Irish Daily Mail Sigerson Cup Final – DIT 3-8 UCC 0-7

Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) defeated University College Cork (UCC) by 3-8 to 0-7 in Irish Daily Mail Sigerson Cup Final on Saturday in the Athlone IT GAA grounds.

O’Shea saves sweetest for last

By Brendan O’Brien for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Dublin Institute of Technology 3-08 University College Cork 0-07

Not everyone leaves college having found it a fulfilling experience but Aidan O’Shea will have few complaints when he completes the last of his four years as a logistics and supply chain degree student at Dublin Institute of Technology later this year. The Mayo midfielder had already claimed a Freshers All-Ireland and two Ryan Cups (league titles) before completing the full set with the Dublin college’s first Sigerson success, in Athlone, last Saturday. “I’ve won all I can in college,” said the Breaffy brick house, “but this is a sweet one seeing as we probably beat the three most consistent teams in the tournament over the last three years in UCC, DCU and Maynooth. We did it the hard way.”

O’Shea’s commitment to the cause has been complete. A former DIT club chairman, he was central — both literally and figuratively — to a double-winning season which saw them defeat 10 colleges and navigate the Sigerson without conceding a goal. The only blot on their copybook was a four-point loss to Kildare in the O’Byrne Cup at Geraldine Park in Athy last month but that hardly registered with a side spearheaded by half-a-dozen or so players who had grown heartily sick of real heartbreak. O’Shea was one of those survivors who suffered a shock defeat to UL in the opening round two years ago when they started as tournament favourites and as many again were part of a dispiriting 10-point loss to DCU in last year’s quarter-final.

That latter reversal was exorcised with an impressive win against their star-studded northside neighbours in Friday’s semi-final and they completed their maiden title victory with a comfortable defeat of UCC 24 hours later. DIT brought an irresistible combination to the table this year: a squad littered with inter-county class but one grounded by the pain of past disappointments and thus wedded to the concept of sheer hard work and driven by hunger. The spine of the side contained Meath’s Bryan Menton at full-back through to O’Shea and Cavan’s David Givney at midfield, Darran O’Sullivan at centre-forward and Kildare’s Tomas O’Connor at full-forward, with Mayo’s Jason Doherty providing the majority of the scores.

Surrounding them were players whose names may not jog as many memories but whose input over the weekend was no less notable: guys like Cavan’s metronomic Martin Reilly, Dublin’s Ciaran Reddin who scored one goal and set up another against UCC and Colin Walsh, their captain from Monaghan. UCC dealt capably with their opponents in the opening quarter, providing the DIT midfield with a greater challenge than DCU had managed the day before and forcing the eventual winners to pass laterally across the Cork 45 in order to find gaps. Yet, find them they did and Reddin claimed the first goal after only 14 minutes on the back of a beautifully crafted move involving Givney, Doherty and O’Sullivan and the poacher turned creator for Doherty’s second two minutes before the interval.

Only DIT’s nine wides in that half kept the suspense bubbling but UCC’s difficulties were more pressing and summed up by Conor Cox’s skewed point attempt towards the interval. Cox and Tipperary’s Conor Sweeney had registered scores from all 16 of their efforts against AIT from play and dead balls but the former’s first free, registered on the half-time whistle, still left his side two goals in arrears. UCC enjoyed their best period after the interval but could only pull the one point back and DIT were still the six points to the good when the superb Givney put the matter to bed with the third of his side’s excellent goals with two minutes to go. “DIT are new winners now and it is good for the competition that there are new winners,” said UCC selector John Corcoran. “The most disappointing thing is that we didn’t play up to our form. We are better than that. “I would have no problem with the effort the lads put in. We had a period of dominance early in the second-half but they broke away after that. The final margin doesn’t really reflect the difference between the teams but well done to them.”

Scorers for DIT: D Givney, J Doherty (2fs), C Reddin 1-2 each, G O’Hare, P Maguire 0-1 each.

Scorers for UCC: C Sweeney 0-3 (2fs), T Clancy, B Coughlan, C Cox (f), L Connolly 0-1 each.

DIT: R Lambert (Wicklow); G O’Hare (Louth), B Menton (Meath), K O’Brien (Dublin); R Sheridan (Cavan), N Devereaux (Dublin), C Walshe (Monaghan); A O’Shea (Mayo), D Givney (Cavan); M Reilly (Cavan), D O’Sullivan (Kerry); C Reddin (Dublin); M Collins (Cork), T O’Connor (Kildare), J Doherty (Mayo).

Subs: B Allen (Offaly) for Reddin (41), A Nestor (Meath) for Sheridan (47), P Maguire (Dublin) for Reilly (51), S O’Connor (Dublin) for O’Sullivan (53), J McGrath (Wicklow) for O’Connor (59).

UCC: S Mellet (Cork); P Galvin (Kerry), E O’Mahony (Cork), N Daly (Roscommon); J O’Sullivan (Cork), P Crowley (Kerry), T Clancy (Cork); P Acheson (Tipperary), JB Spillane (Kerry); K O’Driscoll (Cork), B Coughlan (Cork), L Connolly (Cork); G O’Grady (Kerry), C Cox (Kerry), C Sweeney (Tipperary).

Subs: D O’Sullivan (Kerry) for Coughlan (48), P Murphy (Kerry) for Clancy (48), E Buckley (Cork) for O’Grady (52).

Referee: M Deegan (Laois)

 

DIT crush UCC to take first title

Report from the Irish Independent newspaper

DUBLIN IT won the Sigerson Cup for the first time yesterday with a 10-point victory against UCC. A star-studded DIT scored three classy goals at a bitterly cold Athlone IT as they added the coveted trophy to the league title collected before Christmas. And while DIT caught the eye with some of their attacking play throughout the competition, they also went through the entire campaign without conceding a single goal. Sean Fox’s outfit were far too good for 20-time winners UCC, who last took the title in 2011.

UCC may have had half a dozen survivors from that success in their ranks but DIT were backboned by some household intercounty names. Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea, in his final year at DIT, was superb once again at midfield but he had brilliant support from Cavan’s David Givney, who scored 1-2 from the centre of the park. Givney scored the opening point of both halves and crowned his rampaging display with DIT’s third goal two minutes from time. Defensively, DIT were imperious again and Bryan Menton, who shackled DCU’s Donegal star Michael Murphy so effectively in Friday’s semi-final, claimed the man of the match award. At half-time, DIT led by 2-4 to 0-4 and were well on their way to a maiden Sigerson Cup final win.

The 2009 beaten finalists scored the first of their three goals in the 14th minute as Ciaran Reddin finished a quite brilliant team move. Givney won possession at midfield and the ball went through the hands of Mayo’s Jason Doherty and Kerry ace Darran O’Sullivan before Reddin finished clinically. Three minutes before half-time, DIT struck again as Kildare totem Tomás O’Connor palmed Reddin’s delivery into the path of Doherty, who made no mistake with a low finish.

UCC endured a barren 14-minute spell without a score in the first half and they managed just three in total in the second half as DIT cruised home. Fittingly, Givney rammed home DIT’s third goal off the post in the 58th minute before UCC’s misery was compounded in stoppage time when substitute Darragh O’Sullivan received a straight red card for a high challenge on Shane O’Connor. Overjoyed DIT selector Billy O’Loughlin said: “We won our first freshers title in 2008 and another in 2010 and this is just absolutely brilliant for the college. We were tipped at 4/1 against DCU but the boys took it as a bit of an insult. We have some fantastic players.”

Scorers – DIT: D Givney, J Doherty (2f) 1-2 each, C Reddin 1-1, G O’Hare, T O’Connor, P Maguire 0-1 each. UCC: C Sweeney 0-3 (2f), T Clancy, B Coughlan, C Cox (f), L Connolly (’45’) 0-1 each.

DIT: R Lambert; K O’Brien, B Menton, G O’Hare; C Walshe, N Devereaux, R Sheridan; A O’Shea, D Givney; M Reilly, D O’Sullivan, C Reddin; M Collins, T O’Connor, J Doherty. Subs: B Allen for Reddin (41), A Nestor for Sheridan (47), P Maguire for Reilly (51), S O’Connor for O’Sullivan (53), J McGrath for O’Connor 59).

UCC: S Mellet; P Galvin, E O’Mahony, N Daly; J O’Sullivan, P Crowley, T Clancy; P Acheson, JB Spillane; K O’Driscoll, L Connolly, B Coughlan; G O’Grady, C Cox, C Sweeney. Subs: D O’Sullivan for Coughlan (48), P Murphy for Clancy (48), E Buckley for O’Grady (52).

Referee: M Deegan (Laois)

 

The final and semi-final of the prestigious Irish Daily Mail Sigerson Cup will be hosted at AIT on 22 February and 23 February. In addition, AIT will host also the Irish Daily Mail sponsored Trench and Corn na Mac Leinn Cup, a total of six semi-finals on Friday and three finals on Saturday, as well as the inaugural Corn Comhairle Ardoideachais final on the Friday of what promises to be fantastic weekend of Gaelic Football.