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Goalkeeping heroics inspire St Vincent’s to Cup win

Pearse Park astro in Crumlin staged the game; a wonderful venue to play quality football. Vincent’s reversed a recent trend of slow starts by getting the opening goal in the early stages. Paul Carroll clipped a delicate cross between two defenders into the path of Aidan McGrath, who controlled with his first touch and lifted a wonderful lob over the onrushing goalkeeper with his second.

Inchicore responded well to going 1-0 down. Pressing high, they took control of the possession battle and created a number of clear chances. Gavin McDaid made two incredible saves from close range to prevent the hosts from pulling level. In all, Gavin was credited with preventing over 20 efforts from hitting the back of the net, and this figure does not include the large number of crosses confidently claimed.

Vincent’s led at half-time, and went further ahead not long after the break. Fionn Lynch ghosted into the box past two defenders, squaring for Cian Ward to score from close range at the back post.

Aidan ended the game as a contest with his second goal to make it 3-0, a marvellous 25-yard curler into the top corner from the edge of the box to finish a quick counter in style. Inchicore got a late goal to pull within two, but never looked like getting any closer.

John Cosgrove was a class apart in midfield, orchestrating the direction and tempo of play. Dean Huggard, Colm Cosgrove, Kieran Keane and Dan Hales defended strongly, and Barra Neary played with his usual brand of pace and power on the wing.

So 3-1 the final score, a strong rebound following last week’s disappointing league loss.

This game underlines the importance of getting the first goal. Falling behind forces teams to press high, leaving themselves exposed to being caught on the break. Vincent’s are blessed with an abundance of pace in the attacking third, making the team extremely effective on the counter. Holding a lead lets defenders sit a little deeper, and it is easier to prevent dangerous through balls. Though the midfield gets compressed, our players are more than happy to operate in tight spaces and enjoy having more options ahead of them once the press is beaten. It is much easier to play with a lead than to chase a game, a fact that must be considered when preparing to take the field.

Key performer

Gavin McDaid gave an outrageous goalkeeping display to frustrate the hosts on a myriad of occasions. With our backs to the wall for long periods, the UCD medical student was busy throughout. It would not be an over-reaction to call two point-blank saves world-class and he routinely dealt with many more efforts peppered in his direction. Crosses were no problem either, and Gavin confidently dealt with any high ball straying too close. It is hard to remember a performance in recent Vincent’s history as good as this one, though we would hope to be less reliant on superb goalkeeping displays to win games going forward.

Matchday squad

Gavin McDaid, Colm Cosgrove, Dean Huggard, Dan Hales, Kieran Keane, Paul Carroll, Eddy Wrynn, John Cosgrove, Aidan McGrath, Fionn Lynch, Barra Neary, Cian Ward, David Kennedy, Fiachra Lynch, Mark Dwyer, Paddy O’Connor.

Club news

For the winter months, training has moved from Bushy Park to the all-new, state-of-the-art, 11-a-side astro pitch at St Kilian’s German School in Clonskeagh. This is an exciting move for the team and is a major improvement on previous years. Upgrading the quality of winter training was given priority status coming into the season following player feedback, and we feel the move will leave us better prepared to compete on match day.

What’s next?

The team will look to keep the Cup run going with an away fixture against Tek United in round two of the Noel Ryan Cup on Saturday, 15 September. The hosts compete in the top Saturday division of the LSL, meaning both a tough test and an opportunity to compete at a higher level of competition.

In addition…

Training will be every Wednesday evening from 20:30 to 22:00 at St Kilian’s German School until late March and we are always looking for new faces to get involved.

Follow the St Vincent’s Hospital FC Facebook page, or get in contact via email: svuhfc@gmail.com.

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