UCD 0-16, IT Carlow 0-10: UCD continued their good start to the season with their second win in the All-Ireland League, as Micheal Halton looked on

UCD hosted IT Carlow in the second round of the All-Ireland league last Thursday, and emerged victorious after a tight opening half. Carlow presented a strong challenge throughout, but UCD’s more clinical finishing and tighter defence meant that it was the home side that came away with the spoils.

Photo: Daire Brennan
Photo: Daire Brennan

The game opened at a frantic pace with both sides working hard to engineer the opening score. Both teams clocked up a wide apiece before M.J. Tierney opened Carlow’s account with a super point after a clever pick up and strong run. Carlow added another point through Shaw, after a misplaced free in the UCD defence.

UCD got their first score of the half when Mark McGowan slotted over after a wonderful cross-field pass from Rory O’Carroll found David O’Connor in space, who in turn fed the attacking wingback for his first point of the game.

Carlow extended their lead moments later when Kilcoyne shot over after being set up by Tierney. However, UCD responded well and Francis Magee converted a free before adding the equaliser from play following a good interchange between Kelly and McGowan.

Another misplaced free in defence from UCD gave Hickey a chance but his effort drifted wide. Both teams struggled to hold the ball in the forward line as the greasy conditions led to handling errors from both sides. A debatable penalty decision went against UCD when Magee was pulled down, but Paddy Duggan capitalised on the confusion to give UCD the lead.

The lead was short-lived, however, as Carlow counter attacked at pace after Kelly dropped his shot short – Doyle shooting over a fine point. However, Magee responded with another point from play to put UCD ahead once more. Carlow got back on terms with a point from Gannon, before a Tierney free put them in front – but it was Magee again who sent the teams in level at half time.

UCD opened the second half brightly and drove forward from the throw in, though John O’Loughlin’s effort drifted wide. From the kick out, Carlow attacked and Meaney played a sublime ball off the outside of his right into the path of Rogers who fired over to give Carlow the lead.

UCD did not stay behind for long, as two superb points from the left boot of Ciaran Lyng put them back in front. Carlow launched another attack ending with a foul by Curran on Rogers just outside the penalty area. Tierney converted the 13m free before adding another from near the sideline.

Substitute Paddy Brady then found Lyng in space, who notched his third score of the game. McGowan and Brady added further points before a superb O’Loughlin pass led to Lyng notching his fourth as UCD began to put daylight between themselves and their visitors.

Carlow began to work their way back into the game and created opportunities for Rogers, Meaney and Hickey but none were converted, and any pressure on UCD was eased when Magee slotted over to put UCD four points up. Doyle struck back for Carlow moments later to reduce the deficit but further points from Lyng and Brady meant that UCD ran out comprehensive victors and sealed their second win of the competition.

UCD: Mick McGinley; Peter Kelly, Daniel Curran, Mick Fitzsimons; Mark McGowan, John Fitzpatrick, Rory O’Carroll; John O’Loughlin, Niall Higgins; David O’Connor, Paul Kelly, Barry O’Rourke; Ciaran Lyng, Paddy Duggan, Francis Magee.