05/11/2019: Post match views from Kilkenny v UCFL game on Saturday night
Team manager looks ahead to Kildare game
While Saturday night’s match in Kilkenny resulted in a disappointing defeat for the UCFL in their first Oscar Traynor match of the season, manager Paul Hutchinson and his assistant David Spring, both remained upbeat afterwards. The number of chances created and share of possession enjoyed by the team throughout the game belied the final scoreline and Paul’s hope is that this knowledge will allow the players to play with greater confidence and belief that they can win against Kildare and still qualify for the knockout stages.

Noting that the UCFL players were adamant that Gavin Murphy’s early effort had crossed the line by a significant margin (the referee in comments afterwards appeared to indicate that he suspected the ball had crossed the line, but his view was blocked by players in the 6 yard box), he pointed out that the UCFL had had the better of the first half, enjoying a greater share of possession and creating more chances than their opponents. At halftime, there was confidence that the UCFL could go on and win the game, but afterwards Paul expressed regret that perhaps he had not sufficiently impressed on his players the likelihood of a reaction from Kilkenny to what was an unsatisfactory first half performance from their point of view.

Certainly, there did seem to be a dip in concentration levels around the hour mark when the two goals which effectively decided the game were conceded. Both were extremely preventable. The vital first goal followed a delay for an injury-enforced substitution of full-back Peter O’Brien, which very probably affected the UCFL defence’s concentration at the subsequent corner.

After that, Kilkenny clearly changed to a more defensive formation, forcing the UCFL to chase the game. A third goal was almost inevitable in these circumstances, though the UCFL continued to create chances and goalmouth incidents to the end. The Kilkenny goalkeeper was a very able performer and was one of the stars of Saturday night’s game, rescuing his team on several occasions.

Paul has been attending several matches each weekend since the beginning of the season in a bid to find the best players for the team. He will continue with these efforts ahead of the Kildare game and has stressed that he remains very open to bringing in other players who he thinks might improve the team.

The UCFL would again like to thank all players and their clubs for their contributions and for cooperating with the team management, including those who were not involved last Saturday night. We can expect that some of the latter will be involved against Kildare, perhaps even some who have not previously come to the management’s attention! With two teams to qualify for the knockout stages, the UCFL remains very much in contention.

The date and venue for the game against Kildare have not yet been confirmed. With two FAI and LFA Junior Cup weekends coming up in November and Kildare approaching the end of their season, finding a date suitable to both sides is proving a little problematic, but with the Kilkenny game completed we hope to be able to agree something in the coming days.

Team photo at top:

Back (l to r): Peter O’Brien (VEC FC), David Frewen (VEC FC), Gavin Murphy (C) (VEC FC), Neil Love (South William Street Celtic), Andy Hedderman (Glasnaion FC), Ayuba Salaudeen (Castle Celtic). Front: Ross Byrne (Arthur Griffith Park FC), Dylan Kelly (Tallaght Utd), Sean Murphy (South William Street Celtic), Ray Jaudzems (VEC FC), Wayne Sanderson (Castle Celtic).

05/11/2019 23:31