shown a black card.

Barry pointed the resulting free, but NUIG held out for a narrow one point win.

DCU: David O’Hanlon; Daniel Corcoran, Matt Moran, Conor Doyle; Oran Doogan. Neil Matthews, PJ Masterson; Seamus Lacey, Darragh Kirwan (0-2); Joe Hagan (0-1), James Doran (0-2), Lanty Molloy; Oisin Gallen (0-3, 1f), David Lacey, Mark Barry (1-6, 4f).

Subs: Harry Ladd for Molloy (h-t), Fiachra Potts for Moran (34), Peter Gillooly (0-1) for Lacey (39), Brian Diver for Hagan (50), Mikey Culhane for Gallen (58), A Mulvany for Doyle (60).

NUIG: Cian Lankford; Dylan Buckley, Mark Barrett, John Cooke; Gavin Burke, Conor Campbell, Jack McSharry; Evan O’Brien (0-1, 1f), Gavin Durkan (0-1); Dean Brophy, Robert Walzer (0-3, 1f), Liam Burke; Cathal Heneghan (0-6, 3f), David Kelly, Tommy Conroy (2-1).

Subs: Lorcan Molloy for L Burke (39), Sean McUidlin (0-1) for O’Brien (48), Ryan Cunningham for Kelly (50), Evan O’Brien for Durkan (B/C, 58), J Sugrue for Walzer (59), M Barrett for Buckley (B/C, 60).                                                                             

Referee: Brian O’Leary (Wexford).

Conor McKenna

Image Credit: DCUGAAAcademy / Twitter.