UCD 2-8 UL 4-9: UCD’s ladies footballers were unable to turn first-half dominance into a win, as Fintan Collier looked on
UCD’s senior footballing ladies lost at home to University of Limerick in Division One of the All-Ireland Ladies League last Thursday, in an encounter that saw the home side dominate the first half.
UCD were the stronger side at the opening of the game and gave UL few opportunities to advance past their 20-metre line. Noelle Healy showed great pace attacking UL’s defence and opened the score with a goal in the eighth minute.
UL still managed to score a point from tight play, but UCD responded with right corner-forward, Caoilfhionn Deeney, scoring another goal. UCD continued their intense play and scored two more points, one from play and a free. UL’s Shona Curran made some great opportunities for her side, kicking several long balls into UCD’s backs.
Her teammates, though, could not make this possession impact on the scoreboard, as UCD’s full backs kept their visitors at bay and defended against numerous incursions from the UL attack. UL’s midfielders managed to scrape back one point in the closing minutes of the first half to leave the half time score UCD 2-3, UL 0-3.
UCD started the second half strong, with Natalia Hyland scoring a great point after just two minutes of play, though following this the home side lost focus and conceded two goals in less than a minute. UL continued their newfound attack and went on to score a further two points from open play.
The home side won three frees, but failed to convert these into scores and only got one point for their efforts. A fortunate deflection for UCD off the post almost saw another goal for UL, but the loose ball was calmly controlled by UCD’s goalkeeper Deirdre Kelleher and cleared to safety.
UL were the stronger side in the second half and played consistently as a team, working the ball into dangerous positions in UCD’s half. The home side nearly came back with another score, but a powerful shot ricocheted off the cross bar and was scrambled clear.
UL closed out the game with another point built on good work in midfield, leaving the visitors convincing winners on a final scoreline of UCD 2-8, UL 4-9. The home side will need to regroup and reestablish their focus if they have a chance of winning the O’Rourke Cup this year.
UCD: Deirdre Kelleher; Nuala Mohan, Aisling Ní hAmriadh, Lorraine McNulty; Aoife Herbert, Sinead Goldick, Andrea Bowe; Siobhán McCeowan, Natalia Hyland; Noelle Healy, Roisín Friel, Orlaith Doherty; Caoilfhionn Deeny, Ciara Murphy, Lisa Cafferky