Irish College and Universities 2
IT was a proud night for Munster Senior League side Rockmount on Wednesday when five of their squad featured in the friendly game against the Irish College and Universities team at Home Farm’s grounds in Whitehall.
Goalkeeper Brendan O’Connell, the holder of over 60 caps, was joined in Gerry Davis’ panel for the game by his Rockmount team-mates Adam Crowley, Nathan Broderick, Eoin Murphy, and Luke Casey, with the former four starting and Casey coming off the bench.
College Corinthians Darragh O’Sullivan-Connell also featured in a game that is part of Davis preparations for next year’s Regions Cup qualifiers in Bulgaria and all six players will be hoping to be part of the Irish manager’s plans in the new year.
And while the result didn’t go his players’ way, Rockmount manager Edward Kenny was delighted to see his players getting recognition at international level.
“It’s a proud moment for the club and for all of the players’ families; we are thrilled that they got their reward for all of their efforts,” said Kenny who was in Dublin for the game.
“They gave a very good account of themselves and Brendan, as captain, has always sets the standard and it was great to see the four lads get their first caps.
“They deserved their call-up and hopefully it won’t be their last time representing their country, and, in truth, we could have had one or two more involved,” Kenny added.
The draw for the Regions Cup qualifiers was made on Wednesday and Ireland will have Romania, San Marino, and Bulgaria for company in their qualifying group, with games scheduled for October in 2022.
Davis will be disappointed with Wednesday’s result, but his side played second fiddle to the Students who carried the greater threat particularly in the first half.
A goal in each half proved enough to see the Students, managed by Cork man Greg Yelverton and featuring Cork players Darragh Crowley (UCC), Naythan Coleman (IT Carlow), and Conor Drinan (Munster TU), get the better of their opponents in an entertaining fixture.
The Students had the better of the early exchanges and IT striker Gary Gannon had a chance in the 10th minute when he fired over, but 10 minutes later he atoned when cooly slotting the ball past O’Connell at the second attempt.
Nathan Broderick did have a half-chance to grab an equaliser, but he pulled his finish wide of Jimmy Corcoran’s left-hand post.
O’Connell had to deny the lively Willie Armshaw with a smart save and both managers made changes for the second half with Casey being sprung from the bench and he and Broderick both had decent chances but failed to hit the target.
Davis’ side fell further behind when Cillian Heaney was taken down on the edge of the box as he jinked his way past several defenders and when replacement keeper Gary Cunningham failed to hold a well-struck Daryl Walsh free-kick, Heaney nipped in to apply the finish.
The Amateurs then had a big shout for a penalty turned down before Jimmy McHugh got clear of the Students' defence to beat Colin McCabe with a well-taken consolation goal in the closing minutes.
FAI AMATEURS: Brendan O’Connell (Rockmount AFC); Sean Rogers (Killester Donnycarney FC), Adam Crowley (Rockmount AFC), John Gerard McLoughlin (Glengad United), Shane Maloney (Lucan United); Jimmy Carr (St. Michael’s AFC, Nathan Broderick (Rockmount AFC), Stephen Chambers (Killester Donnycarney FC), Stephen Bradley (Fairview Rangers), Eoin Murphy (Rockmount AFC); Shane Stritch (Edenderry Town).
Subs all used: Gary Cunningham (Westport United), Jack McMullen (Home Farm), Glen Daly (Malahide United), Oisin McColgan (Cockhill Celtic), Sam Burgess (Killester Donnycarney FC), Luke Casey (Rockmount AFC), Eoin Hayes (Newmarket Celtic), Jimmy McHugh (Oliver Bond Celtic), Darragh O’Sullivan (College Corinthians).
COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES: Jimmy Corcoran (IT Carlow); Daniel Dobbin (TU Dublin), Peter Maguire (IT Sligo), Darryl Walsh (Waterford IT), Evan Weir (Maynooth University); Darragh Crowley (UCC), Daniel McKenna (TU Dublin); William Armshaw (TUS Midwest), James Clarke (Maynooth University), Conor Drinan (Munster TU); Gary Gannon (IT Sligo).
Subs all used: Colin McCabe (TU Dublin), Cillian Heaney (IT Sligo), Naythan Coleman (IT Carlow), John Tamen (Waterford IT), Conor Coughlan (TUS Midwest), Anto Dolan (IT Carlow), Regix Madika (Waterford IT).
Referee: Sean Boyd. Assistants: Chris Daly and Craig Foley. Fourth Official: Eamon Connolly.