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League Team 2017/18

Back row: Aidan Hyland, Fiachra Spellman, Ian Weldon, Dan Murphy, Neil Love, Neal Breslin, Brian O’Donovan, Brian Taaffe, Gavin Murphy, Jack French. Front row: Alan McCann, Eddie Murray, Dan Kennedy, Storm Sammons, Andy Hedderman, Stephen Donnelly, Sean Bonner.

06/11/2017: UCFL 1-3 Carlow Leagu; news from Oscar Traynor opener

The UCFL representative team went down to a narrow 2-3 defeat to the Carlow & District League after a tremendous struggle in Terenure on Saturday afternoon.

Carlow produced an impressive first half performance to lead 2-0 at the break and indeed it could have been more. However, it was a different story after the break, with the UCFL getting to grips with their opponents and clawing their way back into game, eventually equalising with 10 minutes left only for Carlow to strike a late winner to end the UCFL’s comeback.

Carlow were quickly into their stride, almost scoring in the first minute, with a snapshot glancing off the UCFL goal frame.

The UCFL then enjoyed a brief spell of apparent control, but this proved illusory as the Carlow players and team showed a touch and cohesiveness that one might expect from a settled team with a fine recent record in this competition, beaten quarter-finalists last season. Carlow were already showing signs of dominance before they took the lead on the 15 minute mark when Graham Delaney rose unchallenged to head home Craig Comerford’s cross from the right. It got worse just 3 minutes later when Delaney again managed to tee up a low centre and volley home to double his team’s lead.

Carlow thrived for the rest of the half as the UCFL struggled to recover from going two down so early and Carlow threatened again on several occasions, in particular when Colin Osborne shot just wide approaching half-time. However, it wasn’t all one way traffic as the Storm Sammons went close for the UCFL on 27 minutes, lifting his effort over the advancing keeper and just over the bar.

The introduction of Aidan Hyland at half-time to assist Storm Sammons upfront helped significantly as the latter had cut a somewhat isolated figure in the first half when operating as a lone striker.

With Carlow’s early first half dominance now broken, the UCFL began to create chances. Andy Hedderman was first to threaten, shooting just wide 5 minutes into the second half. Then, 11 minute into the half, the UCFL got the break they were seeking, when Storm Sammons turned and ran towards goal, holding off a defender before hitting fine shot into the top corner.

The UCFL were now back in the game and they had a number of chances, with Sammon shooting just over midway through the half. Carlow were now hanging on and the UCFL finally equalised on 79 minutes. Full back Gavin Murphy won a free kick after some fine work down the left and from the ensuing set-piece, the Carlow defence were unable to clear, allowing Andy Hedderman to drill home to bring the sides level.

From there, the UCFL looked poised to go on and win the game and Andy Hyland headed just over from a corner with 4 minutes left. But in their next attack just a minute later, Carlow struck for the winner, Osborne rattling the woodwork before forcing the rebound home.

So a fine comeback by the UCFL was thwarted by a strong Carlow side who now advance to the next stage of this competition after Christmas. Meanwhile, the UCFL will have to win two matches against other first round losing teams in order to join Carlow in the next round after Christmas. Their first game will be against the losing team in the tie between the AUL and Wexford.

UCFL – Brian O’Donovan (Harding IF FC), Ian Weldon (Harding IF FC), Gavin Murphy (VEC), Neal Breslin (VEC), Neil Love (South William Street Celtic), Sean Bonner (Harding IF FC), Stephen Donnelly (Aston Village), Dan Murphy (Beech Park), Storm Sammons (South William Street Celtic), Dan Kennedy (Beech Park), Andy Hedderman (Glasnaion). Subs – Eddie Murray (Rathmines Roosters) for Weldon (65 mins), Aidan Hyland (VEC) for Bonner (45 mins), Jack French (Coolock Village) for Love (87 mins), Alan McCann (Castle Celtic) for Donnelly (60 mins), Conor McGreal (Castle Celtic) for Murphy (75 mins), Fiachra Spellman (Harding IF), Brian Taaffe (Aston Village).

Carlow League – Zak Yongram, Cian Dowling, Stephan Charlton, Robert Dowling, David O’Shea, Jason Enright, Daryl Coleman, Cathal Coughlan, Graham Delaney, Adam Flynn, Craig Comerford,. Subs – Evan Lowry, Cathal Gaffney, Colin Osborne, Aaron Morris, Jamie Hennessy, Mark Davis, Phil Neenan.

04/11/2017: UCFL 2-3 Carlow & District League

The UCFL lost their opening game in this season's Oscar Traynor competition this afternoon. Trailing 0-2 at half-time, the UCFL produced a fine comeback to draw level at 2-2 with 10 minutes to go, but Carlow snatched a late winner to advance to the next round. The UCFL will now play the loser of AUL v Wexford.

A more detailed report will follow later.

03/11/2017: League Team update – UCFL v Carlow this Saturday

The UCFL representative team will play their opening match in this seaon's national inter-league competition, the Oscar Traynor Trophy, on Saturday afternoon (Nov 4). They will be at home to the Carlow & District League, with the game taking place in the VEC Sportsground in Terenure. Kick-off will be at 1.30 p.m. The winner of this game will proceed to the next round, while the losing team will get a second chance to reach the next round with a game against another opening round loser.

The team will be managed this year by Paul Hutchinson, who has assisted with the preparation of the team at various intervals over the last decade, including a previous spell as manager 10 years ago. The UCFL would like to thank Paul, his management group, the participating players and their clubs for their cooperation and efforts to prepare for the competition and we wish them the best of luck on Saturday.