Laszlo Geczo/INPHO Tommy Conroy (file pic).
# Bittersweet
Mayo star Conroy injured but NUIG hold on to reach Sigerson semi-final
Maurice Sheridan’s side advanced despite being reduced to 13 men at one stage.

NUIG 2-8

Letterkenny IT 1-8

John Fallon reports from Dangan

MAURICE SHERIDAN’S NUIG advanced to the Sigerson Cup semi-finals despite being reduced to 13 men at one stage in the second half of a tough contest at Dangan in Galway.

But the win was marred by an injury to Mayo star Tommy Conroy just before the break, which led to him being carried off.

NUIG led by 1-5 to 0-4 at the break after recovering from a slow start with the wind and rain behind on an exposed pitch on the banks of the Corrib.

Letterkenny, bidding to reach the semi-finals for the second time in three years with an all-Donegal team, started well against the elements with Rory O’Donnell and Ryan McFadden doing well in midfield and they deservedly led by 0-4 to 0-1 at the end of the opening quarter.

But NUIG, with Galway captain Sean Kelly and vice-captain Matthew Tierney leading the way, got moving and two points apiece from Tomo Culhane and Tierney edged them in front.

Then Tierney sent a superb ball through and Eoghan Kelly, one of three brothers from the Moycullen club, raced through and slotted home an excellent goal just before the interval.

But it all went wrong for them after the restart. They lost wing-back Nathan Mullen to a black card and then Letterkenny full-forward Jack McSharry forced home a goal before the Galway side lost Gavin Durcan to a second yellow after 40 minutes.

But NUIG responded superbly to the challenge. Tierney got them level with an excellent point after 46 minutes before McSharry and Culhane swapped points and then after smashing the post with a shot, Culhane finished a good move by drilling low to the net with three minutes remaining.

Tierney made it safe when he put four between them and while Letterkenny rallied to the end, a Peadar Mogan was all they could muster as Maxi Curran’s side made their exit from the competition after what has been a good campaign.

Scorers: NUIG: Tomo Culhane 1-3 (0-3f), Matthew Tierney 0-5 (0-3f), Eoghan Kelly 1-0.

Letterkenny IT: Jack McSharry 1-1, Joel B Walsh 0-2 (0-1 ’45), Conor O’Donnell 0-2, Keelan McGroddy 0-1, Jason McGee 0-1, Peadar Mogan 0-1.

NUI Galway

1 Conor Carroll (Roscommon)

2 Colin Murray (Galway)
3 Neil Mulcahy (Galway)
4 Gavin Burke (Galway)

7 Nathan Mullen (Sligo)
6 Eoghan Kelly (Galway)
22 Gavin Durcan (Mayo)

8 Paul Kelly (Galway)
9 Sean Kelly (Galway)

10 Fionn McDonagh (Mayo)
11 Matthew Tierney (Galway)
12 Cathal Donoghue (Offaly)

13 Tomo Culhane (Galway)
14 Tommy Conroy (Mayo)
15 Cathal Sweeney (Galway)

Subs: 5 Rory Egan (Offaly) for Conroy (half-time), 28 Cathal Heneghan (Roscommon) for Donoghue (48).

Letterkenny IT (All Donegal unless stated):

1 Emmet Maguire

2 Kieran Tobin
18 Jack Gallagher
4 Dylan Dorrian

5 Oisin Langan
6 Peadar Mogan
7 Aaran Gilhooley

8 Rory O’Donnell
9 Ryan McFadden

10 Keelan Dunleavy
11 Jason McGee
12 Conor O’Donnell

13 Eoin Dowling
14 Jack McSharry
15 Joel B Walsh

Referee: Chris Maguire (Clare).

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