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

Dramatic penalty shootout decides annual Sherlock Cup match between RCSI Graduates and Students

05 March 2015

It took a penalty shoot out to separate the graduates and students again this year in the annual Sherlock Cup challenge played in stormy conditions in Dardistown on Saturday, 28th February. The gale force wind blowing directly down the pitch was always going to influence the outcome of this game. Much credit is due to Robbie Collins and his ground staff for the excellent condition of the playing surface given the recent inclement weather.

The teams line-up before the game
The grads playing with the breeze had the better of the early exchanges. Fran O'Reilly together with James McElavney were pulling the strings in midfield .This central midfield pairing controlled the match for large portions. Indeed there was little to choose between them with the pharmacist just edging out the doctor for the man of the match accolade. McElvaney played some delightful through balls for striker Conor Lavery 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 Mark Rogan down the left touchline and his pinpoint cross from the end line was headed home by Lavery. Shortly afterwards Rogan was forced to retire with a knee injury.

Some of the Victorious Graduates Squad with the 2015 Sherlock Cup
The students soaked up the pressure with Eoin Farrell and Kevin Millar keeping a tight rein on Lavery and Ayanfe Obilana as they threatened down the right. The first half finished with the grads holding on to their slender advantage.
The second half saw the students piling on the pressure. Simon Greene and Tomas Carroll defended with gusto to keep the students at bay. Former three time Irish Universities goalkeeper Jamie Clerkin was rarely called upon in the graduates' goal. Conor Lavery looked dangerous on the counter attack and almost doubled the lead on a couple of occasions. Graeme Kelly snuffed out numerous attacks down the wing. It looked as if the grads would hang on for a famous victory but with just seven minutes remaining, the student's Ben Melvin played a delightful through ball for the on rushing Abdulrahman Ibrahim to finish low in to the bottom corner past Clerkin.
The depleted grads defended heroically for the remaining few minutes and the game ended in a draw. The dreaded penalty shoot-out followed. Jamie Clerkin saved the first two student penalties whilst McElvaney, Greene and Carroll all converted for the grads. Graeme Kelly then dispatched the winning penalty with some aplomb to clinch the 2015 Sherlock cup for the graduates. Jim Sherlock presented the cup to graduates captain and man of the match, James McElvaney. 

Jim Sherlock presents the Sherlock Cup to man of the match and graduates captain James McElvaney
Dinner and drinks followed in the Davenport Hotel and enjoyable night was had by all. Dr Mark Rogan was delighted to receive the honour of being elected President of the club by the graduates and students. Special mention was also given to new RCSI manager, Conor Jennings who has done a wonderful job with the college team this year. Under Conor's guidance RCSI lost narrowly in the Collingwood Cup to eventual finalists, Trinity College. The soccer club gratefully acknowledged the contributions of Emily O'Brien and Corriena Brien in student services for their continued support. The Sherlock Cup has become one of the highlights in the RCSI sporting calendar. Many thanks to all who turned up for the match and dinner and especially to Jim and Ellen Sherlock.
This annual challenge match is named after former RCSI Head Porter, Jim Sherlock who retired in 2013 with 30 years service to the College.