DCC secured a place in the North East Leinster Senior League Final after winning against Colaiste na Mí on Thursday afternoon. The tense game finished 1-1 at the end of normal time forcing extra-time. After a goalless extra-time, a penalty shootout was needed. DCC were victorious, winning 4-3 after 7 penalties from each side.
While both teams attacked early on, DCC found themselves behind almost immediately after a long ball led to a Colaiste na Mí player being brought down in the DCC box. The resulting penalty was converted giving Colaiste na Mí a 1-0 lead. DCC’s fightback was immediate and impressive. The team gained control of the ball and created several chances. One notable opportunity was full back Denis Galusca going on a great run then passing the ball to winger Adam Greene who dinked the ball skillfully over the defender to Jason Dignam who had found space in the box. Dignam didn’t think twice before hitting a volley which scraped narrowly wide.
DCC pressed against their opposition, overturning and winning possession a number of times. A freekick was awarded to DCC in a dangerous area after a quick counter was stopped by a foul. Mark McMahon made the most of the opportunity by placing it in the top right corner well out of the reach of the keeper to level the game. This goal was no more than Mark deserved after controlling the midfield in the opening half.
As time ticked towards the break, a long ball from the Colaiste na Mí keeper dropped to their striker inviting him to hit a volley, forcing DCC keeper Jack Kinsella to make a fine save. The score remained one all at the break.
Ciaran Lyons replaced Adam Greene at half time. Ciaran moved into the middle, allowing Sam Carroll to move to wing. The second half began with a dangerous attack from Colaiste na Mí with Jeff Nwodo needing to make a vital interception on the edge of the DCC box. DCC began to get more of a foothold in the game as shots from Alan Kelly and Sam Carroll tested the Colaiste na Mí keeper early on.
However, Colaiste na Mí were still creating chances using long balls to try and attack the DCC defence. Centre-halves Cormac Burke and Kieran Conroy dealt with these balls very well and the two fullbacks Denis Galusca and Dylan Geoghegan provided good cover. The solidity of the defence allowed Mr Clarke to move holding midfielder, Jeff Nwodo, further forward into midfield, where DCC dominated possession. Dylan Geoghegan put in another hugely impressive performance, conceding nothing to the opposition. Not content with stopping attacks, his assured ball control allowed him to beat a player and move the ball forward.
Will Deering entered the playing field as a replacement for Alan Kelly. Ciaran Lyons fed through a good ball into Jason Dignam who found Mark McMahon but his effort flew inches above the crossbar. Another substitution was made by DCC as Jeffrey Iyobosa came on and caused havoc for the opposition defence.
Two halves of five minutes had to be played as extra time as the game had ended level. DCC upped the intensity, trying hard to create chances. Will Deering notably pressed very high and won the ball back in Colaiste na Mi’s half numerous times. At the break in extra-time, Bobby Kelly came on for Denis Galusca.
Colaiste Na Mi ended the match with one last attack, with captain Cormac Burke isolated with an opposing attacker. Burke gained control of the ball, dropped a shoulder, and lost the winger. With great composure, Burke ran into space with the ball. This display by the leader spurred on his team before the penalty shootout. The game ended after a scrappy second period of extra-time which meant a penalty shootout would have to be used to decide the result.
Burke won the toss and decided to go first. Bobby Kelly was the first player to step up and struck home a well placed penalty. Then goalkeeper Kinsella, pulled out a fine save to deny the Colaiste na Mí player which gave DCC an early advantage. McMahon stepped up and slotted home DCC’s second penalty whilst Colaiste na Mi missed another. When victory looked so close the tables turned as DCC missed their next two penalties letting Colaiste na Mi score their next two making it all square once again. Deering placed DCC’s fifth penalty into the bottom left corner. However, the opposition responded with a successful penalty of their own. After DCC’s first penalty of sudden death was saved, Kinsella pulled off a great save to deny the Colaiste na Mi penalty and keep DCC in the shootout. Next to step up was Conroy who cooly put the ball into the bottom left corner. The following Colaiste na Mi penalty was missed meaning DCC won the shootout, booking themselves a spot in the final.
Congratulations to all the squad and to Mr. Clarke and Mark Madden for all their hard work with the team. Details on the final to be confirmed.
Donabate CC: Will Deering, Denis Galusca, Jack Kinsella, Cormac Burke (Capt), Mark McMahon, Alan Kelly, Dylan Geoghegan, Jeffrey Iyobosa, Kieran Conroy, Bobby Kelly, Ciaran Lyons, Jason Dignam, Adam Greene, Sam Carroll, Jeff Nwodo, Evan Brooks.
Coaches: Mr. Clarke, Mr. Roche, Mark Madden
Report and photos: Killian McKeon and Liam Shortall, TY Journalism