A very brief nervous start from the home side quickly subsided and it became clear that they could match the highly ranked Dublin team. Strong play down the line to wing forward Walsh caused the University team some concern, further strengthening the belief that the Slaneysiders could get something out of this game. Mulligan, wing back, was a continuous outlet for ball which the full back duo of Fraser Rothwell and Jordan hoovered up time and time again. Mulligan's commitment was further demonstrated by putting his body on the line, with the game having to be stopped on two occasions for an eye blood injury and a ball strike to the arm. Another stoppage of play, due to an injury to Walsh, meant that he, who had been causing problems for the visitor's defence, had to be substituted. Pierce, clearly enjoying the game, proved to be a constant thorn in the Dubliner’s side, similarly providing outlet up the line to the midfielders.
The youth shone through on this cold crisp December afternoon. Redmond and English alike, showed skill and determination on the midfield wings, which was a major factor in the match's outcome. The Dublin team must have travelled back up the N11 after the match looking over their shoulders for English's shadow - Jake was on their case for the entirety of the game which helped upset the form they have clearly demonstrated to date in this league. McWey, was in the form of a player at the top of this league - his 3D stick skills, bringing a difficult ball under control at the end of an excellent move, were denied the deserved result of a goal with the ball going high over visitor’s goal.
In goal, Doyle, who is growing into a solid senior goalie, made his usual important saves and interventions which further frustrated the visitors. Enniscorthy's posts also came into play further denying Dublin Universitys. James, a recent new addition to the squad, tirelessly came back from his forward position to further let this traveling team know they had a game on their hands.
In the centre of midfield, Smith's calmness and vision, Jason Rothwell's pace and tenacity, and Maguire's alertness and skill, time and time again allowed the Slaneysiders to challenge the oppostion's defence and make opportunities for the forward line. Unfortunately, not due to the lack of commitment, the forays into the visitor's goal area were not delivering the desired result.
Then the breakthrough came. A textbook passage of play, which began with Pierce playing the ball up to McWey. John neatly laid the ball in to Hogan who has been a fantastic recent addition to the 2nds. Hogan's vision in midfield was razor sharp to see that Sweeney was open who then played the ball across to English running on to the top of the cirlce. English still had work to do, and did that superbly, to place the ball to the side of the goalie with the resulting, pleasing sound, of a ball on wood. 1-0 Enniscorthy. The lengths that Enniscorthy have developed were further demonstrated through further goal opportunities, but that elusive second goal would not come.
In a rare through ball from Enniscorthy’s 25, Dublin University equalised. Positively, the home side’s heads did not drop. A goal attempt by Sweeney went agonisingly wide of the post by inches. A short corner for the hosts in overtime came close but, again, didn't deliver the perhaps, somewhat deserved winner, for an Enniscorthy Team that is clearly on the up.
Enniscorthy take on Portrane next Saturday as they go in search of a win in north county Dublin.
Enniscorthy Squad: Luke Doyle; David Mulligan; PJ Pierce; Jack Redmond; Jake English; Billy James; Cian Hogan; Fraser Rothwell; Mick Jordan; Alan Smith; Robbie Walsh; Eamonn Sweeney; John McWey; Jason Rothwell; Niall Maguire. Coach: Donal Doyle. Manager: Fraser Rothwell.