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UCD captain Jack McCaffrey in action at the Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence.
UCD captain Jack McCaffrey in action at the Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence.

Narrow Independent.ie Sigerson Cup Semi-Final win for UCD

Independent.ie Sigerson Cup Semi-Final

UCD 1-10 UL 0-11

By Cian O'Connell at the Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence

UCD survived a real Sigerson Cup scare as the holders won an intriguing contest to set up a Saturday afternoon decider with St Mary’s, Belfast.

Deep into stoppage time UL came within a whisker of netting a last gasp goal, but Gearoid Hegarty dragged an effort narrowly wide.

That meant John Divilly’s UCD held on following a tense finish with Paul Mannion’s 36th minute goal from a penalty the decisive score.

UL shaded a lively opening period departing at the break armed with a slender 0-7 to 0-6 advantage.

Paul White's dashing work from wing back and Fergal Boland's clever promptings ensured Brian Carson's team caused the favourites problems.

Mannion nailed two nice scores for UCD, but UL struck four of the last five opening period points to lead at the break.

A Barry McGinn free restored parity prior to Mannion’s major which gave UCD  a 1-7 to 0-6 lead six minutes after the restart.

Admirably competitive throughout UL reeled off three points on the spin courtesy of Niall McDermott, Denis Daly, and Michael Geaney to level.

In the closing 20 minutes UCD outscored UL by three points to one with Conor McCarthy prominent for the victors. UL battled until the bitter end, but UCD eked out a valuable victory.

Scorers for UCD: Paul Mannion 1-2 (1-0 pen), Conor McCarthy 0-3 (1f), Barry McGinn 0-2 (1f), Eamonn Wallace 0-1, Jack McCaffrey 0-1, Barry O’Sullivan 0-1.

Scorers for UL: Niall McDermott 0-4 (3fs), Denis Daly 0-2 (145), Michael Geaney 0-1, Fergal Boland 0-1, Paul White 0-1, Brendan O’Keefe 0-1 (f), Ian Burke 0-1 (f).

UCD: Colm Honan (Meath); Eoin Murchan (Dublin), Michael Fitzsimons (Dublin), Jim Rossiter (Wexford); Stephen Coen (Mayo), Jack McCaffrey (Dublin), Sean O’Dea (Limerick); Barry O’Sullivan (Kerry), Liam Casey (Tipperary); Sean Mullooly (Roscommon), Conor McCarthy (Monaghan), Eamonn Wallace (Meath); Larry Moran (Longford), Paul Mannion (Dublin), Barry McGinn (Monaghan).

Subs: Jack Barry (Kerry) for Sean Mullooly (31 mins), Conor Mullally (Dublin) for Eamonn Wallace (31 mins), Tom Hayes (Cavan) for Paul Mannion (39 mins), Robbie McDaid (Dublin) for Conor Mullaly (48 mins), Eoin Lowry (Laois) for Larry Moran (53 mins), Andy McDonnell for Michael Fitzsimons (54 mins, bc).

UL: Colm O’Driscoll (Cork); Cathal Long (Kerry), John Mullins (Cork), Darren Brosnan (Kerry); Paul White (Limerick), Luke Boland (Tipperary), Pearse Lillis (Clare); Gearoid Hegarty (Limerick), Cian Sheehan (Limerick); Fergal Boland (Mayo), Michael Geaney (Kerry), Brendan O’Keefe (Kerry); Shane Ryan (Kerry), Denis Daly (Kerry), Niall McDermott (Cavan).

Subs: Cian O’Dea (Clare) for Shane Ryan (31 mins), Ian Burke for Brendan O’Keefe (45 mins), Jack Goulding (Kerry) for Denis Daly (55 mins), Conor McNamee (Offaly) for Michael Geaney (59 mins), James Naughton (Limerick) for Luke Boland (59 mins).

Referee: John Gilmartin (Sligo).

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