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Promotion Achieved, Title on the Horizon

A 3-2 win over Beggsboro achieved promotion for UCD AFC's LSL Sunday Team.lsl



It was smiles all round come the final whistle as UCD AFC celebrated manager Diarmuid McNally's birthday with a 3-2 which ensures promotion to Leinster Senior League Sunday Senior 1. Beggsboro welcomed UCD on Tuesday night and benefitted from two own goals and a Stiofain Sexton cracker to ensure promotion is the least that The Students will be left with this year.


UCD began the game with the kind of high tempo that has been a feature of recent games. When the pressure has been on for UCD to get a result to continue their push they have stepped up to the mark and pulled out perfomance after performance.


Stiofain Sexton and Brian O'Brolchain have formed a formidable partnership in the absence of stalwart Niall Daly. Based on a high tempo closing down game they work hard to get the ball and punish teams when they get it. This lead to UCD's first goal. Sexton won the ball for John Bourke who invited Marc Whelan to chase a ball through the home defence. UCD won a corner and from the resulting kick the home centre half sent the ball into his own net.


Kieran Harte, for so long the experienced head in midfield, was replaced early in the first half as a recurring hip injury got the better of him. Paul Curtin was introduced on the left hand side and Michael Whelan moved into the centre of midfield. This did not cause too much disruption as UCD continued as they had started.


Beggsboro's centre half got on the score sheet again to put UCD two up. A ball fired across the box from Marc Whelan was diverted into the back of the net. John Bourke had slid an inch perfect ball in behind the full back that Whelan smashed across the face of the goal. The unfortunate defender could only watch as his clearance ended up in the back of the net.


UCD then made an uncharacteristic mistake in possession and Beggsboro were suddenly back in the game. Losing the ball in midfield, Beggsboro took advantage and poured forward. A stunning 25 yard strike left McGroarty with no chance and things appeared to be about to unravel for the visitors.


A renewed resolve was required and it came as the experienced members of the team took control and pushed UCD forward. Brian O'Reilly fed the ball to Brian O'Brolchain and his pass found Marc Whelan. Whelan split the defence expertly play Sexton into space. A quick turn and hit saw the ball smash in off the bottom of the left hand post. UCD had regained their two goal lead just before half time.


The second half saw UCD begin to tire as recent games began to catch up. The defence stood firm as Brian O'Reilly and Hugh Davey contained their wingmen and Steve Dillon dominated in the air. Marc Whelan saw a free kick just miss the goal as Beggsboro upped the ante.


The game turned into a scrappy affair as UCD began to feel the pressure. Another long range shot beat McGroarty in the UCD goal as a surprise volley caught out UCD's number 1. A chance for both sides was what was left in the match, UCD missed theirs and thankfully Beggsboro had theirs snuffed out as Steve Dillon continued his man of the match performance to push UCD into Senior 1 division for 2011/12.


With promotion achieved, the title is now in UCD's sights. The next two games will determine where the league comes home to rest.


UCD AFC: McGroarty, O'Reilly, C O'Brolchain, Dillon, Davey, Marc Whelan, Harte (Curtin), Bourke, Michael Whelan, B O'Brolchain (Byrne), Sexton (McNelis)