UCC edge St Mary’s to take Sigerson Cup title
Sean O’Shea starred for the Cork college as they ran out four point winners in Portlaoise
St. Mary’s Aaron Boyle clashes with Conor Horgan of UCC during the Sigerson Cup final. Photo: James Crombie/inpho
UCC 0-16 St. Mary’s 1-9
UCC claimed the Sigerson Cup after a four point victory over a gallant St Mary’s outfit on Wednesday night.
UCC were clinical and efficient, with Sean O’Shea fantastic for the victors.
It was St Mary’s who opened the scoring courtesy of Shane McGuigan’s effort in the opening minute.
Team captain Stephen McConville doubled his side’s advantage with a short range free, before Padraig Clifford opened his side’s account.
St Mary’s opted to operate with Cathair McKinney as a permanent sweeper in order to frustrate UCC, but a place ball effort from the excellent O’Shea levelled procedures.
Points from Graham O’Sullivan and Padraig Lucey gave the Cork college a two-point lead, but it was the Ulster side who registered the game’s opening goal courtesy of Moy’s Ryan Coleman.
Coleman hit a speculative ball into the forward line, which beat the goalkeeper and made its’ way into the back of the net.
O’Shea responded with a free for UCC to level the scores before Stephen McConville restored his side’s advantage.
An outstanding effort from O’Shea brought the sides level and St Mary’s were opting to bring 15 players behind the ball at times, which made life very difficult for the UCC forward line.
Corner back Graham O’Sullivan gave his side the lead with an excellent effort and two further scores from O’Shea gave UCC a 0-9 to 1-3 lead at the interval.
It was O’Shea who opened the second half scoring with a short range free which was cancelled out by a score from Mary’s corner back Micheal Rooney.
McGuigan and Cian Kiely traded scores before an excellent effort from Ryan McCusker reduced the deficit to two.
The gap had been down to one point before St Mary’s were dealt a major blow when Aaron Boyle was sent off to leave his side a man down heading into the final quarter.
An excellent effort from McGuigan brought his side level though, before it was cancelled out by a fabulous strike from O’Shea.
Three successive points increased UCC’s lead to three points and at this stage momentum was with the Cork college and they were in pole position to close out the match.
A great score from McGuigan reduced the deficit to three but the southern college held on to lift the trophy, with a late point from Conal O’Hainifin the icing on the cake as his side were crowned champions.
UCC: M White; M Flood, K Flahive, G O’Sullivan (0-2); D O’Brien, B Begley, C Kiely (0-1); P Lucey (0-1), J Kennedy; P Clifford (0-2), S O’Shea (0-7, 0-5 frees), C Horgan; C Geaney, K Spillane, E Courtney.
Subs: D Shaw for Horgan (h-t), J Naughton (0-1) for Courtney (52), E Finnerty for Spillane (52), G Murphy (0-1) for Geaney, C O’Hainifin (0-1) for O’Brien (60).
Yellow cards: J Kennedy (34).
St Mary’s: M Reid; L Rafferty, C Dillon, M Rooney (0-1); C Byrne, R McCusker (0-1), A Duffy; J Og Burns, L Devlin; S McConville (0-3, 0-3 frees), S McGuigan (0-4, 0-1 free), A Boyle; N Toner, R Coleman (1-0) , C McKinney.
Subs: D McKinless for Byrne (53).
Red cards: A Boyle (44).
Referee: D Gough (Meath).