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STACEY THE SHOOT OUT SAVIOUR FOR TU DUBLIN AFTER STALEMATE AT ‘BLANCH’

TU DUBLIN 1 IT CARLOW 1 – aet

(TU Dublin won 3-0 on pens)

The new policy instigated this season of selecting players for their top side from the three TU Dublin campuses in Grangegorman, Blanchardstown and Tallaght has paid off as the new look TU Dublin qualified for next month’s Colleges and Universities Premier Division final knocking out the four times title holders IT Carlow in a penalty shootout after the sides played out a 1-1 draw at Blanchardstown.

By John Hudson

TU Dublin’s experienced goalkeeper Lee Stacey with a couple of brilliant stops made sure TU Dublin got the better of IT Carlow in the penalty shootout to book their place in next month’s final where they will face University of Limerick 3-2 winners over Maynooth University in the other semi-final.

The sides had remained level at one apiece after 20 minutes of extra time and it took just three series of spot kicks to quickly decide who would go through to meet UL in the decider.

Carlow failed to convert any of their opening three penalties with Anto Dolan shooting wide and the experienced Stacey guessing correctly to deny Adam Curran and Evan Farrell with top class saves.

And with Gavin Molly and Conor Levingston both converting their efforts that set up Aaron Dobbs who had netted the Dubliners first half goal the chance to beat Alex Moody and book TU Dublin’s place in the decider.

A feisty first half saw Carlow first to show early intent however it wasn’t long before TU Dublin settled and Moody was called into action to keep out efforts from Harry Groome, Eoin McPhillips and Molloy.

IT CARLOW

Just close to the half hour mark TU Dublin pressed home their advantage and hit the front when danger man Aaron Dobbs the Wexford FC striker picked up the ball 25 yards from goal and was allowed to weave his way through the Carlow defence and cleverly beat Moody with a low drive inside the ‘keepers right hand post.

It didn’t take Carlow too long to get back on terms and it was their lively right winger Tom Considine who did the damage after he got the better of defender James Nwanze and ran on to steer the ball past the advancing Steacy.

The sides remained level at the break but it was Carlow who looked the more likely to go ahead on the resumption.

Naythan Coleman controlled a pass from Considine on his chest and turned swiftly to fire in a shot that Stacey was glad to see whistle past his post.

Later Coleman headed over a Dolan corner and his best chance came when he seized on a defensive mix up that gave him a clear run on goal but his finish was well off the target.

Into the last quarter and Carlow were piling on the pressure in search of a winner. Considine was put through by Dolan’s exquisite pass but Stacey did well to smother the shot.

Another Carlow attack in the closing minutes saw the winger go close again before he limped off with a muscle strain. He cleverly cut in off the right flank and fired in a shot that rattled the crossbar and was cleared.

At the other end the limited opportunities TU Dublin had fell to Dobbs and substitute Adam Curran but both failed to beat Moody.

The 20 minutes of extra time failed to produce a winner and so it was left to Steacy in his final year in college to ensure TU Dublin in their first season under their new banner to make the final at Athlone Town Stadium.

Defeat was a bitter blow for Carlow who had suffered a shock 1-0 Colleges FAI Perpetual Cup first round loss at  home to lower division Dundalk IT last week.

TU DUBLIN: Lee Stacey; Ray O’Sullivan, James Nwanze, Gavin Molloy, Daniel Dobbin; Dan McKenna, Conor Levingston, Eoin McPhillips; Harry Groome; Aaron Dobbs, Rob Manley. Subs: Jamie Wynne (for Groome 60), Matthew O’Brien (for McKenna 70), Vilius Labutis (for McPhillips 70), Evan Caffrey (for Nwanze 91). Not used: Toms Leitis, Niall Gleeson.

IT CARLOW: Alex Moody; Kevin McEvoy, Oisin Hand, Conor Walsh, Jack O’Reilly; Mark Birrane, Sean McManus; Tom Considine, Anto Dolan, Dragas Mamaglia, Naythan Coleman. Subs: Evan Farrell (for Mamaglia 62), Andy Farrell (for Coleman 74), Adam Curran (for Considine 98), Nils Lukaku (for McManus 108), Adam Stead (for McEvoy 108) Not used: Oli Oleksincz, Ravelli Kilonda.

Referee: David Pender. Assistants David Gallagher and James Keating.

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