Miserable opening fortnight for fresher hurlers

DCU’s fresher hurlers have gotten their 2013 league campaign off to a poor start after two defeats in their first two games. DCU entered both fixtures as underdogs knowing that both sides they faced had more time to prepare for the fixtures.

In their opening game at home to NUI Galway, DCU lost out on a scoreline of 6-15 to 1-14, followed by a disappointing eight-point loss to local rivals DIT a week later.

DCU were unable to cause an upset in their opening league tie against NUIG in St. Clare’s. The home side came into the match knowing that a huge performance would be needed to overcome the current fresher hurling champions of Ireland.

With the majority of the players never having played together before, and having had minimal training time together, this was going to be as tough a start as the Glasnevin university could ask for. DCU started the game well however and gained a 0-4 to 0-1 lead after just five minutes.

NUIG managed to stem the DCU momentum with a goal and, from there, the visitors pushed on. DCU went on to concede some sloppy goals in a first half where they were more than competitive against their western counterparts.

The home side relied heavily on scores from wing forward Cian Boland, but due to NUIG’s ability to score goals, DCU found themselves behind by seven points at half time on a scoreline of 0-10 to 4-5.

NUIG lifted their performance in the second half and it was then that DCU’s lack of game time and preparation came in to play. NUIG’s ability to produce game-changing subs was ultimately the big difference between the two sides.

The hurl of Boland kept the DCU scoreline ticking over with the Dublin minor making up 10 points of DCU’s 1-14 final score. This wasn’t enough however as NUIG scored an impressive 2-10 in the second half with 2-5 coming from play.

DCU showed a lot of promise in the fixture but were unable to compete with NUIG’s ability to convert their chances, as they struggled to create any chances from open play.

DCU’s next fixture was against local rivals DIT, also in St. Clare’s. DCU entered this fixture optimistically knowing that a win was definitely possible. However, yet again it was the home team’s lack of ability to create scores from open play that inevitably cost them in this fixture.

Both sides started the game well and exchanged scores in the opening minutes, with the scoreline locked at three points each after ten minutes. The game opened up and, on what was definitely a day for free takers, DIT notched up four quick scores and never lost the lead afterwards.

DCU managed to bring down the deficit to a point but yet again DIT pushed on and went in at half time leading by 4 points on a scoreline of 0-7 to 0-11. The second half was similar to the first with DIT being far better at creating and converting their chances than their DCU counterparts.

DIT’s aerial dominance was also a big factor in the game, with their midfield winning the majority of the ball which gave them a good plateau to create scoring chances.

DCU could have easily have found themselves level midway through the second half when they had an ideal goalscoring opportunity, only to be stopped by a fantastic save from the DIT goalkeeper. The miss was a huge chance for DCU to turn the tide but from the resulting save DIT went down the pitch and further opened up their lead.

DIT scored a further eight points in the second half, with DCU only able to contribute four points; the majority of the scores coming yet again from the hurl of Boland, who chipped in with seven of DCU’s 10 scores.

Garrett Lavin at St. Clare’s

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