Ulster University and DIT through to Sigerson Cup semis
By John Fallon
The first two semi-finalists in the 2018 Electric Ireland Sigerson Cup have been established after Ulster University and Dublin Institute of Technology booked their places in next week’s last four showdown.
UCC will take on NUI Galway at the Mardyke on Wednesday (4.30pm), with DCU hosting UCD later that evening (7pm) to determine the last of the semi-final pairings.
Ulster University, looking for their first crown in a decade, booked their place in the semi-finals with a 4-6 to 0-11 win over an University of Limerick side who will have to wait at least another year for their maiden title.
UL’s hopes suffered a big blow when Clare’s Pearse Lillis was sent off and UU made the most of their numerical advantage to shoot three goals in the opening half.
Monaghan’s Ryan McAnespie got them off the mark with a cracking goal following a run from Terence O’Brien.
Lee Brennan struck for the second UU goal after another build-up and his brother got in on the act when he worked his way in from the left before shooting to the net.
UL, who could only manage points from James Naughton and Niall McDermott in the opening half, trailed by 3-4 to 0-2 at the interval.
Any hopes of a comeback were quickly dispelled when Ronan McNamee got a fourth goal for an Ulster University side who are in the hunt for their sixth Sigerson Cup title, while UL never gave up, even when Clare’s Keelan Sexton picked up a second yellow card in the closing stages and they still managed to score the last five points of the game in Jordanstown.
Meanwhile, two goals in just over a minute laid the foundation for DIT’s 3-17 to 1-7 win over IT Tralee at Austin Stack Park.
The home, lining out without injured Kerry player David Clifford, were just two points adrift approaching the interval when the Dublin side hit for two quick goals.
The hero of the night for DIT was Cavan’s Enda Flanagan who found the net after 25 minutes — and then repeated the dose a minute later.
That left DIT in a commanding 2-7 to 0-3 interval and IT Tralee, looking for their first crown since former Donegal manager Jim McGuinness skippered them to glory in 1999, never looked like recovering.
DIT, who won their only Sigerson in 2013, continued to dictate matters in the second-half but IT Tralee never surrendered and Dan O’Keeffe found the net in the closing stages for a consolation goal.