galway edge out the students

06 February 2017

Colleges & Universities 1-2 Galway United


Although Head Coach Greg Yelverton saw the Irish Colleges and Universities national side go down to a narrow 2-1 defeat to SSE Airtricity Premier Division side Galway United in a friendly fixture at a wet and windy AUL Complex, he came away heartened by the display of his squad.

The Irish side conceded two first half goals in a two minute spell around the half hour mark but they regrouped after the break and responded with Alan O'Sullivan pulling a goal back with 20 minutes remaining but in the end they failed to snatch an equaliser.

Yelverton remained up beat despite the loss and expressed his satisfaction at getting the opportunity of assessing potential players against top level opposition ahead of a series of international fixtures in the months ahead.

"It was good to get the game, the conditions were difficult but the main objective for myself and the staff was to see if the lads in the squad could play at another level" said Yelverton.

Galway began with what was a youthful looking side and Gary Kinneen might have had them in front from a free kick that just went the wrong side of Matt Connor's post.

However the Irish 'keeper saw little of a fiercely driven 30 yard effort from Ronan Murray on 27 minutes to put Galway in front.

Two minutes later Murray easily got past full back Ben McAuliffe and squared the ball for the unmarked Jesse Devers who gratefully swept it home from close range to double the Tribesmens' advantage.

Into the second half, Murray's well struck free from the edge of the box was brilliantly turned away by substitute 'keeper Seamus Houghton.
While later Rob Spelman rattled the woodwork with a powerful drive.

The Irish although having plenty of possession failed to pose any real threat up front until centre back Gavin Kearney saw his shot come off the crossbar and O'Sullivan bundled it past Conor Winn from close range.

Over the next weeks Yelverton and his staff will now concentrate on watching league and cup games as the third level football season reaches it's climax.

"There are plenty of top quality games coming up and we'll be out and about assessing players in many of these before we finalise our first squad for a game against the Defence Forces in March" said Yelverton.

COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES: Matt Connor (Waterford IT); Eoghan Dempsey (IT Carlow), Sean O'Mahony (UCC), Sean McLoughlin (UCC), Ben McAuliffe (UCC); Gareth McDonagh (IT Carlow), John McKeown (Maynooth University), Jamie Hollywood (IT Blanchardstown), Sean McSweeney (UL); Shane Daly-Butz (UCC); Matthew Whelan (CSN Cork).

Subs: Fuad Sule (Maynooth Univ)-for McKeown 35 mins, Seamus Houghton (IT Carlow)-for Connor h-t), Gavin Kearney (DCU)-for O'Mahony h-t, Shane Costello (Mary Immaculate)- for Dempsey h-t, Ross Welch (CSN Cork)- for Hollywood h-t, Ross Taheny (DCU)-for McLoughlin 57 mins, Alan O'Sullivan (DCU)-for Whelan 57 mins, Dean Broaders (IT Carlow)-for Daly-Butz 57 mins)

GALWAY UNITED: C. Nugent (Winn h-t); Conway (Shanahan 73), M. Nugent (Folan 73), Grace, Kinneen (Horgan 73), Spelman (Holohan 58), Byrne, Melody (Sinnott 73), Devers (Faherty 73), Murray (Cunningham 83), Sharkey (Devaney 73).

Referee: Paul Tuite (Dublin).

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