Sigerson Cup: Dazzling first half sends UCD to first final in 13 years
Early injury to Jack McCaffrey only setback in win over UL
UL’s Denis Daly contests the ball with UCD’s Jack Barry during the Sigerson Cup semi-final at Jordanstown. Photograph: Stephen Hamilton/Inpho/Presseye
UCD 4-12 UL 1-9
UCD breezed through to their first Sigerson Cup final in 13 years after blitzing UL with four goals in the first semi-finals in Belfast on Friday.
Kildare’s Niall Kelly hit the net twice, with a star-studded UCD opening up with 2-5 without reply before losing Jack McCaffrey in the 15th minute.
The 2015 Player of the Year walked off with an ice-pack strapped to his right leg, which might have had alarm bells ringing in the capital, but it looked like a precautionary measure.
UCD ripped through disappointing UL, Tipperary’s Liam Casey scoring a second minute goal before Laois’ Eoin Lowry ran through a porous Limerick defence to drill a rocket across the goalkeeper after 13 minutes.
Aidan Rowan got UL on the board with an 18th-minute point but it was temporary respite.
Kelly drilled home the first of his two goals in the 20th minute, after an unselfish pass from Heslin, to help UCD lead by 3-9 to 0-2 at the break.
Kerry’s Brian Ó Sé hit 0-4 for UL, three in the second period, from play and placed balls.
They had the wind after the break, and with UCD running their bench and no intensity in the game, they were at least able to make a better fist of things after the break.
Galway’s Ian Burke scored UL’s only goal in the 54th minute with a low left-footed finish and then missed an injury-time penalty.
UCD: E Keogh (Laois); R Wylie (Monaghan), D Hyland (Kildare), M Fitzsimons (Dublin); S O’Dea (Limerick), D Byrne (Dublin), J McCaffrey (Dublin); J Barry (Kerry), L Casey (Tipperary, 1-1); N Kelly (Kildare, 2-0), J McEntee (Meath), C McCarthy (Monaghan, 0-1); J Heslin (Westmeath, 0-5, four frees); E Lowry (Laois, 1-1, one free), P Mannion (Dublin, 0-3, one free)
Subs: N McInerney (Roscommon) for McCaffrey (15 mins), S Coen (Mayo) for Hyland (HT), P Kingston (Laois) for McCarthy (HT), R Carr (Louth) for Mannion (40 mins), T Moolick (Kildare, 0-1) for Kelly (51 mins).
UL: C O’Driscoll (Cork); E Kelly (Kerry), C Long (Kerry), P O’Connor (Kerry); A Rowan (Longford, 0-1), D Daly (Kerry, 0-2), F Boland (Mayo); G Hegarty (Limerick), R Deane (Cork, 0-1); D Neville (Limerick), S Killoran (Roscommon), C Sheehan (Limerick); I Burke (Galway, 1-0), K Moore (Limerick, 0-1, free), B Ó Sé (Kerry, 0-4, one free, one ‘45’)
Subs: D Larkin (Wexford) for Hegarty (20 mins), P White (Limerick) for F Boland (22 mins), L Boland (Tipperary) for Larkin (BC, 26 mins), S Naughton (Limerick) for Moore (44 mins), C O’Dea (Limerick) for Killoran (45 mins), N Donovan (Tipperary) for Daly (51 mns).
Referee: Ciaran Branagan (Down).