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Kerry's David Clifford.
Kerry's David Clifford.
Image: INPHO

David Clifford shoots 2-7 as UL reach Sigerson quarter-finals with win over Letterkenny

Five points separated the sides in the game in Mayo.
Jan 18th 2022, 5:40 PM 12,489 0

UL 2-23

Letterkenny IT 3-15

Kevin Egan at the NUI Galway Connacht GAA Airdome

DAVID CLIFFORD FIRED 2-7 as UL booked their place in the Sigerson Cup quarter-finals this afternoon with victory over Letterkenny IT.

The Donegal-based college made the early running and their attacker Joel Bradley-Walsh struck a hat-trick of goals, but they must get set for a Round 3 encounter after this defeat in Mayo.

Both attacking units made full use of the fast surface and the unseasonal playing conditions at the NUI Galway Connacht GAA Airdome this afternoon, with Letterkenny IT bursting out of the blocks but ultimately finding the pace and finishing power of their UL opponents too hot to handle in this entertaining contest.

The opening score from the left boot of David Clifford was the precursor to what was a profitable outing for the Fossa player, but the response from Letterkenny was emphatic as they rattled off the next 1-4 without reply.

Peadar Mogan showed his quality with a stunning equaliser off the outside of the boot, and Bradley Walsh didn’t need to be asked twice when Galway goalkeeper Conor Flaherty misplaced his kickout and the Seán MacCumhaill’s player seized possession, drove in on goal and picked out the bottom corner of the net.

Difficulty in retaining their own kickout was a theme for UL in the first quarter as LYIT, led by Jason McGee, took complete control of the midfield battle. Rory O’Donnell was also a huge threat close to goal with his size, chipping over one early point and helping to give a useful outlet to the LYIT midfielders.

However when the Munster side took possession, they were very sharp up front and didn’t waste their opportunities, with Donal O’Sullivan, Chris Óg Jones and Connell Dempsey all posting excellent points to help them into a narrow 0-11 to 1-7 interval lead.

A free from Jason McGee levelled matters shortly after the break, but for the next 20 minutes UL really opened up and seemed to be able to cut LYIT open at will. Séan Powter, Eoghan McLaughlin and Dempsey were all prominent as they ran the ball hard and direct through the LYIT half-back line, and the scores quickly racked up.

sean-powter Cork footballer Sean Powter. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Stefan Okunbur’s introduction helped UL to shore up things at midfield, and they outscored LYIT by 2-9 to 0-3 up to the second half water break, with David Clifford firing in both goals.

There was an element of luck attacked to the first as Paul Towey’s shot for a point dropped short, but at a perfect height for the Kerry inside forward to use his height and tip the ball away from Emmet Maguire for a simple finish. The LYIT sideline was a little unhappy with the second goal as Liam Devenney’s whistle sounded for a free in during the build up but Clifford chose to play on and beat Maguire in a one-on-one situation.

Letterkenny recovered some form and momentum in advance of their third round clash next week when they cut the lead right back in the final quarter, largely through two more goals from Bradley Walsh, but there was no stage when they looked like they might get a result out of the game, as UL eased over the line with a couple of late insurance points from Donal O’Sullivan and Seán McDonnell.

Scorers for UL: David Clifford 2-7 (0-4f, 0-1 45), Donal O’Sullivan 0-6 (0-2f), Connell Dempsey 0-3, Eoghan McLaughlin, Emmet McMahon 0-2 each, Chris Óg Jones, Dan Gray, Seán McDonnell 0-1 each.

Scorers for LYIT: Joel Bradley Walsh 3-2 (1-0 pen), Peadar Mogan, Rory O’Donnell, Jason McGee (0-2f) 0-3 each, Liam Gaughan, Conor O’Donnell, Ryan McFadden (f) Kieran Tobin 0-1 each.

UL

1. Conor Flaherty (Claregalway, Galway)

4. Paul Maher (Adare, Limerick), 3. Ciarán Donnelly (Bracknagh, Offaly), 19. James McCarthy (Kenmare, Kerry)

5. Gearóid O’Donovan (Newcestown, Cork), 6. Seán Powter (Douglas, Cork), 7. Eoghan McLaughlin (Westport, Mayo)

8. Connell Dempsey (Knockmore, Mayo), 9. Daniel Walsh (Kilmurry-Ibrickane, Clare)

10. Ciarán Downes (Kilmihil, Clare), 11. Emmet McMahon (Kildysart, Clare), 20. Chris Óg Jones (Uibh Laoire, Cork)

14. Dan Gray (Castledermot, Kildare), 13. David Clifford (Fossa, Kerry), 15. Donal O’Sullivan (Kilgarvan, Kerry)

Subs

30. Stefan Okunbor (Na Gaeil, Kerry) for Downes (half-time)

32. Paul Towey (Charlestown, Mayo) for Gray (38 mins)

18. Paul Walsh (Brosna, Kerry) for Jones (47 mins)

25. Conor Igoe (Bonniconlon, Mayo) for O’Donovan (50 mins)

26. Seán McDonnell (Mallow, Cork) for Clifford (52 mins)

Letterkenny IT

(All clubs are Donegal unless stated)

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1. Emmet Maguire (Termon)

2. Sean Doherty (Buncrana), 3. Caolan Ward (St. Eunan’s), 4. Dylan Dorrian (Milford)

7. Jack Gallagher (Glenswilly), 10. Peadar Mogan (St. Naul’s), 5. Kieran Tobin (St. Eunan’s)

11. Jason McGee (Cloughaneely), 9 Ryan McFadden (Termon)

12. Conor O’Donnell (Carndonagh), 13. Liam Gaughan (Tourlestrane, Sligo), 15. Jack McSharry (Killybegs)

6. Oisin Langan (St. Michael’s), 8. Rory O’Donnell (Milford), 14. Joel Bradley Walsh (Seán MacCumhaill’s)

Subs

19. Mark McAteer (Fanad) for Gaughan (36 mins)

23. Kealan Dunleavy (Glenswilly) for McSharry (38 mins)

Referee: Liam Devenney (Mayo)

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Kevin Egan

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