Beating UCD RFC is no mean feat, no matter what level you are doing it at. If one was to go to a Senior Colours or a Division 9 Metro League fixture, the intensity and skill would vary greatly but the effort displayed would be the same; it’s a match that everyone involved wants to win. That was the case for Friday’s spirited affair under lights in College Park.
As the terrace in front of the Pavillion Bar (Pav) was filling up with students enjoying the first Pav Friday of the new term, College and UCD’s J1 teams were warming up on the football grounds. An 8pm kick-off with little to no wind and dry conditions left no excuse. UCD lined out in their traditional St Patrick’s Blue while DUFC opted for a sleek black jersey with red trim.
UCD kicked off, kicking into the New Square side of the pitch. The first 10 minutes were dominated by the visitors, with College giving away five penalties and conceding a try after sustained pressure. However, College soon recovered, with a strong scrum giving them a penalty on their side of the pitch. The subsequent line-out went DUFC’s way and after a strong maul, scrum half Jack Atkinson crossed the try line in the corner. Full-back Patrick Lysaght missed the conversion, but Trinity was now only two points down, 5-7.
For the next while, College gradually took control of the game, helped with strong running from Alex Cleary and first-centre Victor Allen. However the sustained pressure was awarded when Donagh Hyland crossed to give DUFC a three point lead, with Lysaght’s conversion attempt unfortunately hitting off the post.
UCD managed to take the lead again seven minutes before half time with a well worked try, but that would be the last score for UCD RFC until the end of the second half. To DUFC’s credit, they reacted strongly, finishing out the half with an unconverted try and adding another seven points, five minutes into the new half.
Another score for the men in black was added 20 minutes later, with a penalty being converted to put Trinity 11 points ahead, 25-14, but UCD rallied, looking for a score to save the match. A period of constant pressure off the restart gave them a penalty on DUFC’s 5-metre line. Opting for a quick tap, UCD scored on the sideline and a monster conversion soon followed; with ten minutes left it was all to play for at a four point game.
Out-half Zach Quirke restarted the match opting to go deep into the UCD half. UCD replied by kicking the ball once it was received, whereupon Trinity winger Will Twomey blocked the ball down and won the foot race to the ball bouncing towards the UCD try line, grounding for the all important insurance points. Lysaght converted and the game was well and truly beyond UCD, who managed a conciliation score, with the scoreboard reading 32-26 at full time.