A COME-FROM-BEHIND WIN for Letterkenny Institute of Technology sealed their place in place in the knock-out stages of the CUFL (Colleges and Universities’ Football League) Division One.
Letterkenny Institute of Technology 2-1 IT Blanchardstown
The visitors at the Port Road campus opened the scoring through Curtis Durnin on 10 minutes but a first half equaliser from Liam Doherty looked to have earned a point – until Paul McVeigh struck the winner just six minutes from time.
LyIT (pictured above) had opened their campaign with a 3-0 win over NUI Galway before losing by the same scoreline to Dundalk IT. However, they got back on track following a 5-3 victory against Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology two weeks ago.
The hosts, today, had the best early chance when Liam Doherty headed Ryan Connolly’s cross wide. Then, a minute later, Daniel Martin Doherty blasted over.
However, that was the prelude to the first goal. A half-cleared corner bobbled about the penalty area before Durnin slammed past Mark McElhinney from eight yards to give IT Blanchardstown the lead.
On 12 minutes, Joey O’Riordan almost made it 2-0 when his diagonal shot flew inches wide. Another chance for IT Blanchardstown came and went when Durnin was, too, marginally off target.
Shane Byrne’s LyIT responded but saw penalty appeals waved away as McVeigh appeared to be felled in the box. Then, Daire McDaid’s centre was just too far ahead of Liam Doherty.
The equaliser came when Dean Larkin’s super through ball set Liam Doherty away; he managed to beat Andy McKenna to the ball to finish well past Aaron Shanaghan.
It was 1-1 at half-time.
The IT Blanchardstown team who played Letterkenny Institute of Technology this afternoon in the Colleges and Universities’ Football League
In the second half, McDaid’s free was headed just wide by McVeigh. Then seconds later, the same two players combined again on to see the striker’s effort cleared.
On the hour-mark, Matthew Connolly set-up James Hollywood, who missed a glorious chance for the Dublin west side but saw his pop fly wide when it seemed a goal was on.
LyIT went close again in the 75th minute when Liam Doherty saw Shanaghan save his shot and the hosts claimed for penalty again when Larkin was sandwiched but nothing was given.
Larkin was involved again when he picked up Kevin Doran’s pass and set McVeigh away. The Letterkenny Rovers frontman beat the defender not once but twice before shooting LyIT into the lead.
In the last minute, McVeigh went close again, as he got onto substitute Cian Mulligan’s cross, only to steer wide.
It Blanchardstown almost scraped a point when a long throw from McKenna was flicked on and the in-rushing Matthew Connolly blasted over the crossbar with the goal gaping.
LyIT conclude their Group A fixtures with an away clash against IT Sligo next Wednesday.
LyIT: Mark McElhinney; Jamie Boyle, Peter Doherty, Ross Coghlan, Ferghal Harkin; Liam Doherty (Cian Mulligan 82), Daire McDaid, Dean Larkin (Keelan McElwaine 89), Daniel Martin Doherty (Darren Gallagher, half-time), Ryan Connolly (Kevin Doran 62); Paul McVeigh.
IT Blanchardstown: Aaron Shanaghan; Adam Kavanagh, Tom Freeman, Bernardo Jose, Andy McKenna; Matthew Connolly, Gary O’Brien, Curtis Durnin (Jack Leggett 58), James Hollywood; Joey O’Riordan; Paddy Obijuru.