DCU held all the aces in facile win over UCD

Conor Breslin

DCU 2:20 UCD 2:07

Paddy Christie’s men rarely had to get out of second gear in their facile 13-point win over local Dublin rivals UCD in St Clare’s GAA ground last Wednesday night.

Leading by five points at the break (1:07 to 0:05) the men from North Dublin completely overran UCD in a match that was completely one sided and lacked any form of senior university football intensity.

It took less than 45 seconds for DCU to open the score with 19-year-old Oisin Gallen landing his first of what would be eight points from a thirteen metre free.

UCD were able to dominate the kick outs in the opening quarter of the game to land scores from all three of their inside forwards, Keenan Donohue, Conor Moriarty and Gary Walsh. However, DCU were able to counter this by mastering their quick long ball system into their full forward line resulting in two points for Gallen and one for Mark Barry to bring the match level after 20 minutes.

While DCU had seven wides in the first half, it didn’t come back to haunt them and by the 26 minute of the first half the match turned in their favour. A simple passing error from UCD’s half back Barry O’Sullivan ended with Brian Stack driving through the heart of the UCD defence and ending with the Roscommon man slotting the ball low into the left side of the net.

The final act of the first half resulted from a relentless and overpowering DCU defence turning over half forward Fiachra Clifford, driving in numbers down the field with corner back Conor Morrison on the end of a fisted point to bring DCU to the dressing room at half time with a five-point lead.

There was no way back for UCD in the second half, with the boys in blue only registering four scores in the second thirty minutes of the match. DCU on the other hand started in great fashion with Mark Barry and Stephen Smith landing the ball over the bar in the opening sixty seconds of the second half.

Gaps were appearing in the UCD defence with midfielder Shane Carthy and corner forward Oisin Gallen, who seemed “unmarkable” at this stage, taking advantage and slotting over fine points to their names.

DCU’s second goal arrived in the 40th minute of the match and it was substitute Paddy Small at his absolute best. Receiving the ball from midfield, he drove for centre. After playing a one-two with Mark Barry to open possibilities, Small superbly picked his spot with a pin point finish pass UCD keeper O’Rourke.

UCD were not going down easily and were able to pull out two amazing goals from Evan Calfield and Sean Egan in the final fifteen minutes. With both men surrounded by an army of DCU players, under pressure both goals, somehow, managed to bomb passed Evan Comerford into the top right corner of the net.

This was no way near enough for UCD to come back and final scores, what looked like target practice at this stage, from DCU’s Brian Stack, Oisin Gallen and Shane Tierney put a final thirteen-point deficit between the sides.

With TU Dublin up next in the league, manager Paddy Christie doesn’t want his side to get carried away. “The league is about trying players out. I don’t believe that to be UCD’s best side. We had perhaps our strongest team out and we still made simple mistakes in turnovers and wides so we still have a lot to work on,” said Christie.

DCU Team: Evan Comerford, Conor Morrison, Brendan McCole, Daniel Corcoran, Neil Matthews, Mark Plunkett, Kevin Flynn, Shane Carthy, Sean McMahon, Brian Stack, Michael Bannigan, David McEntee, Stephen Smith, Mark Barry, Oisin Gallen

Subs Used: Shairoze Akram, Paddy Small, Owen McDonnell, Paul Tolan, Thomas Donohue, Nathan Gavigan, Mark Curran, Billy Mannion, Mickey Gordan, Shane Tierney.


UCD Team: Gerard O’Rourke, Sean Egan, Stephen Cowan, Paddy Larkin, Ryan O’Toole, Emmet Maloney, Barry O’Sullivan, Michael Breen, Dara Kennedy, Fiachra Clifford, Evan Calfield, Keenan Donohue, Conor Moriarty, Gary Walsh

Conor Breslin

Image Credit: Ruairi Carberry