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Dublin: 11 °C Friday 21 February, 2020
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DCU triumph in six-goal thriller against UCD in All-Ireland Freshers final at Croke Park

The match saw UCD legend Dave Billings remembered with DCU lifting the cup named after him.

DCU players celebrate today's victory.
DCU players celebrate today's victory.

DCU 3-11
UCD 3-10

Gavin Cawley reports from Croke Park

IN AN EXCELLENT All-Ireland Fresher’s Football Final played in Croke Park for the first time ever this afternoon, it was DCU who came out on top in the all-Dublin battle.

Victory arrived for DCU after a six-goal thriller and they claimed Corn Daithi Billings, the new trophy awarded in memory of the Dublin and UCD GAA stalwart who passed away last year.

UCD opened up an early two point lead but the DCU men replied with Ronan Jones finding the back of the net for the first goal of the match.

In a very close opening half which saw the sides level on two occasions, UCD regained the lead when Darragh Lafferty found the back of the DCU net for the first of his two goals.

But it was DCU who were in front at the break as three unanswered points from Mathew Ruane and Brian Reape (2) put them ahead 1-6 to 1-4.

It looked like the game had gone away from UCD when DCU blasted home 1-1 in the second-half, the goal coming from Reape as they went in front 2-8 to 1-7.

Barry McGinn did keep the UCD men in the match with his pointed frees as they cut the deficit they faced to three points.

Source: HE GAA/YouTube

But 1-2 without reply from DCU, the goal this time coming from Rory Feely, placed DCU firmly in the driving seat as they went ahead 3-11 to 1-9 with eight minutes remaining.

However UCD never gave up and showed huge character in the closing stages. Lafferty and Cillian O’Shea both netted for UCD but the late show wasn’t enough as DCU held on to win the title .

Scorers for DCU: Brian Reape 1-5 (0-3f), Ronan Jones 1-1, Rory Feely 1-0, Pierce Smith 0-2, Matthew Ruane, David Brady, Shehroz Akram 0-1 each.

Scorers for UCD: Darragh Lafferty 2-2, Barry McGinn 0-4 (0-2f), Cillian O’Shea 1-0, Jordan McLoughlin, Con O’Callaghan, Barra McGarry, Dermot Gleeson 0-1 each.

DCU

1. David Shannon (Carrick Sarsfields , Longford)

2. Conor Morrison (St. Eunan’s , Donegal)
3. Daniel O’Neill (Wolfe Tones , Meath)
4. Daniel Gallagher (Naomh Ultan, Donegal )

30. Cian McManus (Teemore Shamrocks, Fermanagh)
6. Barry Kerr (Cremartin, Monaghan)
7. Shehroz Akram (Ballaghaderreen, Mayo)

8. Matthew Corcoran (Geraldines, Louth)
9. Ronan Jones (St. Peter’s Dunboyne, Meath)

10. Matthew Ruane (Breaffy, Mayo)
11. Michael Plunkett (Ballintubber, Mayo)
12. Rory Feely (Athy, Kildare)

13. John Kindlon (Castleknock, Dublin)
14. Brian Reape (Moy Davitt’s , Mayo)
15. David Brady Ballyhaise, Cavan)

Subs
18. Pierce Smith (Crosserlough, Cavan) for Kindlon (42)
21. Matthew McKenna (Killagary, Cavan) for Feely (53)
17. Michael Miller ( St. Eunan’s, Donegal) for Ruane (57)
20. Paul McNamara (St. John’s Sligo) for Morrison (black card) (60)

UCD

1. Tommie Maher (Allenwood, Kildare)

2. Darren Maguire (Maynooth, Kildare)
3. Cillian O’Shea (Kilmacud Crokes, Dublin)
4. Peter Healy (Naomh Emma, Antrim)

5. Jordan McLoughlin (St. Peter’s, Meath)
6. Colm O’Shaughnessy (Ardfinnan, Tipperary)
7. Jamie Gillen (Drumcliffe Rosses Point, Sligo)

8. Stephen Quirke (Moyle Rovers, Tipperary)
22. Oisin Kelly (Thomas Davis, Dublin)

10. Brian O’ Seanachain (Ballydonoghue, Kerry)
11. Darragh Lafferty (St. Patrick’s, Louth)
12. Con O’Callaghan (Cuala, Dublin)

13. Barra McGarry (Ballyboden St. Enda’s, Dublin)
14. Barry McGinn (Doohamlet, Monaghan)
15. Dermot Gleeson (Eire Óg, Monaghan)

Subs
24. Francis O’Reilly (Dublin) for McGarry (43)
23. Evan Morahan (Monaghan) for Gleeson
18. John Joe McGovern (Swanlibar, Cavan) for Gillen

Referee: Gary McCormack (Dublin)

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About the author:

Gavin Cawley

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