Paul Keane reports from Parnell Park
DUBLIN STAR JACK McCaffrey put sentiment to one side to play a key role in UCD’s Bord na Mona O’Byrne Cup win at Parnell Park, the Sky Blues’ first competitive defeat in almost a year.
McCaffrey, the 2015 Footballer of the Year, didn’t play for Dublin in 2016 but will return to the panel for the Allianz league following his college commitments in the pre-season competition with UCD.
He impressed against Wexford in Round 1 and made two key interventions this evening to ensure that his own county didn’t rescue anything from the game.
McCaffrey first pointed an insurance score before clearing a goalbound effort off the line deep into injury-time when a goal for Dublin would have drawn the game.
It resulted in a win for UCD to leave them sitting pretty in Group 1 though Dublin will still travel to Wexford on Sunday in search of a win.
Substitute Sean Meade proved to be the game breaker with a 63rd minute goal for UCD when there was just a point in it.
Dublin fell 1-6 to 0-1 down after a terrible start that yielded seven wides while UCD, in contrast, were clinical with free-taker Eoin Lowry punishing slack Dublin defending and Tom Hayes swooped for a 28th minute goal.
Paul Hudson scored Dublin’s first point after 31 minutes and it was followed by a Maitias MacDonncha goal to leave the Dubs just 1-1 to 1-6 at half-time when it should have been even worse.
Paul Clarke, standing in for Jim Gavin as boss due to the back to back All-Ireland champions team holiday in Jamaica, witnessed a much improved second-half.
Dublin hit four points in a row at one stage, including two from Shane Cunningham, and braved the loss of Jason Whelan to a black card. They got it back to just a single point with seven minutes to go but that Meade goal and McCaffrey’s interventions ensured that Sigerson Cup holders UCD escaped to victory.
Scorers for UCD: Eoin Lowry 0-5 (0-4f), Tom Hayes, Shane Meade 1-0 each, Jack McCaffrey, Sean Mullooly, L Moran, Conor McCarthy 0-1 each.
Scorers for Dublin: Paul Hudson 0-3 (0-1f), Mattis MacDonncha 1-0, Shane Cunningham, Ross Hazley (0-1f) 0-2 each, Niall Scully, Ciaran Reddin (0-1f), Gavin Ivory 0-1 each.
1. Colm Honan (Navan O’Mahony’s, Meath)
2. Eoin Murchan (Na Fianna, Dublin)
3. Darren Maguire (Maynooth, Kildare)
4. Peter Healy (Naomh Emma, Antrim)
5. Niall McInerney (St Brigid’s, Roscommon)
7. Jimmy Feehan (Killenaule, Tipperary)
6. Jack McCaffrey (Clontarf, Dublin)
8. Gavin Farrell (Castledermot, Kildare)
9. Andy McDonnell (Newtown Blues, Louth)
10. Sean Mullooly (Strokestown, Roscommon)
11. Larry Moran (Killoe, Longford)
12. Eamon Wallace (Ratoath, Meath)
15. Tom Hayes (Cootehill, Cavan)
14. Conor McCarthy (Scotstown, Monaghan)
13. Eoin Lowry (Killeshin, Laois)
Barry Maginn (Doohamlet, Monaghan) for Mullooly (half-time)
25. Sean Meade (Louth) for McCarthy (half-time)
20. Conor Cunningham (Galway) for Feehan (half-time)
16. Tommie Maher (Kildare) for Honan (53)
18. Jamie Gillen (Sligo) for Farrell (53)
21. Cathal Nolan (Kerry) for Hayes (53)
23. Ronan Cleary for Murchan (53)
19. Paddy Fagan (Westmeath) for McDonnell (63)
17. Alex Hassett (Cork) for Healy (67)
1. Evan Comerford (Ballymun Kickhams)
2. Jack Smith (Skerries Harps)
3. Eoin O’Brien (Castleknock)
4. Ross McGowan (Kilmacud Crokes)
5. Niall Scully (Templeogue Synge Street)
6. Ciaran Reddin (St Maurs)
7. Robbie Gaughan (Ballinteer St John’s)
8. Jason Whelan (Ballymun Kickhams)
9. Ryan Deegan (Thomas Davis)
10. Gary Sweeney (St Sylvesters)
11. Maitias Mac Donncha (Clontarf)
12. Niall Walsh (St Oliver Plunkett’s)
13. Paul Hudson (Thomas Davis)
14. Michael Deegan (Donaghmore Ashbourne, Meath)
15. Shane Cunningham (Kilmacud Crokes)
20. Ross Hazley (St Sylvester’s) for Whelan (black card) (35)
19. Gavin Ivory (Raheny) for Hudson (half-time)
18. Ross O’Brien (St Jude’s) for Walsh (45)
Walsh for Sweeney (48)
22. Tom Shiels (Castleknock) for M Deegan (48)
Sweeney for MacDonncha (59)
21. Sean Newcombe (Lucan Sarsfields) for R Deegan (59)
Hudson for Cunningham 63.
Referee: C Dwyer (Offaly).
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