Late drama as DCU edge out UCD to make Sigerson Cup final

Enda Smith fires home rebound after injury-time penalty was saved

DCU’s Enda Smith celebrates victory over UCD in the semi-final of the  Sigerson Cup at The Mardyke in Cork. Photograph:  Donall Farmer/Inpho

DCU’s Enda Smith celebrates victory over UCD in the semi-final of the Sigerson Cup at The Mardyke in Cork. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

 

DCU 2-8 UCD 0-11

By the hair on their chinny-chin-chins and no more. DCU made it through to the Sigerson Cup final despite heading into injury-time a point behind. A last-minute Enda Smith penalty – given to wails from the UCD bench – was saved but Smith tucked home the rebound. When Colm Begley landed a tricky free from the right with the next play, DCU were home.

They made heavy old weather of it though. Up to that 1-1 injury-time haul, they’d only managed a point in the whole of the second half. UCD turned around a seven-point deficit to forge a lead as time ran out. Kildare forward Niall Kelly chipped a couple of fine points on the run in the second half and Jack Barry from Kerry pushed them ahead for the first time in the game in the 59th minute.

It had all looked so different early on. DCU’s brand of excellence keeps on refreshing itself and for a long time it seemed certain they would endure. This year’s batch has Roscommon forward Smith at the tip of the spear and Cavan defender Conor Moynagh as its heartbeat. Smith had 1-3 on the board inside the first 20 minutes, every inch of it from play. Moynagh ranged forward for one of his own but spent most of his afternoon sweeping and sorting in front of his own D.

And yet, UCD hung in here longer than their early showing suggested they would. They were 1-6 to 0-2 behind after 20 minutes but got it back to 1-6 to 0-4 by the break. John Heslin was keeping them in touch via some dead-eyed free-taking and the introduction of Ciarán Lenehan off the bench just short of half-time infused them with an energy that had been missing.

UCD were a different prospect in the second half. Heslin’s frees inched them closer and Brian Fenton threw into the pot as well. Kelly came into the game in a huge way and after Heslin boomed the point of the day from 40 metres out on the right, UCD’s momentum looked irresistible. But after Barry’s point put them ahead, they badly needed to kill the game. Never happened.

DCU pushed on, substitute Conor McGraynor got hauled down, Rory Hickey gave the penalty. With a point in it, the option to chip it over the bar for extra-time was considered but Niall Moyna told Smith to go for goal. Eoin Keogh got down well to his left to get a hand to it but Smith was onto it and stuck it away.

DCU: T Lowe; J Smith, C Boyle, C Daly; D Ward, C Moynagh (0-1), C Begley (0-1, free); F Kelly, S O’Brien; D O’Connor, C Meredith (0-1), D Wrynn; E Smith (2-3), D Smith, C McHugh (0-1, free).

Subs: S Carey for J Smith, C McGraynor (0-1) for O’Connor (both half-time); N Murphy for McHugh (37 mins); E Keane for D Smith (48 mins); M Quinn for Carey (black card, 53 mins).

UCD: Keogh; R Wylie, D Byrne, A Murchú; M Deegan, C Mullally, M Ó Cathalán; C Sheridan, J Heslin (0-5, all frees); B Fenton (0-1), J McCaffrey, E Nolan (0-1); N Kelly (0-2), M Hughes, R Basquel.

Subs: M O’Hanlon for Nolan (black card), C Lenehan (0-1) for Sheridan (both 23 mins); R McDaid for Deegan (28 mins), J Barry (0-1) for Basquel (45 mins).

Referee: Rory Hickey (Clare)

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.