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UCD AFC Have Fresh Champions

UCD AFC's LSL Saturday Premier 1 side were crowned champions on Tuesday night.LSLSAT_CHAMPS

 

In their first year together UCD AFC's Leinster Senior League Saturday Premier 1 side clinched the Championship with two games remaining following a hard fought win over Vale View Shankill. The Students were determined to add to their 95 goal haul and look certain to break the 100 mark following a 2-1 away win.

 

UCD settled into the game quickly with Valeview providing little threat up top. It was in the midfield that the game was going to be won and lost and Thomas O'Brien and Sean Buckley were determined that they would end on the winning side. Combining strength in the tackle with accuracy in the pass they were able to set UCD forward seemingly at will.

 

UCD's backline's average age shot up with the introduction of Sean Geoghegan and Philip Bourke to cover for the Fresher's in the squad who faced a test of their own in the exam hall. The experience they brought to the team ensured their younger counterparts did not get overawed by the occasion. Rory O'Huigin and Darren Westman no flinching in the face of Shankill's attack. Rarely did the home team breach UCD's 18 yard line and when they did John Finnegan was alert to claim every ball.

 

Colm Daly has been an inspiration in recent months scoring an unbelievable 20 goals in 7 games, if rumour is to be believed. He was certainly in the mood to show he was in goalscoring form when he peeled away at the back post and latched onto an Alan Sutton cross that invited Daly to place his header into the back of the net.

 

UCD's lead was well deserved and it encouraged The Students to get the ball down and play their attacking game to kill off their opposition. Sean Geoghegan gave a glimpse of why he is one of the most coveted left sided players in the LSL when deep in his own half he brought himself out of trouble with a nutmeg to start UCD on the front foot again.

 

UCD went in one goal to the good at half time and started the second half in much the same fashion. The Valeview resistance was sturdier as they eventually brought more to the game than the trash talk they had relied on in the first half. UCD defence came under further pressure as nerves crept into the UCD side.

 

Geoghegan went off to be replaced by Niall Wright and Sean Buckley was replaced by Niall Hanley. Both substitutes were determined to leave their mark on the game and did so picking up yellow cards within minutes of coming onto the field. Niall Wright's claims of acting on the part of Valeview's winger were ironic in the extreme. It was, however, proof if proof was needed that the referee had not left his cards in his car but instead found it easier to book Students than actuall offenders.

 

Valeview's defensive line was creepeing further and further up the field and UCD looked to exploit this at every opportunity. An inch perfect ball down the right hand channel from Saheed Ogunfowora found Colm Daly in space and he found the net from the most acute of angles.

 

Valeview were handed a lifeline when a shocking free kick was turned into an expert delivery by UCD's defence. A miscommunication lead to a gaping hole that the Shankill centre back could not resist inhabiting. His finish from 8 yards out brought them back into the game.

 

UCD stood firm and held out for another win, another three points and another trophy for this group of players who had already bagged the Harding Cup at the beginning of 2011.

 

UCD AFC: Finnegan, Westman, Bourke, O'Huiginn, Geoghegan (Wright), Ogunfowora, O'Brien, Buckley (Hanley), Muldowney, Sutton (Sargeant), Daly