Dublin University Association Football Club (DUAFC) Senior Men’s Team continued their positive start to the season on Thursday night as they came back to beat Inchicore 2-1 at the Iveagh Grounds. This was their second victory in 3 games this season since they were promoted to the Leinster Senior Football League Division Sunday 1A. A resilient spirit proved key as the hosts had to really dig in to come back into the game.
The away side started the stronger as DUAFC were put on the back foot. They struggled to keep the ball early on and Inchicore’s use of the long ball tore huge holes in Trinity’s defence. Inchicore’s Jamie Doran-Cogan in particular made a bright start to the game, shipping through balls behind a shaky DU backline. The first goal came around the ten-minute mark as Karl Malone’s freekick was met at the back post and a looping header over the goalkeeper’s head made it 1-0 to the visitors.
Devin Connolly kept the home side in the game with some great saves and right-back Dan Kane made a hugely important block on the line from an Inchicore corner. DUAFC had some opportunities as the first half progressed with the best of them falling to Ronan Hanaphy, one scuffed strike from the edge of the box and a glancing volley that was always going to be difficult to guide towards goal. As half-time approached play from both sides got scruffier as they struggled to keep the ball and find that clinical pass in the oppositions final third. When the whistle blew Inchicore were left rueing their missed chances and DUAFC were aware they would need to improve.
As things kicked off again Inchicore came flying out the gates applying early pressure and coming at the home-sides’ back line with a relentless energy. Again, and again No. 11 Jack Horloy whipped crosses into dangerous areas but ultimately DUAFC managed to weather the storm through a mixture of luck and heroic defence. Their effort was rewarded when in the 72nd minute Jason Boateng made a driving run into the opposition penalty area and finished with a sumptuous effort into the top corner. DUAFC gained momentum from the goal and began hemming Inchicore into their own half. In the 80th minute their perseverance paid off and captain Ronan Hanaphy, who had been guilty of wasting chances early on, received the ball outside the box and made no mistake, striking the ball across goal into the bottom corner.
The visitors tried to get something from the game late on but thanks once again to brilliant saves from Devin Connolly, the students managed to secure victory. Speaking after the game Hanaphy expressed his delight at back-to-back wins for his side: “The lads all around the pitch worked very hard and we got the reward for that hard work. Based off of our first half performance I feel we had a lot of luck getting the win, but we’ve been due a bit of luck to be honest.”
With this win DUAFC really established themselves in the division, beating a side which finished 5th last year. The three points gained here catapulted them up to 5th place in the table.