Focused underdogs DIT end DCU's reign
DCU's William Lowry offloads the ball under intense pressure during yesterday's Sigerson Cup semi-final against DIT at AIT, Athlone. photograph: james crombie/inpho
SIGERSON CUP SEMI-FINAL: DIT 1-11 DCU 0-9:Dublin Institute of Technology ended Dublin City University’s reign as Sigerson Cup holders yesterday. DIT, inspired by Meath defender Bryan Menton and Mayo’s towering midfielder Aidan O’Shea, scored a deserved four-point victory in the semi-final clash between the sides at Athlone IT.
And the reward for 2009 finalists DIT is a crack at 20-time champions University College Cork in this afternoon’s showpiece decider.
On yesterday’s evidence, DIT’s long wait for a first Sigerson Cup success could be coming to an end. They were 4 to 1 with the bookies to beat DCU but made a complete mockery of those odds, as the star-studded three-time winners were sent packing.
Donegal’s 2012 All-Ireland winning captain Michael Murphy was brilliantly shackled by Menton yesterday.
DCU managed just one point from play in the entire game, slotted over by Ballymun Kickhams player Dean Rock in the 42nd minute.
Murphy added eight frees but he struggled to impose himself on proceedings as Menton had the better of the aerial exchanges on the edge of the DIT square. At midfield, O’Shea and Cavan’s David Givney ruled the roost and O’Shea’s Mayo colleague Jason Doherty kicked 0-6, including five frees.
The crucial goal was scored nine minutes from time when Offaly’s Bernard Allen let fly soccer-style from 20 yards and struck gold less than four minutes after coming on as sub.
From the start, DIT looked to have the holders’ measure and they led 0-8 to 0-4 at the interval. DCU managed to get within two points of their city rivals in the second half but DIT held on to avenge last year’s 10-point quarter-final defeat to the same opposition.
DIT’s Kerry star Darran O’Sullivan has insisted that he will be fit for this afternoon’s final. O’Sullivan limped off with six minutes remaining against DCU but he revealed: “It was only a cramp. I’m not doing too much training because of all the injuries that I’ve had. An ice bath overnight and it will be fine.”
And O’Sullivan described the pre-match odds on a victory for League champions DIT yesterday as “an insult”.
He explained: “When I heard 4 to 1, I thought, jeez, there must be something about Sigerson that I don’t know because it was a bit of an insult.”
O’Sullivan added: “I’m only up here a few months and I wouldn’t know a whole lot about the Sigerson. You obviously hear about DCU the whole time, that they are a serious outfit and a serious operation, but we have some great players. “Mento there at full-back had a monstrosity of a game and Aidan O’Shea.
“Tomás didn’t get much at full-forward but he was out in front every time.”
O’Sullivan agreed that DIT’s incredible work ethic was one of the key factors in his side’s landmark win. “It’s all about turnovers these days. The intensity in games is just going up and up and up. We wanted to just get a good start and a few turnovers would maybe lift our lads and leave them down a small bit.”
DIT: R Lambert; K O’Brien, B Menton, G O’Hare; R Sheridan (0-1), N Devereaux, C Walshe; A O’Shea, D Givney (0-2); M Reilly, M Collins, D O’Sullivan (0-1, free); C Reddin, T O’Connor, J Doherty (0-6, five frees). Subs: B Allen (1-0) for Reddin (47 mins), P Maguire for O’Sullivan (54 mins), S O’Connor for T O’Connor (59 mins), A Nestor (0-1) for Sheridan (60 mins).
DCU: J Farrelly; C Boyle, J Cooper, W Lowry; J Brady, C Daly, M Quinn; F O’Curraoin, J McCarthy; C McGuinness, P Flynn, A McFadden; P Ryan, M Murphy (0-8, all frees), D Rock (0-1). Subs: C Dunleavy for Daly (19 mins), D Byrne for McFadden (21 mins), G Sweeney for Rock (53 mins), B Donnelly for O’Curraoin (53 mins), D Smith for Quinn (57 mins).
Referee: Michael Duffy (Sligo).