Quick-fire goals put DCU in command in win over UUJ
DCU 3-10 UU Jordanstown
Two first-half goals laid the platform for DCU's one-sided victory over a strongly fancied UUJ side at Jordanstown.
The home side paraded a glittering array of inter-county talent but Niall Moyna's DCU side had a good understanding and were far more cohesive with superior support play.
Goals from Enda Smith and Niall Murphy after 23 and 28 minutes respectively gave the visitors a 2-5 to 0-2 lead. UUJ hit five wides in the opening ten minutes and once DCU settled, they were rarely troubled.
The home side struggled around midfield and missed injured Antrim midfielder Niall McKeever, while rumours that Tyrone star Joe McMahon would make a dramatic appearance for UUJ never materialised.
While the home side outscored their opponents by 0-8 to 0-3 either side of half-time, with Patrick McBrearty and Kieran Hughes leading the fight to their opponents, DCU finished strongly with Enda Smith bagging his second goal deep into injury-time.
Donal Smith came off the bench to land a couple of nice scores late on for a win that was more comfortable than their manager Niall Moyna had expected.
"UUJ were heavy favourites and sometimes when the expectation is on you it is difficult to perform because the game is not played on paper," he said.
"We know what that has felt like in the past and been on the receiving end of it.
"We may not have had household names today but we have a good team and we felt confident our defence could contain their marquee forwards."
Moyna praised Jack Smith's shackling of Mayo star Cillian O'Connor, predicting the Dublin U-21 All-Ireland winner will break into the senior team this year.
O'Connor's only score was a free in the 49th minute while Conor McHugh landed five points for DCU, four from placed balls.
scorers - UUJ: P McBrearty 0-2 (2fs), R Donnelly 0-2, K Clarke, S Sheridan, R O'Neill, C Mooney, D Savage 0-1 each, C O'Connor 0-1 (f). DCU: E Smith 2-0, C McHugh 0-5 (4f), N Murphy 1-1, D Smith 0-2, R Connor, C Daly 0-1 each.
UUJ - R Beggan (Monaghan); K Brady (Cavan), R Johnston (Antrim), M Johnston (Antrim); K Clarke (Cavan), M Donnelly (Tyrone), S Sheridan (Armagh); M Argue (Cavan), C Mooney (Down); K Hughes (Monaghan), R O'Neill (Tyrone), R Donnelly (Tyrone); P McBrearty (Donegal), C O'Boyle (Derry), C O'Connor (Mayo). Subs: B Sankey (Cavan) for Argue (29), D Savage (Down) for Sankey (BC, 35), L Gervin (Tyrone) for O'Neill (40), F Burns (Tyrone) for O'Boyle (44).
DCU - T Lowe (Roscommon); J Smith (Dublin), C Boyle (Monaghan), C Daly (Roscommon); D Ward (Monaghan), C Moynagh (Cavan), C Begley (Laois); T Flynn (Galway), S O'Brien (Tipperary); D O'Connor (Mayo), C Meredith (Laois), D Byrne (Dublin); E Smith (Roscommon), N Murphy (Sligo), C McHugh (Dublin). Subs: R Connor (Longford) for Meredith (39), D Smith (Roscommon) for Murphy (45), C McGreanor (Wicklow) for O'Connor (46), E O'Connor (Louth) for Byrne (52), S Carey (Monaghan) for Moynagh (55), D Wrynn (Leitrim) for McHugh (58).
Ref - P Hughes (Armagh)