TEK United FC – 1
Dublin Hospitals FC – 2
New Road, Blackrock College RFC, Blackrock, Co Dublin
Saturday 9 September 2023
On one of the hottest days of the year, Dublin Hospitals FC (DHFC) trotted out for their second game of the season away at TEK United FC in Blackrock. Water breaks were mandated in each half such was the intensity of the heat, with suncream littered around both benches. DHFC looked to keep up the momentum after a club record 7-1 win the previous week.
There was a feisty opening to the game, perhaps in keeping with the 25-degree heat, with hard challenges going in from both sides. DHFC started well with some early chances created. An early goal from Ger Cheevers was controversially ruled out for handball, as he brought the ball down in the box, turned and fired into the back of the net following some classic wing play from Fionn Nally.
DHFC’s good play continued in the first-half, with a long-range effort fizzing over the bar from John Cosgrove being the next effort to test TEK United’s goal. Constant pressure from the away side resulted in further half chances created. The best of these was a bouncing cross which was flicked up to Brian Gaffney at the top of the box, who controlled and shot his half-volley narrowly wide.
As the half wore on, the excellent combination of Rory Durand and John Cosgrove began to influence proceedings with greater control in midfield. On the 25-minute mark it was the away side that opened the scoring. Some neat play down the right wing resulted in a corner kick, which was swung in with John Cosgrove’s left leg and powerfully headed home at the near post after a magnificent leap by Rory Durand. DHFC’s good play was finally rewarded.
But DHFC weren’t happy with one. On the 35-minute mark, a swift passing move between Ger Cheevers and Fionn Nally resulted in the ball being worked back into midfield. The ball fell to Colm Cosgrove, whose deflected shot was parried by the opposition keeper and fell nicely into the path of Niall O’Gorman who followed up to extend the lead. DHFC went into half-time with a deserved 0-2 lead and a welcome reprieve from the heat.
The second-half got underway with DHFC aiming to keep things tight at the back in the opening minutes. Some early pressure from TEK United FC resulted in a corner kick for the home side. The ball was swung deep into the back post, just over the outstretched hands of keeper Matthew Berkley, and headed in from close range. TEK United had one back and a nervy second-half of the game was in store.
DHFC were on the back foot following this goal with TEK United FC substitutes making a difference as the punishing heat was felt by the away side. DHFC defended resolutely and conceded few clear-cut chances to the home team. The entire defence had a terrific game with a notable performance from man of the match Evan Preston-Kelly who was immense in the air and even better at handling the physical opposition striker on the ground.
TEK United’s pressure and DHFC’s lack of a full bench led to a transition to counter attacking play being employed during the final stage of the match. Brian Gaffney was clumsily brought down in the box by a TEK United FC defender with just over 10 minutes to go, but the referee saw it differently and awarded a free kick instead to the home team. Fionn Nally also had a late chance after a dizzying solo run from the halfway line, but the resultant shot went narrowly wide. Despite this, DHFC held on to secure all three points. Relief was felt around the pitch, with several players run out on their feet.
The result left DHFC top of the league on goal difference.
Team: Matthew Berkley; Damien Connaughton; Colm Cosgrove; Colm Kirby; Evan Preston-Kelly; John Cosgrove; Niall O’Gorman; Rory Durand; Brian Gaffney; Ger Cheevers; Fionn Nally.
Subs: Cian Ward; Robert Kelly.
DHFC would like to thank our wonderful sponsors MPS and Allergy Ireland who kindly provided match-day sponsorship for this game.
Go online to www.dublinhospitalsfc.com for all the latest DHFC news, records, results, and other features.