In spite of a high wide-count, UCD was guaranteed qualification with their second round-robin success in the Fitzgibbon Cup at the expense of DIT on Thursday afternoon last.
While they only led by the minimum at the interval, a tenacious defensive endeavour coupled with a potent attack gave UCD the spoils after their first proper test. The Nicky English-managed side’s first-round clash against St. Patrick’s College Drumcondra had not exposed many faults as they had 17 points to spare at the end.
In spite of some wayward shooting in the opening half, UCD still showed promise, especially when captain Cillian Buckley clipped a sweet score from the sideline to give UCD a half-time advantage of 0-7 to 0-6.
Eoin Conroy and Matthew O’Hanlon played with tremendous guile in defence while Conor Devitt and Colm Cronin were both ruthless up-front. Indeed, Oisín O’Ruairc joined the list of top performers as a supersub. The Dubliner came on and claimed 1-6 in all, with the goal coming just after the interval.
After a flurry of points, Colm Cronin found the net once more on 46 minutes to give UCD a lead of 2-11 to 0-10. However DCU rallied back as Donal Breathnach landed a string of points and Kevin O’Flynn snatched a green-flag in the final minute. However, UCD held firm and now must travel to Cork IT on Tuesday evening next for the final round-robin clash. The rebels got the better of St. Patrick’s College Drumcondra today and had five points to spare.
UCD – Billy Leydon, Eoin Conroy, Conor O’Shea, Seán Murphy, Joe Lyng, Matthew O’Hanlon, Cillian Buckley (0-1), Cian O’Callaghan, Cian MacGabhainn, Colm Cronin (1-1), Conor Devitt (0-2), Jack O’Connor, Caolán Conway (0-1), Conor McDonagh, Ross King (0-5, 3 frees). Subs: Oisín O’Ruairc (1-6, 0-4 frees) for Conor McDonagh; Dillon Mulligan for Joe Lyng; Jack O’Connor for Domhnaill Fox; Cian MacGabhainn for Barry Whelan; Caolán Conway for Darach Dolan.
DCU – Cormac Ryan, Gary Bennett, Robert Lennon, Peter Gill, Gavin Bailey, Pat Carroll, Shane Murphy, Mick Daly, Tony French, Cian Boland (0-1), Kevin O’Flynn (1-0), Pádraig Breheny (0-1), Donal Breathnach (0-10, 4 frees) , Cathal Curran, Dan Staunton.
Referee – Patrick Murphy (Carlow).