A commanding performance in the first half by Trinity College Dublin GAA (TCDGAA) could not be replicated in the second. Trinity started strongly, with Patrick Bohane sending a testing high ball into the square of Dublin City University’s (DCU) St Pat’s. The keeper had no choice but to fist the ball over the crossbar to open Trinity’s account. This was followed by a point from Luke Tynan, who looked lively during the opening skirmishes.
Following his lead, the Trinity forward line were in form and were kicking some exceptional scores, a highlight coming from full-forward Andrew Butler, gathering a diagonal ball from Cian Kelly and sticking it over from an acute angle.
St Pat’s were playing extremely deep in their own half, preferring to work the ball from the full back line. This tactic was unsuccessful in the first half, with St Pat’s slow build up play often being intercepted by the Trinity defence, who had plenty of time to get men behind the ball and anticipate the pass.
Bohane was a commanding presence in the middle of the park, winning a lot of ball in the air. In the 17th minute he caught a high ball and with a powerful run burst through the St Pat’s defence before hand-passing it off to Butler, who neatly slotted the ball inside the keeper’s near post.
St Pat’s were kept in the game mainly by the accuracy of Odhran McGinley, kicking three frees in the first half. Despite Trinity’s dominance, they only led by four points at the close of the first half. They would be left to rue that margin as St Pat’s emerged a different team in the second half. The St Pat’s keeper was also, bizarrely, their manager, shouting instructions and making substitutions from his goal line. He clearly motivated his side with his team talk at the break.
In the first two minutes they made up the four point deficit with Jamie Byrne smashing the ball into the Trinity net and Johnny Burke fisting a point over from inside the 21. St Pat’s took the lead in the 34th minute with a free from McGinley and added to this lead with points from Burke and Curty.
It took 15 minutes for the teams to convert another score. Both sides had a flurry of wides each in this period. Trinity took control of the game again but failed to convert possession into scores.
Eoin McCormack finished the game for St Pat’s with time almost up, running from deep to receive a hand pass on the 21 which he blasted past Darragh Morrissey to put his side out of touching distance.
That said, Trinity continued to threaten the St Pat’s goal and maybe if they had another five minutes, they could have gotten a goal. But the whole St Pat’s team had retreated into their own 45 in an unashamedly defensive display and it was not to be. St Pat’s proceed to the semi-final of the Division 3 League and Trinity must wait until February and the championship for another shot at winning silverware.