UCD’s Superleague is a proud and noble athletic institution in Belfield. Names like the Backdoor Bouncers, Abcde FC and Special Olympiakos have become synonymous with the sporting culture of the college. However, this year we at the College Tribune have neglected to fulfill our duty to continue covering this prestigious league and its dedicated players. We would like to thank Mark Curran for his email which reminded us of our responsibility to them and to the fans who follow the league and from here on in, we will strive to have the best Superleague coverage available on campus from here on in. Every week until the end of the season we will follow the goings on in the Saturday and Sunday leagues, the goals, the glory, the grief and the dubious celebrations.
For our first game back we see the matchup of Filbert Athletic and Blue Star Belfield from the Sunday Premier division. For a week that featured such high profile fixtures as El Clasico in the Copa Del Rey and Arsenal vs. Manchester United, this was not one of them. Filbert United, boasting the joint highest “games played” total with Chamakh my Bitch Up, were sitting mid table and looking to leapfrog Real Madrides, Sheffield Thursbray and Deportivo Lacka Talent with a win today while Blue Star were looking just to climb out of third last to join Two Footed Clunge F.C. on nine points.
This desire to regain some form was evident early on from Blue Star as they were able to hit fast on the counter attack, kind of like Manchester United but only if you squinted quite hard. Filbert, resplendent in blue jerseys with a navy fade pattern, played a little more of an Arsenal style as they had large amounts of possession and frequently tried to walk the ball through their opposition in defence, as in through their physical, anatomical, living carcasses. This early dynamic yielded its first goal to the underdogs as one of Blue Star’s breaks saw Harry Moylan through one on one before coolly slipping the ball past the onrushing keeper.
From that point on however it was almost entirely Filbert playing the football. A dive worthy of El Clasico itself failed to yield a penalty for Filbert and Ben Matthews and Rickey Laharte both saw shots hit off the crossbar before Laharte scored the equaliser when he squeezed a shot between the near post and the keeper. Laharte’s celebration, the “Tyneside Shuffle” clearly boosted his team’s morale as they pushed for a second which they got a few minutes later curtesy of Matthews who met a cross at the back post and struck home.
Blue Star almost equalised before half time as Harry Moylan broke again, but without any support he was forced into a difficult shot which nonetheless tested the Filbert goalkeeper who got low to save.
The second half should have suited Blue Star’s long ball style as they had a formidable breeze at their backs but it continued to be Filbert who pressed. Chances continued to flow their way before they were given a free kick on the edge of the Blue Star box for a rash challenge. The ensuing shot was initially saved but the onrushing Aidan Kiernan was there to pounce and fired into the roof of the goal for his side’s third.
Blue Star then had a brief period of pressure as they won a succession of corners which troubled the Filbert defence. This period climaxed when Michael Walsh rushed unto a hanging ball before firing agonisingly wide. From here the game went into a lull punctuated only by a lively debate on whether shouting wildly like a feral gibbon as you go in for a tackle is unsporting or not, a debate precipitated by one such occurrence of this act from Filbert’s Rickey Laharte.
The final whistle blew as the game petered out cementing the win for Filbert Athletic and the three points.