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5 players to watch in tonight's Sigerson Cup final

The final between UCC and St Marys takes place in O’Moore Park at 7.30pm.

1. Sean O’Shea (UCC & Kerry)

Sean O'Shea Kerry's Sean O'Shea is the joint top scorer in the Allianz Football League. Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

O’Shea has been one of the in-form players in the country this year. The Kenmare ace, who has posted 2-39 in three games apiece for Kerry and UCC, goes in search of his first Sigerson Cup medal tonight.

A two-time All-Ireland minor winner with Kerry, O’Shea made his senior debut in 2018 and looks set to take his game to another level this season.

He’ll pull the strings of this talented UCC attack from centre-forward, fresh from scoring 2-3 in the semi-final win over NUIG at the weekend. 

2. Jarlath Og Burns (St Mary’s & Armagh)

Jarlath Og Burns Jarlath Og Burns has made two appearances for Armagh in the league this year. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

30 years after Jarlath Burns helped The Ranch to their first-ever Sigerson Cup victory, his son Jarlath Og is bidding to help the teaching college do the same. 

Burns junior has steadily been carving out a reputation in his own right. The rangy midfielder is a fantastic athlete with plenty of footballing ability and he’s well able to take a score. 

Burns featured twice for Armagh under Kieran McGeeney in the league so far and has a bright future ahead of him in orange.

3. Cian Kiely (UCC & Cork) 

Cian Kiely inspects the pitch before the game Cian Kiely inspects the pitch before the semi-final win over NUIG. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

An All-Ireland winner in basketball at schools level, Kiely has put his skills from the small court game to good use on the football field. 

The Ballincollig native believes the two codes greatly complement one another.

“Basketball is definitely something that helped me,” he told The42 in January. “Mainly for game-awareness. Peripheral vision and thinking two steps ahead is key in basketball and huge in football now as well. 

“There are plenty of inter-county players who played basketball and I think what separates them from other footballers aside from having good foot-work or high jumps is their vision.”

The attacking wing-back will look to get forward at every opportunity for UCC tonight.

He’s scored 0-5 during their run to the final and will be hoping to make an impact for Cork once the third-level campaign concludes. 

4. Shane McGuigan (St Mary’s & Derry) 

Shane McGuigan celebrates scoring a goal Shane McGuigan will lead the St Mary's attack tonight. Source: Lorcan Doherty/INPHO

McGuigan was Slaughtneil’s stand-out forward during their successes over the past few seasons.  

He’s already got four Derry titles and two Ulster club crowns to his name, and will be chasing further glory tonight with St Mary’s.

The half-forward is accurate in front of the posts and recently scored 1-3 for Derry against Waterford in their Division 4 meeting, while he also clipped over five points in the Sigerson Cup quarter-final win over Maynooth. 

It’s a busy time of year for McGuigan, who is lining out with both the Derry footballers and hurlers in 2019.

5. Brian Ó Beaglaoích (UCC & Kerry)

Brian O’Beaglaoich Brian O’Beaglaoich is a regular in the Kerry defence. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Since making his senior debut for Kerry in 2016, Ó Beaglaoích has featured regularly in the Kingdom defence.

The corner-back recently played a full 70 minutes in Kerry’s Division 1 defeat of Dublin in Tralee. He subsequently received a one-game ban for his involvement in the post-game melee that saw tempers flare between the rivals.

A versatile defender, he lined out at wing-back for his club An Ghaeltacht during their run to the All-Ireland intermediate club semi-final last year.

 Ó Beaglaoích will probably occupy the centre-back position tonight with McGuigan likely to find himself tracked by the Kerry youngster. 

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About the author:

Kevin O'Brien

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