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Wexford's Damien Reck shines as DCU retain All-Ireland Freshers hurling title against UL

It was another boost for hurling in DCU.

DCU 1-20

UL 2-15

Kevin O’Brien reports from Stradbally

DCU RETAINED THE All-Ireland Fresher 1 hurling title with a two-point win over UL in a repeat of last year’s final.

Damien Reck File photo of Damien Reck Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

It’s another boost for the small ball code in DCU after their senior team reached the Fitzgibbon Cup final for the first time in February.

Wexford’s Damien Reck was in outstanding form at midfield for the winners. He bagged 0-4 from play while assisting Murtha Doyle’s crucial 50th-minute goal and it’s easy to see why he’s so highly rated by his county manager Davy Fitzgerald.

UL never led in the game, but a fortunate Jake Morris goal left them just a point behind in the 54th minute. After a frantic finish, Murtha Doyle fired over the insurance score to seal the victory for DCU.

It was a game of the highest quality, with both sides littered with inter-county talent.

Former Tipperary All-Ireland minor winning captain Brian McGrath, younger brother of senior stars Noel and John, bagged 0-5 for UL, while his fellow county man Cian Darcy scored a brace in a lively display at corner-forward.

Brian McGrath celebrates Brian McGrath in action for his school last year Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

On the DCU side, Kilkenny native James Bergin finished with 0-5 and proved an accurate free-taker and Kildare’s Jame Burke also stood out with 0-3 from play.

Although he was named at midfield, DCU’s Wexford star Rory O’Connor started at corner-forward. He fired over an early brace as the Dublin college led by 0-6 to 0-2 inside the opening ten minutes.

A Shane Neville goal sparked UL into life, arriving after a pacey run from centre-forward Oisin O’Reilly.

Martin Keoghan added a point and McGrath clipped over three frees before the half, but it was DCU who led at by a point at the interval as Bergin, James Burke and Brian Ryan all slotted over scores.

Reck had four points to his name by midway through the second-half as DCU led by 0-16 to 1-10. UL came strong in the third quarter and found themselves back on level terms in the 50th minute with a fine Darcy score.

Then Doyle pounced with DCU’s goal, before Morris’s drilled ball across the square was turned into the net by DCU defender Shane O’Kennedy. The Dublin side were still a point in front and Burke’s late effort sealed the win.

Scorers for DCU: James Bergin 0-5 (0-3f), Murtha Doyle 1-2, Damien Reck 0-4, James Burke 0-3, Rory O’Connor 0-2, Brian Ryan 0-2.

Scorers for UL: Brian McGrath 0-5 (0-4f), Shane Neville 1-2, Cian Darcy 0-2, Oisin O’Reilly 0-1.

DCU

1. Dara De Poire ( St Vincent’s, Dublin)

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2. Jack McVeigh (Faughs, Dublin)
3. Paddy Smith (Clontarf, Dublin)
15. Shane O’Kennedy (Ballygunner, Waterford)

4. Evan Shefflin (Ballyhale Shamrocks, Kilkenny)
7. Peter Feeney (Na Fianna, Dublin)
6. Conor Firman (St Martin’s, Wexford)

5. Damien Reck (Oylegate Glenbrien, Wexford)
9. Liam Pender (Duffry Rovers, Wexford)

10. James Burke (Naas, Kildare)
11. Brian Ryan (South Liberties, Limerick)
12. Murtha Doyle (Oulart-the-Ballagh, Wexford)

13. James Bergin (Conahy Shamrocks, Kilkenny)
14. Colum Prendiville (Graigue-Ballycallan, Kilkenny)
8. Rory O’Connor (St Martin’s, Wexford)

UL

1. Barry Hogan (Kiladangan, Tipperary)

4. Cathal O’Connor (Wexford)
3. Michael Carey (Young Irelands, Kilkenny)
17. Jimmy Ryan (Tipperary)

5. Podge Campion (Tipperary)
6. Brian Cody (St Martin’s, Kilkenny)
7. Shane O’Donohue (Kilkenny)

8. Tom Hannan (St Joseph’s Doora-Barefield, Clare)
9. Darragh McGrath (Waterford)

12. Martin Keoghan (Tullaroan, Kilkenny)
11. Oisin O’Reilly (Kilmallock, Limerick)
10. Brian McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney, Tipperary)

13. Shane Neville (Lattin-Cullen, Tipperary)
14. Martin McManus (Loughrea, Galway)
15. Cian Darcy (Kilruane McDonaghs, Tipperary)

Subs

18. Jake Morris (Nenagh Éire Óg, Tipperary) for Darragh McGrath (ht)
20. Darragh Carroll (Limerick) for Hannahn (44)
19. Cian McInerney (Clare) for Campion (54)

Referee: John O’Brien (Laois)

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