Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

GAA's Anxious Wait

10 November 2016

The men's GAA team won their final group league game on Monday night under lights in NUI Maynooth, (RCSI's first league game outside the pale in 3 years) on a score line of 0-15 to 2-7.

An admittedly poor first half performance by RCSI left them 7 points adrift of the home team at the switch of ends. With a combination of injuries and missing players not helping the cause with only 2 subs to be able to call on.

As has become customary at this stage team captain Paddy Farrell tried his best in the first half to sabotage RCSI by missing free after free until management took the sensible decision to hand free taking duties over to Ciarán Fitzgerald who eventually finished the night with 0-7 to his name. At that rate Paddy will not be holding the title of top scorer for much longer.

Usual full forward Calum Quinn was moved out to midfield in the absence of the usual duo in what turned out to be an inspired move with some barnstorming runs right up the middle of the Maynooth defence causing consternation.

In the course of the half John Hegarty, getting his first start for the college, seemed to forget how catch the ball when he seemed certain he would hit the onion bag.

Midway through the first half John Reynolds was shown a controversial black card for a reckless irresponsible high tackle when a yellow seemed like it was more warranted.

A stern half time talking to from manager Naoise Maguire had the desired effect right from the start of the second half with Calum winning the throw in a charging upfield cumulating in a score. RCSI when on to score 9 points without reply in the second half to enter the home stretch 2 points in front. Half backs Iarla O'Donnell and Conor Kilkenny even had the chance to saunter upfield to kick some vital scores showing the forwards how it should be done in the process. Sub Michael O'Gorman kicked his first score for RCSI during the second half dominance proclaiming afterwards that he was trying to impress a girl claiming "she knows who she is".

A mix of new and old players stood up on the day and put in superb performances most notably Calum Quinn, Conor Kilkenny, Iarla O'Donnell, Kieran O'Connell and Ciarán Fitzgerald.

The team are awaiting confirmation to see if they've made it into a quarter final in a very tight group.