Dorman seals dramatic Sigerson Cup win for UCC

Favourites UUJ left to rue a costly tally of 16 wides as they lose to centre-back’s late point

Paul Geaney leads the celebrations for victorious UCC following their Sigerson Cup win over UUJ at The Dub, Queens University. Photo: Russel Pritchard/Presseye/Inpho

Paul Geaney leads the celebrations for victorious UCC following their Sigerson Cup win over UUJ at The Dub, Queens University. Photo: Russel Pritchard/Presseye/Inpho

 


UCC 0-10 UUJ 0-9

UCC scored a last-minute point to seal victory in the Sigerson Cup final in Belfast on Saturday night.

The Cork college led by 0-9 to 0-2 and looked to be coasting to victory until UUJ, inspired by Tyrone forward Ronan O’Neill, scored seven points in a row to draw level with a minute to go.

The game looked destined to be heading to extra-time until Conor Cox passed the ball across to centre-back Conor Dorman who scored from 25 yards out.

The swirling wind was a factor all night and no-one was sure whether Dorman’s point actually went between the posts or not, but it mattered little to UCC who collected their 22nd Sigerson Cup title.

“I just looked at the umpire and he raised the white flag so we’re absolutely delighted to get over the line,” said Cox.

It was quite a triumph for Billy Morgan, who made his Sigerson Cup debut at Queen’s 50 years ago, to beat star-studded NUI Maynooth and UUJ teams over the weekend, despite having no big inter-county names in his line-up.

“It is very similar to 2011 (when they also beat UUJ in the final), we had no marquee names then either,” he said, “but we have 23 genuine students and I think you’ll hear about these players in years to come”.

UUJ were left to rue the16 wides they kicked over the hour. UCC were outstanding in defence and forced their opponents into poor shot selection while they were much more clinical with less possession.

Cox kicked all six of UCC’s first-half points and they led by 0-6 to 0-2 at the break.

The Cork college scored the first four points before Mattie Donnelly got Jordanstown’s first point after 21 minutes, by which stage they had already kicked six wides.

The UUJ defence was under pressure and Dean McNally received a black card in the 26th minute for dragging down Paul Geaney.

Goalkeeper Rory Beggan then pulled off a magnificent save at full stretch from Geaney’s bullet shot across goal to keep his side in the game. Luke Connolly and Michael Quilivan points stretched UCC’s lead to 0-9 to 0-2 and UUJ looked out of ideas until Conor McAliskey and Kieran Hughes (free) got some spark going.

Then Ronan O’Neill turned on the style with four points in the last ten minutes, his superb equaliser coming with a minute to go. However there was still time for one more moment of drama before the hooter sounded, with Dorman scoring with seconds remaining.
UUJ: R Beggan (0-1, ‘45’); D McNally, C McKaigue, B Tierney; K Clarke, L Keaney, C Walshe, L Keaney; M Donnelly (0-1), N McKeever; D Savage, R O’Neill (0-4, 2f), K Hughes (0-2, 2f); C McAliskey (0-1), C O’Boyle, J Clarke. Subs: C McKaigue for McNally (BC, 26 mins), P Devlin for Savage (43 mins), R Donnelly for McAliskey (57 mins).
UCC: B Kelly; D Culhane, E O’Mahony, F McNamara; T Clancy (0-1), C Dorman (0-1), B Shanahan; D Nation, I McGuire; S Keane, L Connolly (0-1), B O’Driscoll; C Cox (0-6, 0-4 frees, 0-1 45), M Quilivan (0-1), P Geaney. Subs: S Kiely for Nation (37 mins), E Healy for Keane (46 mins).
Referee: Joe McQuillan (Cavan).