Impressive DIT complete their job in ruthless style
DIT 3-8 UCC 0-7:Dublin Institute of Technology won the coveted Sigerson Cup for the very first time on Saturday as 20-time champions University College Cork were overwhelmed in the final at Athlone IT.
DIT were 7/1 with some bookmakers before the competition began, and 4/1 to beat 2012 winners Dublin City University in last Friday’s semi-final. But they made a mockery of those odds over the course of two memorable days in bitterly cold Athlone.
DIT beat DCU by five points in the semi-final and doubled that winning margin against 2011 champions UCC.
In the process, DIT added the Sigerson Cup to the league title collected before Christmas, to complete a noteworthy double. Just one team has beaten DIT this year – Kildare in the O’Byrne Cup. And DIT went through the entire Sigerson Cup campaign without conceding a single goal.
In the process, they saw off the challenges of NUI Galway, NUI Maynooth, DCU and UCC.
Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea was one of DIT’s key stars and his midfield partnership with David Givney provided a massive platform for ultimate success.
O’Shea beamed: “I’ve got the whole lot now – a Fresher and two Ryan Cup medals. I’ve won all I can in college, but this is a sweet one, seeing as we probably beat the three most consistent teams in the tournament over the last three years in UCC, DCU and Maynooth. We did it the hard way.”
And DIT coach Billy O’Loughlin confirmed that the vast majority of this year’s winning squad will be available again in 2013.
He said: “We’ll have a good lot of them. Darran (O’Sullivan) is in first year, Kevin O’Brien is in first year, Ciarán Reddin is there next year. We’re missing David Givney, Aidan O’Shea, Colin Walshe and Martin Reilly.”
Household names O’Sullivan, Doherty and O’Shea played key roles, but there were also huge contributions from full back Bryan Menton and Tomás O’Connor, operating on the edge of the opposition square.
O’Connor won so much possession for DIT and he touched the ball down for Doherty in the 27th minute, with the Mayo corner forward finishing brilliantly for DIT’s second goal.
Dublin’s Ciarán Reddin had netted in the 14th minute to finish a flowing team move instigated by Givney at midfield. Givney was also the ball winner for Bernard Allen’s crucial semi-final goal against DCU and the Cavan man was excellent throughout the campaign.
He set the tone at the start of each half with points and capped a marvellous individual display on Saturday with DIT’s third goal, in the 58th minute.
Another mention, too, for Menton. The Meath man shackled DCU’s Donegal star Michael Murphy in the semi-final and he clamped Conor Cox a day later.
Cox had scored 0-22 in his previous three outings but the Kerry panellist managed just a pointed free on Saturday, and was eventually substituted.
UCC were held to just three points from play during the entire game and their misery was compounded in stoppage time when Darragh O’Sullivan, a 48th minute substitute, received a straight red card for a high challenge on Shane O’Connor. By then, the game was up for UCC in any event.
And DIT, who led by 2-4 to 0-4, had pressed home their superiority in the second half.
O’Loughlin added: “I’m there since 2003 – it’s just massive for the boys that were there. We did a lot of recruitment. We won our first Fresher in 2008 and another in 2010. It’s just absolutely brilliant. We’ve everything stacked up against us the whole time, with the colleges all over the place.
“We don’t have our own campus, our own pitches. We bus lads here, there and everywhere.”
DIT: R Lambert; K O’Brien, B Menton, G O’Hare (0-1); C Walshe, N Devereaux, R Sheridan; A O’Shea, D Givney (1-2); M Reilly, D O’Sullivan, C Reddin (1-1); M Collins, T O’Connor (0-1), J Doherty (1-2, 0-2 frees). Subs: B Allen for Reddin (41), A Nestor for Sheridan (47), P Maguire (0-1) for Reilly (51), S O’Connor for O’Sullivan (53), J McGrath for O’Connor 59).
UCC: S Mellet; P Galvin, E O’Mahony, N Daly; J O’Sullivan, P Crowley, T Clancy (0-1); P Acheson, JB Spillane; K O’Driscoll, L Connolly (0-1, 45), B Coughlan (0-1); G O’Grady, C Cox (0-1, free), C Sweeney (0-3, two frees). Subs: D O’Sullivan for Coughlan (48), P Murphy for Clancy (48), E Buckley for O’Grady (52). Referee: M Deegan (Laois).