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Another club vs college clash on the cards as Sigerson semi-final line-up is confirmed

The Sigerson Cup last four ties have been fixed for the same date as the All-Ireland club football semi-finals.

Clubmates Liam Silke and Kieran Molloy have two major games fixed for the same day.
Clubmates Liam Silke and Kieran Molloy have two major games fixed for the same day.

FOUR SIDES ARE left in the hunt for the Electric Ireland Sigerson Cup after Wednesday’s quarter-finals.

The semi-final line-up will see holders UCD take on St Mary’s Belfast in a repeat of the 2017 decider, while UCC face 2018 finalists NUI Galway.

Higher Education GAA confirmed on Wednesday night that both games will take place on Saturday 16 February at Cork’s Mallow GAA Complex.

The ties will clash with the All-Ireland club football semi-finals which are fixed for the same day and involve a number of players from the college teams.

UCD’s Liam Silke, NUIG’s Kieran Molloy (both Corofin) and David Shaw of UCC and Dr Crokes are some of the big names due to play with both club and college on the same afternoon.

Shaw did not feature for UCC last night, although he did play 30 minutes in the opening round rout of Athlone IT. Both Silke and Molloy played key roles at wing-back for their respective colleges, with the latter grabbing a vital goal for the Galway side.

There was a similar fixture clash for last year’s Sigerson Cup final, which took place the same day as Corofin’s All-Ireland club semi-final win over Moorefield in Tullamore.

Silke missed the 2018 third-level final with an injury he picked up earlier in the day against Moorefield, but UCD manager John Divilly admitted afterwards he wouldn’t have asked the defender to play a second game in the same day either way.

Molloy famously received a garda escort from Tullamore to Santry and entered the Sigerson final for NUIG as a 39th-minute substitute, but couldn’t prevent his side from falling to defeat.

Both players endured a heavy workload that week after also lining out in Sigerson semi-finals for their respective colleges three days earlier.

Following last year’s Sigerson final, NUIG manager Maurice Sheridan called the demands placed on Molloy “obscene” and “absolutely horrendous”.

“The GAA have to look at that with player welfare and all the stuff that they go on about,” he added. 

“I hope the GAA learn from the debacle in the last few weeks,” UCD boss John Divilly said last February. “It’s not fair, I just feel very sorry for Kieran and Liam.”

Corofin take on Gaoth Dobhair in Carrick-on-Shannon at 1.30pm on Saturday week, while the Dr Crokes clash with Mullinalaghta in Semple Stadium throws-in at 3.30pm

The possibility of the affected players featuring in both games – not an ideal scenario – depends on the throw-in times for the Sigerson semis, which have yet to be confirmed. 

Sigerson Cup semi-finals

Saturday, 16 February
UCD v St Marys, Mallow
UCC v NUIG, Mallow

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Kevin O'Brien

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