Morgan Treacy/INPHO
Rising Stars

Canavans star as Ulster University defeat UCD to land the Sigerson Cup title

Three first-half goals paved the way for their success in Tralee.

University of Ulster 3-12

UCD 0-15

DARRAGH CANAVAN PRODUCED a man-of-the-match performance as Ulster University lifted the Sigerson Cup title in Tralee tonight.

The Tyrone attacker impressed as he struck five points, while younger brother Ruairi notched four, as Ulster University defeated UCD to land the prestigious third-level football crown for the first time since 2008.

Three first-half goals paved the way for their success at Austin Stack Park, UCD, inspired by the outstanding Daire Cregg from Roscommon, managed to fight their way back into contention in the second half, but eventually lost out by six points.

UCD will rue their slow start to the game, particularly the period where they conceded two goals in quick succession. Derry senior Niall Loughlin drilled home the first and Tyrone’s Oisin McCann bundled home a rebound for the second.

ben-mccarron-celebrates-scoring-their-third-goal Ben McCarron celebrates scoring his side's third goal. Morgan Treacy / INPHO Morgan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

Then to compound the woes for the John Divilly-managed side, Derry’s Ben McCarron smashed home Ulster University’s third goal before half-time. It left the winners 3-6 to 0-6 clear, and when they tacked on the opening two points of the second half, they had stretched ahead by 11.

UCD made a decent fist of making the game competitive. Cregg and Monaghan’s David Garland struck 14 of the team’s 15 points, Galway substitute Liam Costello scoring the other. It was Cregg who inspired his team, bagging four first-half points and six after the interval.

UCD reeled off six in a row to leave themselves 3-8 to 0-12 adrift entering the final quarter. Josh Largo Elis and Ruairi Canavan bagged important points on the counter for Ulster University, but Cregg (2) and Garland (1), left UCD trailing by four points and within touching distance in the finale.

Ulster University held their nerve in the face of mounting pressure. Substitute Eamonn Brown, who impressed when introduced, raised a white flag, and fittingly it was Darragh Canavan who had the last say of the night on the scoring front, as he clipped over a point.

ucds-ryan-oroole-sam-callinan-and-darragh-mcelearney-with-darragh-canavan-of-ulster-university Darragh Canavan with UCD opponents. Morgan Treacy / INPHO Morgan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

Scorers for Ulster University: Darragh Canavan 0-5, Ruairi Canavan 0-4 (0-3f), Niall Loughlin 1-1, Oisin McCann 1-0, Ben McCarron 1-0, Josh Largo Elis 0-1,  Eamon Brown 0-1.

Scorers for UCD: Daire Cregg 0-10 (0-6f), David Garland 0-4  (0-2f), Liam Costello 0-1.

Ulster University

Ronan McGeehin (St Eunan’s, Donegal)

Charlie Diamond (Bellaghy, Derry), Ronan Boyle (Truagh Gaels, Monaghan), Steve Donaghy (Moy, Tyrone)

J Largo-Elis (Irvinestown, Fermanagh), Ryan Magill (Burren, Down), Peter Óg McCartan (Errigal Ciarán, Tyrone)

Oisin McCann (Killyclogher, Tyrone), Ben McCarron (Steelstown, Derry)

Ciaran Daly (Trillick, Tyrone), Ronan McCaffrey (Teemore, Fermanagh), Conor Cush (Donaghmore, Tyrone)

Darragh Canavan (Errigal Ciarán, Tyrone), Niall Loughlin (Greenlough, Derry), Ruairi Canavan (Errigal Ciarán, Tyrone)


  • Emmett Magee (Clann Éireann, Armagh) for McCartan (inj) (22)
  • Eamon Brown (Clonduff, Down) for Daly (45)
  • Dara Curran (Loughmacrory, Tyrone) for Loughlin (63)
  • Jack Cunningham (Carrickcruppen, Armagh) for Cush (63)
  • Danny Fullerton (Carrickmore, Tyrone) for R Canavan (64)


Killian Roche (Killeshin, Laois)

Darragh McElearney (Drumhowan, Monaghan), Rory Brickenden (Westport, Mayo), Sam Callinan (Ballina Stephenites, Mayo)

Ryan O’Toole (Scotstown, Monaghan), Liam Smith (Ballinteer St John’s, Dublin), Sean Coffey (Ballinabrackey, Meath)

Peter Duffy (Cuala, Dublin), Jonathan Lynam (The Downs, Westmeath)

Donnacha Gilmore (Steelstown, Derry), Daire Cregg (Boyle, Roscommon), Diarmuid Moriarty (Curraha, Meath)

David Garland (Donaghmoyne, Monaghan), Callum Bolton (Sarsfields, Kildare), Aaron Lynch (Trim, Meath).


  • Liam Costello (Milltown, Galway) for Smith (half-time)
  • Cormac Egan (Tullamore, Offaly) for Duffy (35)
  • Senan Forker (Castleknock) for Moriarty (37)
  • Barry McNulty (Glencar Manorhamilton, Leitrim) for Lynch (45)
  • Theo Clancy (Kimacud Crokes, Dublin) for Gilmore (59)
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