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St Vincent’s FC back in league action

St Vincent’s Hospital FC 1-2 Seaford Rock United
Friday, 24 August 2018

St Vincent’s suffered a disappointing home defeat in the league opener, going down 2-1 to a strong Seaford Rock United side. The visitors scored twice from back-post headers in the first half. Fionn Nally opened his account for the season with a header of his own to pull Vincent’s within one, but the team could not force an equaliser, despite applying late pressure.

Vincent’s started well on a perfect night for football under the lights of the St Benildus College astro pitch. Peter Kelly and John Cosgrove controlled the midfield area and moved the ball quickly between defence and attack. Despite pressing high and creating a number of openings, Vincent’s found themselves a goal down after 20 minutes, when a corner made its way to the back post and was headed home. The team conceded a second goal that was a near carbon copy of the first a few minutes later. Defending set-pieces has been one of the team’s strong points over the last number of months, and it was very disappointing to allow two goals from corners over such a short period of time.

The second half saw an improved display, and Vincent’s were soon back in the game when Fionn Nally nodded in at the back post from a deep corner. Despite pressing for a goal to pull level, the breakthrough never came. Aidan McGrath and Alex McDaid came close, but the team missed a clinical edge when chances presented themselves.

Both teams had chances, but Seaford Rock took theirs, while Vincent’s did not. A higher level of competition leaves a reduced margin for error and the team will need to be more ruthless going forward in order to turn losses into wins.

Key performer

Alex McDaid put in a strong performance on the right wing and was a constant threat. The UCD medical student has a fantastic combination of pace and power and his level of skill and vision have improved considerably since coming into the squad. Alex created a number of chances and was unlucky not to find the back of the net himself.

Matchday squad

Gavin McDaid, Colm Cosgrove, Darren McMahon, Dan Hales, Andy Delany, Peter Kelly, Rory Durand, John Cosgrove, Alex McDaid, Fionn Nally, Aidan McGrath, Cian Ward, Peter McAnena, Dean Huggard, and Nathan Wall.

Inchicore Athletic FC 0 – 4 St Vincent’s Hospital FC
Thursday, 30 August 2018

Vincent’s got back to winning ways in emphatic fashion with a dominant 4-0 away win against Inchicore Athletic FC. Aidan McGrath opened and closed the scoring. Fionn Lynch opened his account for the club with a debut goal, and Darren McMahon hit the back of the net with a long-range effort. Putting the first points of the season on the board is always a relief and this performance left the team in no doubt that they belong in the division.

Inchicore enjoyed the stronger opening 20 minutes and really should have been ahead. Ronan McDermott made a point-blank save when the opposing winger weaved through the Vincent’s defence, and Inchicore then missed a penalty. The game turned soon after the penalty miss, when Fionn Nally broke the offside trap to get on the end of a wonderful chipped through-ball from John Cosgrove. Fionn drew the keeper off his line and squared for Aidan McGrath to finish into an open net. Almost from the restart the lead was doubled, when a high press put Fionn Lynch through on goal and the St Vincent’s Hospital intern smashed a low effort past the keeper for a debut goal.

The second half continued in much the same way as the first. Vincent’s were too quick and skilful in possession to come under much pressure and created a host of chances as the opposition began to get ragged. Darren McMahon put the ball into the back of the net from a long-range effort that some would describe as a cross gone wrong. Aidan McGrath put the icing on the cake when he won possession high up the pitch and finished superbly from the edge of the area to make it 4-0.

The midfield trio of Peter Kelly, Rory Durand and John Cosgrove gave the team a strong platform for both attack and defence and the clean sheet was secured by strong work from Gav Kane, Andy Delany, Kieran Keane and Darren McMahon. Overall, an excellent team performance that will give the lads a lot of belief going forward.

Key performer

Aidan McGrath picked up where he left off, scoring twice and creating a hatful of openings throughout the game. The GP used his lightning pace and close control to give the opposition defence headaches and took his chances when they came. Aidan scored a goal a game last season and he will be looked upon to try to replicate those results over the course of this campaign.

Matchday squad

Ronan McDermott, Gavin Kane, Darren McMahon, Andy Delany, Kieran Keane, Peter Kelly, John Cosgrove, Rory Durand, Aidan McGrath, Fionn Lynch, Cian Ward, Barra Neary, Eddy Wrynn, Colm Cosgrove, Sean Keane.

CIE Ranch FC 4-3 St Vincent’s Hospital FC
Saturday, 1 September 2018

A combination of weddings, christenings, holidays and Electric Picnic saw an experimental squad travel to play CIE Ranch on a pitch notorious for being in poor condition. A recent spell of good weather resulted in a rock-hard playing surface, making good passages of play hard to come by.

Vincent’s started slowly and were two goals down inside the opening 15 minutes. The first came from a ball into the feet of the opposing No 9 at the edge of the box, who turned sharply to create a yard of space, allowing him curl a beautiful effort into the top corner. The second was a more disappointing goal to concede, when a high ball dropped inside the box. Their No 9 was quickest to react and doubled his tally with a smart finish to the bottom corner. On the stroke of half-time, Vincent’s got a goal back through a 35-yard rocket from Rory Durand that left the goalkeeper rooted to the spot.

Despite the optimism of getting a goal back, the second half started much the same way as the first. Vincent’s fell further behind from a penalty, and then went 4-1 down when a clever through-ball led to a smart finish from the left.

Times like this give an insight into the character of a team and Vincent’s responded as one would expect of current league champions. Fionn Lynch continued his impressive start the season, taking the ball to feet at the edge of the box and wriggling free past a number of defenders to finish calmly from short range. The lead was further cut to 4-3 when a break from a corner allowed Eddy Wrynn put Fionn Lynch through on goal and he made no mistake after rounding the keeper. The comeback very much on, Vincent’s pressed for an equaliser for the last 15 minutes but could not make the breakthrough Kieran Keane came close with a header, and Kevin Nally shot wide from the edge of the box.

So, 4-3 the final score. A disappointing result but the team can be proud of the response to going a few goals behind. Kevin Nally and Fiachra Lynch made excellent debut performances and we look forward to seeing the students establish themselves in the team as the season goes on.

Key performer

Rory Durand was fantastic in his usual centre-midfield role. The cardiology registrar demanded the ball throughout and was instrumental in driving the comeback effort. His wonderful strike is an early goal of the season contender and he has been in a good vein of goal-scoring form since the closing stages of last season.

Matchday squad

Sean Keane, Peter McAnena, Dean Huggard, Kieran Keane, Colm Cosgrove, Ronan Murray, Rory Durand, Eddy Wrynn, Fionn Lynch, Fionn Nally, Barra Neary, Kevin Nally, Fiachra Lynch.

What’s next?

The team takes on Inchicore Athletic FC in the Noel Ryan cup on Saturday, 8 September, a repeat of the earlier league fixture that Vincent’s won 4-0. The rematch promises to be a much tighter encounter and we are hoping a win will see the start of a strong Cup run.

Get involved

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

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