Championship Round 1 - Match Report Sunday 23rd April 2006
Clontarf 1-8 (1-4) UCD 1-12 (0-7)
"Spirited Clontarf almost teach the students a lesson"
When the draw was made for the 1st round of the Dublin 2006 Senior Championship, the pundits were not giving Clontarf much hope. UCD, blue ribbon winners in 2002 were defeated by a single point last year to eventual finalists Na Fianna. Probably most concerning for Clontarf was that just 10 weeks previous UCD had taken Dublin to extra time in the O'Byrne cup. Clontarf on the otherhand were seeking to halt a run of 8 1st round championship exits. The game was played on a perfect evening for football at Parnell Pk.
Clontarf started the game in a very spirited manner that was to last for the full hour. Inside 2 minutes Shane Dunlea sliced through the heart of the students defence to drive a low shot to the net and give the northsiders the perfect start. 5 minutes later the lively Shane McIntyre found Cathal Carr with an exquisite cross field pass and Carr pointed from close range.UCD opened their account on 5 minutes and Mayo's Autin O'Malley added further points on the 12th and 20th mins.
In the 17th min Cian Reidy, after some good work failed to find the range from 30m. But he made ammends just before half time from the same position as he slotted over, after Dunlea and McIntyre set up the opportunity. McIntyre always threatened the UCD defence and his accuracy from frees in the 23rd and 32nd minutes helped Clontarf to a well deserved half time draw with the students. Around the pitch Clontarf were playing some fantastic football. Smith and Morrissey were giving Clontarf the edge at midfield, while Stephen Cohen was picking up a lot of loose ball. At the back Mark Coffey was in fine form as he launched many a Clontarf attack. Half-Time Clontarf 1-4, UCD 0-7.
A UCD goal inside 3 minutes of the resumption was probably the score that would eventually swing the tide in UCD's favour. But Clontarf never dropped the heads after conceeding that soft goal and a fine score from Morrissey on 10mins had reduced the margin to 2. UCD's brightest spell of the game came between the 17th and 20th mins of the 2nd half as they hit 3 unanswered points, 2 coming from Laois senior Billy Sheehan. McIntyre hit two more frees for Clontarf, one a superb effort from the sideline. Two 45m McIntyre efforts went close as Clontarf tried hard to close the gap.
With just minutes remaining midfielder Smith hit a glorious long range effort that left just a goal between the sides, as Clontarf dug deep for a way back.With the game entering injury time, Clontarf has strong appeals for a penalty rejected after Shane McIntyre was held just yards from the goal. The referee waved on play and UCD broke down the field to fire the insurance score.
The back door now beckons and a tie with Na Fianna on the week ending May 14th. Despite the defeat to UCD this was Clontarf's best display of the season, with much to admire. Hopefully the form that has led them to consecutive league playoffs is back to stay.
Championship LineoutR. O'Brien,P. Delaney,D. Fennelly,D. Lambart,P.Curran,B. Stokes,M.Coffey,I.Smith,A.Morrissey,S.Cohen,C.Carr,C.Reidy,S.McIntyre,S. Dunlea,D. O'Brien
Subs: D.Rossi for D. O'Brien