Most supporters filing into the City Calling Stadium on Saturday night last were full of optimism. We had played brilliantly away to Drogheda and were denied three points with the last kick of the game. Surely, we'd kick on and bag those three points against UCD.
As an expectant crowd sat back on a balmy spring evening, things just didn't turn out as anticipated. The Students were surprisingly more physical and bossed the game throughout. As usual we played some lovely football but lacked that cutting edge in the final third of the pitch. With the game progressing into the second half, it looked like we were heading for a dour scoreless draw. Few would have predicted two quick goals from UCD which saw many disappointed supporters heading early for the car park. A few complained about the referring but in truth, we never worked their keeper and but for a few excellent saves from our own net minder, it could have been worse.
Of course we headed home disappointed but on the night, UCD deserved their win and were judged by some as being the best side we've faced so far this season. What's really important though is that we learn from our defeat to the Students as we face into the second quarter of the season. At the least the car load of UCD supporters went home happy.
FINN HARPS AT HOME
Donegal's pride and joy, Finn Harps are our welcome visitors on Saturday night next with a 7.30pm kick off. We should have played them up in Finn Park earlier in the season but the weather put paid to that plan. So this is our first clash of the season and clash could be the main word. Meetings between the two sides are seldom genteel so, hopefully we're have a good referee in charge of proceedings. It's already the final match of April and the final one of the first quarter. So far, we've done quite well though losing valuable points in the dying minutes of a few games. We don't need Dermot Bannon to tell us that there's room to improve as we head into May. A three point haul on Saturday night would be the perfect ending to April. See you out there.
RISE IN ATTENDANCES
The season is only starting properly but so far it's very encouraging to report a rise in attendances. So far this 2018 season, crowds attending the City Calling Stadium are up by 40%. Last Saturday night was our first defeat at home and hopefully our last too. As well as our excellent stadium facilities, Avril Gilchriest makes sure that we have regular underage teams for the half time entertainment. These teams, their parents and mentors also play a positive role in promoting De Town's progress.
We may not be top of the league table (yet) but a right good squad has been assembled and the standard of football has increased dramatically and is being appreciated by the crowd. The half time attendance in the Clubhouse has also increased putting added pressure on our already over stretched volunteers. But success comes at a price, I suppose. Those who travelled to Drogheda the previous week were still talking of the facilities or lack thereof, in United Park. We look forward to seeing an even a larger crowd this Saturday night for De Town v Harps. There's no need to book but do come early.
CAR BOOT SALE
The May Bank Holiday Monday Car Boot Sale is fast approaching. While a hugely important revenue event for the Club, we could do with a few extra hands to help out. We especially need a few more for the May car boot sale as a few of the senior volunteers aren't able to attend. If you can spare an hour or two, let Liam Healion know at the Finn Harps game.
Heartiest congratulations to the popular Aidan Bennett who celebrates a roundy birthday this Thursday. Aidan is an ever present presence at all our games as Event Controller and keeps a close and watchful eye on all proceedings. Like many of our valued volunteers he's involved in many more aspects of the Club and seemingly is never off duty. Happy birthday Aidan, hope you've a great day and an even better season ahead.
Our young media manager James Donnelly is currently doing great work for the club. Not alone is he producing excellent match videos but he's also updating our Twitter and Facebook account on a regular basis. On top of that, we have a sharp looking match programme now too due to his hard work. In the last match programme, he somehow managed to find time to pen a full page article. Pity though that his score prediction was wide of the mark – but then so were all of ours. Padraig Stapleton, our talented webmaster is another media man who never seems to sleep. No one can grumble with updates happening regularly on all our social media platforms.
Andy Dardis is currently expanding his team of sellers for the 50/50 draw. He has recently signed a few new volunteers and hopes that a few of the golden oldies might come back on board. Despite the higher attendances, Tom Cunningham would like to see a few more purchase his raffle tickets which offers the winners an almost instant cash reward.