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UCD's Harte Is Pumping

UCD AFC overcame Celbridge Town in the LSL Sunday Senior 1 Division.UCD_v_Celbridge_Town_04_03_12

 

UCD AFC went into the game with Celbridge Town looking to put the previous week's exit from the Metropolitan Cup behind them. A 2-1 win in Belfield went some way to putting that game out of their heads as two goals from Kieran Harte secured all three points for the Students.

The game began with UCD in the ascendancy. UCD's wing play was a sight to behold as full backs Paul Curtin and Brian O'Reilly relished every opportunity to overlap. Celbridge could not cope with UCD's speed of movement, with and without the ball. Ronan Lynagh was pivotal in this bright start to the game as his clever play continued to spring UCD forward.

The first chance of the game fell to Cormac O'Brolchain and he looked certain to score before the intervention of the visiting keeper. Ronan Lynagh was next up smashing a shot wide a the back post when caressing it into the back of the net would have been the better option. UCD were on top and it was only a matter of time before the deadlock was broken. With UCD's dominance coming from the midfield it was no surprise that when the goal came it was scored by one of the midfield pack.

Kieran Harte is pivotal to UCD's continued success. The midfield pocket rocket shows tenacity in the tackle and intelligence when using the possession he has worked so hard to gain. It was no different as UCD took the lead. Bursting through a tackle to come out with the ball, Harte quickly played a one two with Michael Whelan. Harte then exchanged passes with Mike Arnold, who along with Niall Daly was impressing with assured hold up play and clever use of the ball. Harte was now clean through on goal. He was not about to undo all his good work as he slid the ball under the keeper and UCD had a deserved lead.

Harte was at it again ten minutes later. O'Reilly played a ball to the feet of UCD's midfielder and Harte took the ball away from the defender with one touch, the next touch was crushing and brought Harte to the floor. The contact on Harte was inside the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Like a child star in the spotlight for the first time, Harte was in no mood to exit stage left. Up he stepped and placed the ball into the bottom corner leaving the keeper with no chance.

The penalty count was evened as Celbridge were awarded a penalty on the stroke of half time but that did not dampen UCD's spirits as they finished the half strongly.

The second half matched the first for UCD control and possession but not for action. With few clear cut chances in the second period UCD saw the game out comfortably. David Campion stung the opposition keeper's fingers with an almost perfect volley. Sean Buckley was replaced in the centre of midfield by the returning James Timmons. The average age of the squad shot up with the return of Timmons but so did the experience levels. The return of Timmons will aid UCD's late drive towards the top of the Senior 1 Division.

UCD AFC: Barber, Curtin, O'Brolchain, Davey, O'Reilly, Lynagh (McDonald), Buckley (Timmons), Harte, Whelan, Arnold, Daly (Campion)