Under the floodlights of Pearse Park, Dublin University Association Football Club (DUAFC) took on Templeogue United FC last night. After a heavy defeat at the hands of Inchicore last week, an early DUAFC goal indicated a reversal of fortunes, but the hosts came back strongly and the game ended 2-2.
DUAFC nearly went ahead right off the bat when an Oisín Pennycook shot was palmed away by Templeogue keeper Jamie Austin. Templeogue, for their part, did have the lion’s share of possession for the opening period, but they looked shaky on the ball and Trinity’s high press scuppered any real momentum they had. And the game was hardly 10 minutes old when Trinity’s Niall Cullen put Trinity ahead, rising highest to meet an inswinging corner and powering a header that the the keeper’s parry could not stop from narrowly crossing the line.
Captain Ronan Hanaphy almost extended Trinity’s lead, and perhaps should have done so, but his tame effort did not pose too many difficult questions for the keeper. The visitors, however, did not have it all their own way, and Owen Lindenfeldar in goal had to pull off a magnificent save to keep his side in front.
DUAFC had been the better side for the majority of the half, but the hosts, one point behind Trinity in the table before kick-off, knew a win would move them more firmly into mid-table, and minutes before the break Templeogue’s Ian McDermott smashed a header off the crossbar.
DUAFC went two goals up minutes into the second half when Hanaphy skirted past McDermott’s despairing challenge and coolly rounded the keeper. But Templeogue were far from cowed, and a clever pass from a breaking Karl McGrath found Aaron Comerford, who rocketed the ball past Lindenfeldar.
And it wasn’t long before they had a leveller, McDermott going one better than his first-half effort, and atoning for his failure to keep pace with Hanaphy for DUAFC’s second, with a a well-placed header into the net.
With the pressure firmly on, both sides threw the kitchen sink at each other. The game opened up and both sets of players began playing more expansive football, and with minutes remaining Hanaphy could have won it for DUAFC after Rory Nairn found him with a weighted pass. His effort, though, went narrowly wide, and the whistle blew on a draw that will have left neither side satisfied.