UL hit Waterford with six of the best News: results

Posted On 24th Oct 2023
Posted By Men's Soccer
Author Mark Nolan (Fixtures Secretary)
Location North Campus Pitches, UL

CUFL Premier Division Group 3

University of Limerick 6-1 SETU Waterford

The University of Limerick completed a clean sweep of three wins from three games in their final group clash as they comprehensively defeated SETU Waterford 6-1 on the North Campus in Limerick this afternoon.

Three games in as many weeks would always require UL to draw on the depth of their squad and several players were handed their intervarsity debuts today. The new faces were clearly eager to stake a claim for ang berth going forward as Limerickd the game on the front foot.

With just two minutes on the clock Ciaran Jennings broke away on the right wing, reaching the byline the Sligoman looped a cross into the Waterford box with Alex Sidorov forcing the keeper into action. Just a minute later Jennings was again involved as with his back to goal he flicked the ball backwards over his marker allowing Marcus Hogan to race through on goal. The Treaty United midfielder’s effort was just saved.

That duo would link up again to break the deadlock with just five minutes played. Hogan delivered a corner into the mixer where captain on the day Jennings rose the highest making no mistake with a powerful header.

Waterford’s unorthodox decision to use an extremely high line invited pressure on their defence which UL duly obliged. The concession of set pieces was a recurring theme in the opening quarter with the home side coming close to scoring again with twelve minutes played.  

From a corner Sidorov was again denied by the Waterford shot stopper but the ball could only be scrambled clear to winger Theo Joyce. With space to manoeuvre Joyce curled an effort just wide of the upright.

The Shannonsiders were dealing comfortably with their opponents forays into their half with centre back duo Alex Cuddy and Tom Kelly snuffing out any long balls while right back Luke Ryan did well to rebuff advances on his wing.

UL’s set piece maestro Joey Rushe saw a 14th minute free kick well saved and a driven strike from range a minute later also stung the gloves of the Waterford keeper. It very much felt a matter of when not if Limerick would move two clear and that goal would arrive after twenty five minutes.

Hogan whipped a corner towards goal, the keeper got there in time but dropped the ball bundling it into his own net.

UL were comfortably the better team but Waterford still posed danger on the counter, one such attack was stopped in its tracks by a bone crunching sliding tackle from Tom Kelly. The Maynooth man won the ball and managed to slip it to Hogan who produced an instinctive flick that released Jennings in on goal with his shot winning a corner.

That set piece would see the arrival of the third goal. The corner was headed away by a Waterford defender but only as far as Theo Joyce, the Connemara man played the ball to Oisin Breen who sprayed it wide to Ewan O’Brien.

The Regional United man showed real football intelligence in opting for a low driven ball towards the back post instead of a high looping cross, Kelly who had stayed in the area from the corner, calmly guided the ball into the bottom corner with 39 minutes played.

The last action of the first half served as a wakeup call to UL as Waterford broke at speed down the right winning a corner from which a header went narrowly wide. Danger averted and UL took a three goal lead into the half time break.

Any hopes of an unlikely Waterford fightback were dashed just three minutes into the second moiety. Already on a yellow card a Waterford defender became frustrated with a free kick awarded against his side, his protestations became too much for the referee who showed him a second yellow condemning him to an early shower.

Just five minutes into the second half UL stretched their lead to four. Yet another corner was delivered, a header at the front post sent it towards the back post where Sidorov slid in to complete the move.

To their credit, despite being a man and four goals down, Waterford hit back with an instant response. A quick passing counter attack down the right culminated in Pat Walsh guiding the ball into the bottom corner of the UL goal in the 53rd minute.

That was to be the last real moment of note from a Waterford perspective as UL made their numerical advantage count taking a stranglehold of the game. With the luxury of a talented bench the home side brought on some of their more experienced players to finish the game in style.

UL controlled possession as they continued to look for yet more goals. Their efforts were eventually award from – you guessed it – a corner in the 75th minute. The towering presence of Tom Kelly was picked out, his first effort thundered off the upright, the ball was loose in the six yard box but Waterford could only clear it as far as Kelly who could make no mistake at the second time of asking.

The sixth and final goal for the Shannonsiders arrived three minutes later. Eoin Redmond played a superb through-ball out the left wing. Substitute Donnacah O’Leary raced away from his markers towards goal. The Treaty United man took the goalkeeper for a merry dance before laying the ball off to Leon Daly who dispatched it with aplomb despite two Waterford defenders throwing themselves at the ball as it made its way towards goal.

In truth UL could have further added to their impressive tally, two minutes from time Theo Joyce saw a curled effort hit the post while the last kick of the game fell to Daly who saw a strike from the edge of the area just go over.

The players can now look forward to a home quarter-final after a very impressive group campaign. The draw for their next opponents will be made before the end of the week but they will enjoy a well-earned rest next week after three consecutive matches.

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