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Mannion penalty crucial as champions UCD survive UL test to reach Sigerson final

A two-point win for the title holders today.

UCD 1-10
UL 0-11

Fintan O’Toole reports from Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence

THE DEFENDING CHAMPIONS booked their place in tomorrow’s Sigerson Cup final but it was an anxious finale for UCD before they secured today’s semi-final victory over UL.

The John Divilly managed side were clinging to a two-point advantage in injury-time – with Paul Mannion’s second-half penalty providing a vital goal – when UL cut them open at the back and created the space for midfielder Gearoid Hegarty to charge through.

Pearse Lillis and Paul White with Paul Mannion UCD's Paul Mannion puts pressure on UL's Paul White. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The dual star – a vice captain for the Limerick senior hurlers this year – drilled a shot towards goal but it flew the wrong side of the post as underdogs UL narrowly missed out on a famous victory with the final whistle sounding soon after.

Trailing 0-7 to 0-6 at the interval, UCD countered in the second half with Mannion shooting a 36th minute penalty low to the net after Tipperary’s Liam Casey had been fouled.

However Mannion went off in the second half with a hamstring injury and with another Dublin senior forward Colm Basquel missing through suspension, it was the Monaghan pair of Barry McGinn and Conor McCarthy who proved instrumental to securing UCC’s success.

Between them they raised all four of UCD’s second-half white flags – a pair apiece – and that proved sufficient to set up a final meeting with St Mary’s tomorrow.

Jack McCaffrey with Brendan O’Keefe and John Mullins Jack McCaffrey fires over a first-half point for UCD.

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

Scorers for UL: Niall McDermott 0-4 (0-3f), Denis Daly 0-2 (0-1 ’45), Paul White, Fergal Boland, Michael Geaney, Brendan O’Keeffe (0-1f), Ian Burke (0-1f) 0-1 each.

UCD

1. Colm Honan (Navan O’Mahony’s, Meath)

2. Eoin Murchin (Na Fianna, Dublin)
3. Michael Fitzsimons (Cuala, Dublin)
25. Jim Rossiter (St Fintan’s, Wexford)

23. Sean O’Dea (Kilteely/Dromkeen, Limerick
6. Stephen Coen (Hollymount-Carramore, Mayo)
7. Jack McCaffrey (Clontarf, Dublin)

8. Barry O’Sullivan (Dingle, Kerry)
20. Liam Casey (Cahir, Tipperary)

29. Sean Mullooly (Strokestown, Roscommon)
11. Conor McCarthy (Scotstown, Monaghan)
12. Eamonn Wallace (Ratoath, Meath)

19. Larry Moran (Killoe Emmet Óg, Longford)
13. Paul Mannion (Kilmacud Crokes, Dublin)
15. Barry McGinn (Doohmalet, Monaghan)

Subs

9. Jack Barry (Na Gaeil, Kerry) for Wallace (half-time)
5. Conor Mullally (Cuala, Dublin) for Mullooly (half-time)
18. Tom Hayes (Cootehill, Cavan) for Mannion (inj) (40)
4. Robert McDaid (Ballyboden St-Enda’s, Dublin) for Mullally (51)
17. Eoin Lowry (Killeshin, Laois) for Moran (54)
10. Andy McDonnell (Newtown Blues, Louth) for Fitzsimons (black card) (57)

UL

1. Colm O’Driscoll (Castlehaven, Cork)

2. Cathal Ó Lúing (An Ghaeltacht, Kerry)
3. John Mullins (Éire Óg, Cork)
4. Darren Brosnan (Gneeveguilla, Kerry)

5. Paul White (Rathkeale, Limerick)
6. Luke Boland (Moyle Rovers, Tipperary)
7. Pearse Lillis (Cooraclare, Clare)

8. Gearoid Hegarty (St Patrick’s, Limerick)
9. Cian Sheehan (Newcastlewest, Limerick)

10. Fergal Boland (Aghamore, Mayo)
11. Michael Geaney (Dingle, Kerry)
12. Brendan O’Keeffe (Rathmore, Kerry)

13. Shane Ryan (Rathmore, Kerry)
14. Denis Daly (St Mary’s, Kerry)
15. Niall McDermott (Ballinagh, Cavan)

Subs

25. Cian O’Dea (Kilfenora, Clare) for Ryan (half-time)
29. Ian Burke (Corofin, Galway) for O’Keeffe (46)
21. Conor McNamee (Rhode, Offaly) for Boland (55)
24. Jack Goulding (Ballyduff, Kerry) for Daly (57)
23. James Naughton (St Senan’s, Limerick) for Geaney (59)

Referee: J Gilmartin (Sligo)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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