Irish Universities Football Union

Match Reports

Annual Representative Game for Irish Life Trophy:

Played at The Mardyke, Cork Tuesday April 15 2008
(report from Irish Daily Star)
Irish Defence Forces 3
Tom Fitzgibbon 12, 43 Michael Comerford 14

Irish Universities 0

 The arrival of new manager Declan Sheridan certainly helped inspire the Irish Defence Forces to claim their first win in three years over the Irish Universities in the annual clash for the Irish Life Trophy at The Mardyke.

Leitrim born Sheridan has taken over from the formidable duo of Jim Noone and Casey McQuillan who had been at the helm for a number of years.Their major highlight being qualifying for the final stages of last years’ World Military Cup in India where they managed to reach the quarter finals.

Going all out to impress the new boss the Defence Forces powered their way to a comprehensive win with three first half goals that did all the damage and gave the students no way back.

Sheridan’s charges were always in control as their greater physical strength and impressive levels of skill allowed them to hold the upper hand for most of a fairly one sided affair.

The Universities outplayed in the first half did manage a slighty improved performance after the break as Sheridan began to make substitutions but they never really threatened and at the finish could have had no complaints.

Two goals within the first fifteen minutes got the Defence Forces off to a flyer.
Stephen O’Donnell set up the opener on 12 minutes whipping in a free from the edge of the box and when Universities ‘keeper Niall O’Carroll’s weak attempt to punch gifted Tom Fitzbibbon with a free header he made no mistake from close range.

Michael Comerford doubled the lead with a peach of a strike two minutes later as the Defence Forces gained a firm grip on the game.The Kildare County midfielder struck a delightful long range volley past the helpless O’Carroll after another weak clearance fell nicely for him.

The experienced pair of O’Donnell and Comerford were in complete control of midfield as the students struggled to cope with the power and strength of the opposition.

Johnny Reynolds did manage a decent run that gave Portadown striker Gary Liggett a half chance but the ball was scrambled clear by Defence Forces full back Partick Mahon.

Then just before the break the game was finished as a contest with a softly conceeded third goal by the Universities.Mickey O’Shea’s through ball found Fitzgibbon totally unmarked and he cleverly beat the offside trap to run on and cooly steer the ball past O’Carroll for his second goal of the game.

That goal was a hammer blow to any chance the Universities might have had of staging a recovery.Although they did put together some good passages of play on the resumption the result was never in doubt.

UCD winger Ger O’Callaghan had a couple of efforts well dealt with by ‘keeper Lee White and later referee Eddie Foley waved claims for a penalty away when Liggett went down in the box.

For new manager Sheridan it was a dream start, which he put down to a totally committed squad been available to him. ‘ It was great to have such a good strong squad of players around for this game and I cant praise them enough for their committment and effort.This is only the beginning for us as we prepare to meet the French next September and then go on to compete in a military tournament in Canada. After that we will set out on the road to hopefully qualifying for the next Military World Cup in Brazil 2011’ he said.

While Jimmy Cumiskey tasting defeat for the first time since becoming Universities manager three years ago had no complaints ‘They were the best Defence Forces side we have played. In the second half we did had a go but when you’re three goals down its always going to be difficult’ he explained.

Irish Defence Forces: Lee White, Patrick Mahon, Brian Aherne, Eoghan O’Shea, Patrick Conlon, Michael Comerford, John Hayes,Tom Hughes, Michael O’Shea, Stephen O’Donnell, Tom Fitzgibbon.Subs:Ray McCann for Conlon 23,Mark Neeson for Hayes ht,Sean Doyle for Fitzgibbon 63,James Kelly for O’Donnell 56,Robbie Johnstone for Comerford 80.Unused: James Gillen, Ryan Conway, Pierce Delargey.

Irish Universities: Niall O’Carroll (Trinity), Eugene Greaney (UL), Stephen O’Brien (UCC), Colin Hyland (Trinity), Ciaran Forde (UCC), Daniel Duggan (UCC), Johnny Reynolds (Jordanstown), James O’Sullivan (UCD), Paul Walsh (UL), Gary Liggett (Jordanstown), Ger O’Callaghan (UCD).Subs: Pat Mullins (UCD) for Hyland 58, Austin Friel (Magee) for Duggan 67. Unused Seamus Connelly (NUIG), Evan O’Reilly (Trinity), Ciaran Boyd (Jordanstown), Dave McCullough (Queens), Rory Keaveney (UCD), Sean Coffey (UCD).

Referee: Eddie Foley (Cork).

Annual Representative Game for Hooper Cup:

Played at Colaiste Stiofain Naofa, Cork on Wed April 16 2008
(report from Irish Daily Star)

 Colleges FAI 0

Irish Universities 1
Austin Friel 33.

For Dungannon Swifts striker Austin Friel it was a case of have boots will travel as he bagged the only goal direct from a sweetly struck free to send the Colleges FAI tumbling to another defeat at hands of the Irish Universities.A much changed Universities side quickly put behind them the prevous day’s disappointing performance against the Defence Forces to record three in a row victories over the Colleges in the annual Hooper Cup game at Cork.

Friel a student at Magee College,Derry had lined out for Dungannon in the Setanta Cup tie with Drogheda on the Monday night and then flown down to join up with Universities squad in Cork the following morning. And the journey was made well worth while as he went on to play a leading role in the Universities successful bid to retain the cup.

The Dungannon man was always in the thick of the action and on 34 minutes he engineered the lone goal after been taken down on the edge of the box by Colleges’ centre back Paul Andrews.The lively little striker quickly picked himself up and cooly curled a superb free into the top corner of John McGuinness’ net for a glorious winner.

A blustery cross field breeze tended to make conditions difficult but both sides managed to play some football of quality and ambition.

Pat Mullins and Seamus Connelly had early chances to put the Universities ahead only for weak and wayward finishing to let them down.Then following Friel’s strike winger Ger O’Callaghan twice might have extended the lead but McGuinness saved comfortably on both occasions.

Friel always busy up front got the better of the Colleges’ defenders yet again but McGuinness did well to keep his effort out too.

Stephen Roche then went close to equalising just before the interval heading John Tierney’s fine cross over under pressure from full back Seamus Connelly.

In the opening minutes of the second half the Colleges’ nearly pulled level when Cathal Fahy brought the best out of Universities ‘keeper Sean Coffey with a fierce drive from the edge of the box.

Universities skipper Dave McCullough a Portadown regular was having an outstanding game in midfield tidying up everything that looked anyway threatening.While James O’Sullivan and Evan O’Reilly were also making their mark in that area too.

Paul Walsh linked up well with Friel and O’Callaghan and several times they were unlucky to see their efforts just miss the target.While midfielder John Tierney worked hard to keep the Colleges in touch.But fowards Fahy and Mark Sherlock failed to make any impression on the solid UCD centre back pairing of Pat Mullins and Rory Keaveney.

The Colleges best spell came in the final ten minutes with a succession of dangerous corners.First Frank Browne was unlucky with a header, then Keaveney cleared off his line from Tierney and Mullins got in a great block on Fahy’s low drive as Liam Murphy’s charges desperately chased an equaliser that never came.

Colleges FAI:John McGuinness (IT Tallaght),Mark Cowman (CSN),Ciaran Greene (IT Sligo),Frank Browne (Garda Col) Paul Andrews (Col Ide), Shane O’Leary (Cork IT). Richard O’Hanlon (Sallynoggin Col),John Tierney (Limerick IT), Mark Sherlock (Garda Col),Cathal Fahy (Athlone IT), Stephen Roche (DIT).Subs:Stephen Doran (Col Ide) for Sherlock 57,Paul Doohan (Letterkenny IT) for Andrews 65,Richard O’Farrell (DIT) for O’Hanlon 80, Eoin Forde (CSN) for Roche 80.Unused:Edward Deegan (DIT ), Gary Philpott (Cork IT).

Irish Universities:Sean Coffey (UCD), Seamus Connelly(NUIG), Ciaran Boyd (Jordanstown),Pat Mullins (UCD), Rory Keaveney (UCD),Evan O’Reilly (Trinity) David McCullough (Queens), James O’Sullivan (UCD), Ger O’Callaghan (UCD),Paul Walsh (UL), Austin Friel (Magee).Subs:Stephen O’Brien (UCC) for Boyd 55. Unused:Eugene Greaney (UL), Ciaran Forde (UCC), Colin Hyland (Trinity), Johnny Reynolds (Jordanstown),Danny Duggan (UCC), Gary Liggett (Jordanstown), Niall O’Carroll (Trinity).

Referee:Aidan O’Regan (Cork).


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