Gourmet Food Parlour O’Connor Cup semi-final
Dublin City University (DCU) 3-13
University College Dublin (UCD) 0-10
Emma Duffy reports from IT Blanchardstown
A POWERFUL second-half performance in which their inter-county stars stood up saw DCU past city rivals UCD and into tomorrow’s Gourmet Food Parlour O’Connor Cup final.
On a day where Tipperary star Aishling Moloney starred with 1-6 at IT Blanchardstown, Mayo’s Sarah Rowe and Meath’s Vikki Wall also found the back of the net to see their side progress.
0-7 to 0-4 at half time, DCU found their groove after the break and even when reduced to 14 with 2017 All-Ireland senior champion Lauren Magee sent to the sin bin, they were spurred on further.
The goals soon followed and from there, they didn’t look back.
It was the southsiders who drew first blood through Cavan’s Andrea O’Reilly before DCU registered their opening score in the sixth minute off the boot of Eabha Rutledge.
Moloney soon sprung to life to spearhead a period of dominance which saw DCU 0-5 to 0-2 up after 17 minutes.
In that time, the 2017 intermediate All-Ireland winner split the posts with two well-taken frees and an inspiring effort from play, while Mayo sharpshooter Niamh Kelly opened her account.
Conor Barry’s UCD battled hard, intercepting on several counts around the middle to stay in touch while Catherine Dolan and Lucy McCartan kept the scoreboard ticking over.
As half time approached, Moloney and Kelly again showed their class with influential scores to leave them in good stead at the interval.
On the restart, UCD again struck the first blow through McCartan but the Glasnevin outfit’s inter-county stars well and truly stood up in response.
Moloney and Kelly were again to the fore on the scoring front, while Cavan’s Aisling Sheridan and Mayo’s Sarah Rowe found their feet before the posts and a strong Dublin contingent in defence led by Leah Caffrey got on top.
With 38 minutes on the clock, they lost Magee after a challenge which referee Gus Chapman deemed dangerous. UCD briefly began to claw their way back into the game, but their momentum was soon halted.
DCU were awarded a penalty for a foul on Rowe, one which Moloney expertly slotted. Substitute Vikki Wall followed suit with a goal moments later before Rowe slotted home to make it 3-12 to 0-9 with 10 minutes to play.
As the clock ran down, UCD’s only source of scores came from Dolan free-kicks while DCU impressively held the ball in the closing minutes, throwing it around.
But while DCU dominated the second half, the scoreline could have been tighter only for some immense saves from goalkeeper Emer Ni Eafa.
They now face either reigning champions UL or last year’s finalists UCC in tomorrow’s decider.
Scorers for DCU: Aishling Moloney (1-6, 2f), Niamh Kelly (0-3), Vikki Wall (1-0), Sarah Rowe (1-0), Aisling Sheridan (0-2), Aisling Murphy (0-1), Eabha Rutledge (0-1).
Scorers for UCD: Catherine Dolan (0-5, 5f), Lucy McCartan (0-2), Julia Buckley (0-1), Martha Byrne (0-1), Andrea O’Reilly (0-1).
Emer Ní Eafa (Dublin)
Laura McGinley (Dublin)
Katie Murray (Dublin)
Deirdre Geaney (Kerry)
Eabha Rutledge (Dublin)
Leah Caffrey (Dublin)
Hannah Hegarty (Dublin)
Muireann Atkinson (Monaghan)
Lauren Magee (Dublin)
Niamh Kelly (Mayo)
Aishling Moloney (Tipperary)
Aisling Murphy (Wexford)
Aishling Sheridan (Cavan)
Sarah Rowe (Mayo)
Aobheann Cleary (Meath)
Vikki Wall (Meath) for Aisling Murphy (HT)
Aisling Murphy for Muireann Atkinson (51)
Kaneisha McKinney (Donegal) for Deirdre Geaney (51)
Deirdre Geaney for Aishling Moloney (55)
Dearbhla Gower (Galway)
Martha Byrne (Dublin)
Sarah Gormally (Galway)
Caoimhe McDermott (Cavan)
Niamh Carr (Donegal)
Nicola Ward (Galway)
Karen Dowd (Galway)
Karen McGrath (Waterford)
Tarah O’Sullivan (Dublin)
Kelly Boyce Jordan (Westmeath)
Catherine Dolan (Cavan)
Lucy McCartan (Westmeath)
Andrea O’Reilly (Cavan)
Michelle Davoren (Dublin)
Julia Buckley (Dublin)
Kim White (Dublin) or Caoimhe McDermott (54)
Sarah Molly Cullen (Wicklow) for Michelle Davoran (57)
Referee: Gus Chapman (Sligo)