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

RCSI Graduates remain undefeated in annual Sherlock Cup

01 March 2016

Once again this year, it took a penalty shoot out to separate the graduates and students in the annual Sherlock Cup challenge played in Dardistown in late February.

The graduate team started brightly and had the better of the early exchanges. Eugene McDonagh (Physiotherapy, Class of 2005) together with James McElvaney (Pharmacy, Class of 2006) were pulling the strings in midfield. This central midfield pairing controlled the match for large portions. McElvaney played some delightful through balls for strikers Cormac O'Connor (Medicine, Class of 2006) and Conor Lavery (Physiotherapy, Class of 2008) to break the students' offside trap but the linesman's flag was harshly raised on a couple of occasions. The grads finally broke the deadlock with a move of real quality on the half hour mark. An intricate passing move released Ben Melvin (Physiotherapy, Class of 2015) and his low left footed drive found the net.

The students soaked up the pressure with Eoghan Farrell (5th Year Medicine) and Ali keeping a tight rein on Lavery and Melvin. Ayanfe Obilana (Medicine, Class of 2013) also stretched the students' defence at time. The students gradually began to get a foot hold in the game and played some intricate passing football. This led to a great chance for Fionn Lynch (4th Year Medicine) but his close range shot went over the bar with only the keeper to beat. Eventually the students were rewarded. A move down the left hand side committed the graduates' defence and the ball broke kindly to San Kim (2nd Year Medicine) who fired home a deserved equaliser for the students. The first half finished with honours even.

The second half saw the students piling on the pressure at times. Eoin Farrell (Medicine, Class of 2015) and Tomas Carroll defended with gusto to keep the students at bay. Former three-time Irish universities goalkeeper Jamie Clerkin (Medicine, Class of 2013) was rarely called upon in the graduates' goal. Conor Lavery and Ben Melvin looked dangerous on the counter attack and almost increased the lead on a couple of occasions. Graeme Kelly (PhD 2014), Oran Clabby (Physiotherapy, Class of 2009), Michael Cronin (Medicine, Class of 2015) and Jack Halligan (Medicine, Class of 2011) snuffed out numerous student attacks down the wings. David Gough (Medicine, Class of 2009) and Dermot Nolan (Pharmacy, Class of 2006) began to get the upper hand for the graduates in the wide midfield positions but they could not find a winning goal. Frank Reilly rounded the students' defence and looked certain to score only to be up-ended in the box. Loud appeals for a penalty from the graduates team and supporters were ignored by match official, Brendan Emerson.

However, neither side could produce a winner so the game ended 1-1.The dreaded penalty shoot-out followed. Former Irish Universities goalkeeper and neurosurgical trainee Jamie Clerkin saved the first three student penalties whilst McElvaney, Gough and Lavery all converted to clinch the 2016 Sherlock cup for the graduates. Jim Sherlock presented the cup to anaesthetist and graduates' captain, Cormac O'Connor.

For the full report on this annual challege match and photos please click here.
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