St Jude’s 1-9 UCD 1-7

Substitute Paul Maguire kicked two crucial scores in the closing five minutes to ensure that Templeogue club, decease St Jude’s, would prevail from an open but low scoring affair against UCD to the quarter final of the Evening Herald Dublin Senior Football Championship at the Iveagh Grounds, Crumlin last week.

Despite a strong line-up and first half dominance, UCD were unable to assert the type of sustained pressure they fell victim to in the final quarter as a more settled Jude’s side forced turnovers on multiple occasions to provide a platform to secure the victory.

The Students began the brighter with Donie Kingston and Matt O’Hanlon dominating at full forward. Niall Murray pointed from play before a superbly worked move from Kingston supplied David Larkin to fire past Jude’s goalkeeper Paul Copeland after 12 minutes.

From the resulting kick out, however, Jude’s and Dublin’s Kevin McMenamon broke through from 45 metres out to lay the ball off to Andy Glover who, despite having been fouled, fired past Michael McGinley to knock the wind out of UCD’s sails.

Thereafter, Brendan McMenamon carried a significant threat for St. Jude’s pointing from an impossible angle despite Colin Forde’s best efforts. Kevin Dyas pointed before moments later turning provider for Matt O’Hanlon who was unlucky to see a certain goal chance go inches over the bar after a fingertip save from Paul Copeland.

Jude’s began to find their rhythm in the ten minutes before the break, the influential Chris Guckian striding forward from centre half back to fist over while Declan Donnelly ensured half-time parity, 1-3 each.

The side’s continued to exchange scores upon the restart, Donie Kingston slotting a free from distance, Donnelly responding with a fine score under pressure. A ’45’ from Michael O’Regan again edged UCD clear, but Jude’s, with Colly Murphy and Paul Cunningham gaining a foothold at midfield, began to turn the screw.

A tenacious run from Kevin McManamon earned him the space to fist over the bar. Donnelly then held his nerve to convert a free to give the Tymon North men the lead for the first time in the 52nd minute. UCD were feeding off scraps, unable to execute their high ball passing game where they had been in the first half as the Jude’s half back line smothered and forced errors at will.

The aforementioned Paul Maguire provided the necessary fatal blow for what was an inevitable conclusion to the contest. The substitute’s first effort, a high looping effort right in front of the Jude’s supporters, dropped over Michael McGinley’s crossbar much to their delight. The following play saw Maguire burst through two challenges to slot over from 25 metres.

UCD applied some late pressure, but the goal they required never materialized. Kingston’s injury-time free proved to be scant consolation. Having managed just a solitary point from play in the second half, UCD can have no complaints about Jude’s deserved victory. They now look forward to a quarter-final date with Na Fianna.

Speaking after the game, UCD captain Joshua Hayes felt the defeat could be a valuable learning curve and is excited about what new additions Mayo’s Kevin McLoughlin and Laois’ Paul Cahillane can bring to the table. “This game will help us reach the level we need to be at and the new faces will drive the team forward”.

SCORERS – St Jude’s: D Donnelly 0-3 (0-1f), A Glover 1-0, B McManamon 0-2 (0-1f), P Maguire 0-2, K McManamon, C Guckian 0-1 each. UCD: D Larkin 1-1, D Kingston 0-2 (0-2f), M O’Hanlon, K Dyas, N Murray, M O’Regan (0-1 ’45’) 0-1 each,

ST JUDE’S: P Copeland; C McBride, G Roche, S Breheny; N Cronin, C Guckian, S Ryan; C Murphy, P Cunningham; A Glover, D Gallagher, R Joyce; D Donnelly, K McManamon, B McManamon. Subs: E Dalton for Gallagher (25), P Maguire for Glover (52), O Manning for Cronin (55).

UCD: M McGinley; P Kelly, C Forde, J Hayes; C Barrett, S Redmond, M Duffy; M Dineen, M O’Regan; N Murray, K Dyas, D Larkin; N Kilroy, M O’Hanlon, D Kingston. Subs: M Brazil for Dineen (ht), L Keaney for Kilroy (36).

REF: J Rutherford (Ballyboden St Enda’s).

-Conall Devlin