IT Carlow shock UCC to blow Sigerson Cup wide open

The holders are out following a four-point defeat this afternoon.

File photo of UCC's Sean O'Shea.
File photo of UCC's Sean O'Shea.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

IT Carlow 3-9

UCC 0-14

Kevin Egan reports from IT Carlow

THE 2020 SIGERSON Cup was blown wide open this afternoon in Carlow, as IT Carlow produced the shock of the tournament so far in knocking out the reigning champions and 23-time winners, UCC.

IT Carlow’s first round win over IT Tralee was considered a surprise but it seemed in the early stages of this contest that UCC hadn’t quite paid heed to the threat posed by Pat Critchley’s side. Around the middle third the home side were absolutely dominant, lording the battle for possession and sending good ball into forwards Evan Lowry and Cian Farrell, both of whom made hay.

Full forward Padraig O’Toole rattled in the first goal after 12 minutes, having been picked out by a great pass from Farrell, and Lowry tapped in a second shortly afterwards. Soon IT Carlow were 2-4 to 0-2 ahead and utterly rampant.

A great score from a mark by Killian Spillane shifted momentum and UCC cut the gap to five points by half time, with Seán O’Shea firing over three points out of their tally of 0-6. Yet it was plainly evident that manager Billy Morgan still was far from happy as he brought on four half-time substitutes.

That seemed to pay dividends early on as Sean Powter got on some good ball and broke through defensive lines despite his lack of match practice, David Shaw got two excellent points including one close range mark that followed a sublime leaping catch, while Na Gaeil man and Kerry panellist Diarmuid O’Connor also proved influential at midfield.

Points from Farrell kept IT Carlow’s noses in front but when UCC fired three points in two minutes to draw level with 12 minutes of normal time remaining, it looked as if they had ridden out the storm and were set to advance.

Yet their shooting deserted them, as bad shot selection and poor execution meant that in that 12 minute period, they shot five wides and no points. Two frees from Farrell edged IT Carlow back in front and with UCC chasing the game in stoppage time, they made the win save through a second goal from Padraig O’Toole, slammed in after Evan Lowry led a breakaway move following a turnover at midfield.

IT Carlow will now meet Letterkenny IT in Wednesday’s semi-finals, which means that one of these two colleges will play in their first ever Sigerson Cup final this year.

Scorers for IT Carlow: Cian Farrell 0-7 (0-4f, 0-1m), Padraig O’Toole 2-0, Evan Lowry 1-2.

Scorers for UCC: Sean O’Shea 0-4 (0-2f), Mark Cronin 0-3 (0-1f), David Shaw 0-2 (0-1m), Killian Spillane (m), Rory Cunningham, Brian Hartnett, Daniel O’Brien, Diarmuid O’Connor 0-1 each.


1 Killian Roche (Cooraclare, Clare)

2 Trevor Collins (Graiguecullen, Laois)

3 Richard Hitchcock (Portlaoise, Laois)

7 Josh Moore (Rathvilly, Carlow)

17 Cathal Walsh (Monageer/Boolavogue, Wexford)

6 Ronan Ryan (Summerhill, Meath)

5 Conor Doyle (Rathvilly, Carlow)

13 Niall Hughes (Kilanerin , Wexford)

21 Sean Ryan (Ballinascarthy, Cork)

11 Chris Byrne (Clane, Kildare)

9 Adam Steed (Moorefield, Kildare)

14 Padraig O’Toole (Kiltegan, Wicklow)

12 Cian Farrell (Edenderry, Offaly)

15 Jack Walsh (Gracefield, Offaly)

10 Evan Lowry (Killeshin, Laois)

Subs used:

18 Patrick O’Connor (Blessington, Wicklow) for Hitchcock, 52

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8 Tommy Griffin (Gerald Griffins, Limerick) for Ryan, 54

19 Gearóid Murphy (Annacurra, Wicklow) for Steed, 57

20 Paul Farrelly (Sallins, Kildare) for Walsh, 57.


1 Eoghan O’Brien (Churchill, Kerry)

3 Liam O’Donovan (Clonakilty, Cork)

2 Graham O’Sullivan (Dromid Pearse, Kerry)

22 Cian Gammell (Legion, Kerry)

29 Padraig Feehan (Killenaule, Tipperary)

4 Daniel O’Brien (Glenflesk, Kerry)

7 James McEntee (Curraha, Meath)

8 Padraig Lucey (Legion, Kerry)

24 Brian Hartnett (Douglas, Cork)

14 James Naughton (St. Senan’s, Limerick)

10 Seán O’Shea (Kenmare Shamrocks, Kerry)

33 Colm O’Callaghan (Éire Óg, Cork)

17 Mark Cronin (Nemo Rangers, Cork)

31 Rory Cunningham (St. Brendan’s, Galway)

11 Killian Spillane (Templenoe, Kerry)

Subs used:

18 Dylan Casey (Austin Stacks, Kerry) for Feehan, half-time

15 Sean Powter (Douglas, Cork) for O’Callaghan, half-time

9 Diarmuid O’Connor (Na Gaeil, Kerry) for Lucey, half-time

13 David Shaw (Dr. Crokes, Kerry) for Naughton, half-time

32 Gary Murphy (Castletownbere, Cork) for Cunningham, 54.

RefereePatrick Maguire (Longford)


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Kevin Egan

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