Defeat for UCC in Sigerson Cup Qtr Final

Sigerson Cup Quarter Final: NUIG 1-9 UCC 0-7

Report by Adrian McGearty

NUIG were out of the traps quick through Galway Inter County star Damien Comer. Eoghan O’Brien pulled off a great save to deny the Galway start the lead but Ends Tierney slotted over the rebound. UCC’s Stephen Sherlock was delivered a ball by Cian Dorgan but his effort went wide. After a good move for the away side between D’Arcy, Kelly, Cooke and Molloy, Jack Kennedy intercepted for the home side. Possession was then lost and Peter Cooke launched a ball into Brian Donovan who slotted over for the visitors.

UCC then set up good phases before losing possession. Peter Cooke again pulled strings in midfield for the visitors. UCC’s Fionnan Clifford block down saw danger cleared. Another UCC interception by Andrew Barry from a Galway attack meant that ball was distributed among Kennedy, Foley and Barry before ball was fed to Stephen Sherlock before being done for a double hop. Unfortunate luck for the home side. NUIG’s Molloy’s break meant that the away side continued to build phases from the back only for Crowley to steal possession before feeding Dorgan who slotted his effort wide of the posts. NUI Galway’s Sean Gallagher and Sean Kelly linked well but their move was thwarted by Andrew Barry.

The game itself was on a knife edge as both teams squandered positions after good work was made through the phases. Ronan Buckley did well to steal Tadgh O’ Malley’s kick out. UCC played the ball between O’ Beaglaoich only for his effort to fall into the keeper’s hands. Jack Kennedy ’s foul on Molloy saw the ball going out to Peter Cooke but another wide for the away side. Peter Cooke then took the mark for an Eoghan O’ Brien kick out but the ball itself went dead. Jack Kennedy beat his opposite number on the next kick out. The ball making its way from Sherlock to Barry only for the home side again to lose possession.

While the away side went into a commanding lead after the first quarter, UCC still continued to build phases through O’ Beaglaoich . While Galway posted another wide through Enda Tierney, they would end up breaking the deadlock as Gallagher and Enda Donovan linked up to allow the Limerick man to slot past O’Brien to increase the margin between the two sides. Play got scrappy as another Galway attempt went a begging as the away side seamlessly went through the gears while the home side struggled to bring their forwards into the game. UCC sought to make a change and Fionnan Clifford made way for Daniel O’ Brien.  Sub O’ Brian was brought into the game right away as he aided his back partner Jason Foley in preventing a goal chance for the away side. Peter Cooke’s ensuing 45’s hit the crossbar. Ronan Buckley sought to recycle the ball, laying off to the onrushing Kevin Flahive and Crowley. Owen Gallagher stole the ball for the away side, again playing a one -two with Donovan before slotting over the bar. A foul by Aaron O’ Connor moments later saw UCC get on the scoresheet through a Stephen Sherlock free. Peter Cooke’s wide tally was ever increasing as UCC sought to make further changes before the half time break. Kerry’s Padraig Lucey was introduced for Ronan Buckley. A skewed effort by Damien Comer at the other side after good build up play saw Donovan place his effort into O’Brien’s hands as the half played itself out. The away side led 1-4 to 0-2 at the break with the home side registering the two efforts from frees.

The second half started at a frantic pace as UCC took the initiative. Killian Spillane shot came off the goal post. Shortly after UCC recycled possession as O’ Beaglaoich and Adrian Spillane worked well to feed Stephen Sherlock to slot over a point. Cein D’Arcy took the mark for the visitors as Gallagher saw himself being fouled by Daniel O’ Brian only for Adam Gallagher to slot over the point for the visitors to stretch their lead. Both sides registered wides before UCC got a passage of play together through Kerry panellists O’ Beaglaoich and Foley. Crowley fed Sherlock, only to be fouled by Aaron O’ Connor. The St Finbarr’s man slotted the free. A major incident of the ball saw O’Connor being red carded for the tangle with Sherlock. The away side would then need to play twenty-five minutes with 14 men. Killian Spillane fed Adrian Spillane only for the home side to register another wide. Galway made amends for previous wides in the first half as Kevin Flahive good pressure on Adam Gallagher only for the ball to be recycled back to Molloy who fed D’Arcy and Tierney slotted over. O Brien’s kick out was won by Flahive who fed the Kerry back pair prior to Killian Spillane getting on the scoresheet. Moments later another Galway wide meant that the away side continued to attack, even down a man. After good work by Kennedy, Andrew Barry was dispossessed with Sean Kelly playing deep for a corner forward. Brian Donovan was pulled for over carrying which let off the Home side. There wasn’t a score from the 40th to 50th minute as the away side looked to consolidate their lead and position. It was very much topsy turvey as both teams struggled to put the necessary phases together for a scoring chance in the fourth quarter. Another Peter Cooke wide from a 45 meant saw the home side making a substitution as Flahive was replaced for Graham O’ Sullivan. Cooke got on the scoresheet soon after.

Solid tackling from O’ Beaglaoich and Spillane to thwart away side attack, yet the impressive Adam Gallagher fed Sean Kelly for another point. The game was topsy turvey as we entered the closing stages of the game. NUIG were keeping possession, playing the ball across field so as to not lose possession. UCC continued to chase the game as Cooke saw a yellow as NUIG defended bravely. UCC did break through as subs O’Sullivan and Bambury worked the ball well, feeding Kevin Crowley who slotted a point for the home side with only 5 minutes remaining. Cain Kiely did well to steal the ball from Tierney. Foley made the break up field only for Kelly to foul the Kerry back. Sherlock slotted the free to make it a four-point game as the game entered injury time.      While Adrian Spillane stole Tadgh O’Malley’s kick out only for Molloy to steal again as NUIG played the percentages as the game wound down. Sean Mulkerrin stumbled on a pass from Owen Gallagher which allowed Stephen Sherlock to pounce on the loose ball, feeding Michael Mc Sweeney, who was taken out by Keeper O’Malley, who received his marching orders in the form of a black card. A wild ending as sub goalkeeper Manus Breathnach came on to make a dramatic save to stop Killian Spillane’s penalty. NUIG put the final nail in the coffin as the ball was driven down field and Cein D’Arcy slotted over the insurance point to seal the win for the visitors, who progressed into the semi-finals of the competition.



Scorers for NUIG: B Donovan (1-1); E Tierney, C D’Arcy (0-2 each); K Molloy, A Gallagher (free), O Gallagher, S Kelly (0-1 each).


Scorers for UCC: S Sherlock (0-5, 0-3 frees); K Spillane, K Crowley (0-1 each).


NUIG: T O’Malley (Galway); S Brennan (Mayo), S Mulkerrin (Galway), A O’Connor (Kerry); K Molloy (Galway), R Greene (Galway), G O’Kelly-Lynch (Sligo); C D’Arcy (Galway), P Cooke (Galway); A Gallagher (Mayo), O Gallagher (Antrim), E Tierney (Galway); B Donovan (Limerick), D Comer (Galway), S Kelly (Galway).


UCC: E O’Brien (Kerry); F Clifford (Kerry), J Foley (Kerry), M McSweeney (Cork); B Ó Beaglaoich (Kerry), K Crowley (Cork), C Kiely (Cork); J Kennedy (Tipperary), A Barry (Kerry); R Buckley (Kerry), A Spillane (Kerry), K Flahive (Cork); C Dorgan (Cork), K Spillane (Kerry), S Sherlock (Cork).


Referee: J Hickey (Carlow).