Oisin McConville steered his Dundalk IT charges to a historic Trench Cup victory when they overcame Waterford IT in Jordanstown last Saturday beating them 1.14 to 1.08.
DkIT had been beaten finalists on three previous occasions in 1989, 1993 and 1997.
Having won the toss and opting to play with the strong wind advantage, Oisin McConville and Shane Lennons side hit the ground running and were 1.01 to no score in front after 3 minutes thanks to a Declan Flaherty point and superb goal by Donal Meegan.
Unfazed, Waterford opened their account on the 5th minute and by the 8th minute had broken through the Dundalk rear-guard to fire past custodian Joe O’Donohue.
However Flaherty, McKenna and Gerard McSorely made sure Dundalk continued to keep the scoreboard ticking and went into the half time break 4 points in front leading the Deise side 1-08 – 1.04.
On the restart, with the wind in their sails the Waterford outfit began to tighten the screw and by the 53rd minute had reduced the deficit to 2.
But Dundalk would never relinquish their lead and with inspirational points from man of the match Daniel “Yankee” McKenna (2) and a colossal 45” from substitute Emmet Kirk the north east side finished by far the stronger to capture the prestigious title.
So, forty years after Dublin legend Brian Mullans lifted the trophy for the first time, along with the likes of Pat Spillane and Donegal’s Damien Diver , Monaghan’s Kieran Duffy and Dundalk IT captain accepted the cup to rapturous applause.
Speaking afterwards a delighted McConville commended the DkIT background team “This is 5 years in the making with lots of hard work going on behind the scenes. This has now really put us on the football map at long last and it’s been really worth all the effort winning here today. ” He continued “ The college was coming from a low base numbers wise, but now with 7 county footballers on the panel and a scholarship scheme in place we have proved that we can hold our own with the best and push on now to go from strength to strength.”
Shane Lennon spoke of the benefits this win would have for the future; “ Last Saturday’s win was an incredible achievement which has been building over the last few years. It’s great to have success to go with the structures that have been put in place over the last number of years. This victory is something very special for a super group of lads. Third level football is very prestigious and it gives players an opportunity for players to showcase their talents on a national stage.
DKIT is an outlet for players to develop themselves academically and in their chosen sports field. This is beneficial to the growth and development of GAA in the county. This success is paramount in keeping the best talent in the county on our doorstep. While scholarships have aided our development and the attraction of players to the college and I know it is something that we hope to continue to grow over the coming years”
He went on to say “This Thursday our Freshers team play Trinity College Dublin in the All Ireland Division 2 championship final. This would be quite a unique double if we were to create history in capturing these two titles in the space of a few days. Four of our Freshers GAA scholarships made substitute appearances in the Trench Cup final and were a key part of the win “
Team and Scorers:
DUNDALK IT: Joe O’Donoghue ( Laragh, Cavan), John Smith (Seneschalstown, Meath), Jason Murphy (Toome, Monaghan), Conor Lenehan ( Naomh Fionnbarra, Louth); Colm Meegan ( Inniskeen,Monaghan), Kieran Duffy ( Capt) ( Latton,Monaghan) Ciaran Bellew ( Kilkerley, Louth); Owen Coyle ( Latton,Monaghan), Shane McElroy ( Donaghmoyne, Monaghan); Donal Meegan (Inniskeen, Monaghan) (1-1, 1f), Gerard McSorley ( Dundalk Gaels, Louth)(0-3), Dean Maguire(Dundalk Young Irelands, Louth); Robbie Quigley ( O’Connells,Louth), Declan Flaherty ( St Kevins, Kildare) (0-4) , Daniel McKenna ( Truagh, Monaghan) (0-5, 1f)
Subs used: Conor Doherty (Kilcar, Donegal), Ryan McGuigan ( Clontibret,Monaghan) Caolan McElwain (Scotstown,Monaghan), Emmet Kirk ( St Brides, Louth) (0-1, 45), Jordan O Donohue ( Dundalk Young Irelands, Louth)