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St Mary's shock red-hot favourites UCD and end 28-year wait for Sigerson Cup

The Belfast outfit came back from two goals down in the first three minutes to win their second-ever Sigerson title.

Conor Meyler starred for St Mary's.
Conor Meyler starred for St Mary's.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

St Mary’s University, Belfast 0-13

UCD 2-6

By John Fallon at Connacht GAA Centre in Bekan

ONE OF THE smallest colleges in the country pulled off a superb shock win in the Sigerson Cup when St Mary’s from Belfast ousted holders and red-hot favourites UCD in a thrilling final.

And they did it that hard way, coming from two goals down in just three minutes to take control.

And they pushed on in the second-half to keep in front and deny UCD, the most prolific winners, a 34th crown.

Instead the Sigerson Cup is heading back to St Mary’s — a university with just 850 students — for only the second time ever.

St Mary’s, having shipped two early goals against UCC in the semi-final yesterday, found themselves staring at another disaster when Colm Basquel rattled the net twice in the opening three minutes.

The Dublin man found the net after just 52 seconds when he was set up by Jack Barry.
St Mary’s, playing with the strong wind as they looked for their second Sigerson title since their only crown in 1989, suffered another massive blow when Jack McCaffrey helped set up Basquel for his second goal.

But the Belfast university responded well to the challenge and a point from Oisin O’Neill after ten minutes got them moving.

Conall McCann, Conor Meyler and O’Neill again found the range to cut the gap to 2-0 to 0-4 after 13 minutes.

Kieran McGeary with Jack Barry St. Mary's Kieran McGeary with Jack Barry of UCD. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Cathal McShane and McCann then hit the target to tie the match ten minutes from the break before they O’Neill edged them in front with a couple of frees and Ciaran Corrigan pointed to make it 0-9 to 2-0 approaching half-time.

Paul Mannion eventually ended a 26 minute scoreless spell for the champions when he pointed after a short kickout was intercepted and that left two between them at the interval.

Cathal McShane extended the lead after the restart before Barry McGinn and Conor McCarthy responded for the champions.

But the champions couldn’t get level, with Kieran McJeary pointing for St Mary’s and when Eamon Wallace cut the gap, the Belfast side hit back again through the point of the match from Corey Quinn to lead by 0-12 to 2-4 eleven minutes from time.

McKeary put three between them two minutes from time and while Basquel and McCarthy cut the gap to the minimum, the holders couldn’t force extra-time.

Scorers for St Mary’s: O O’Neill 0-4 (0-3f), K McGeary 0-2 (0-1f), C McCann 0-2, C McShane 0-2, C Meyler 0-1, C Corrigan 0-1, C Quinn 0-1

Scorers for UCD: C Basquel 2-1, C McCarthy 0-2 (0-1f), P Mannion 0-1, B McGinn 0-1, E Wallace 0-1

St Mary’s

1. Mark Reid (Down)

19. Ruairi Mooney (Derry)
3. Aaron McKay (Armagh)
4. Kyle Mallon (Armagh)

5. Colm Byrne (Tyrone)
21. Ciaran Mac Iomhar (Armagh)
7. Conor Meyler (Tyrone)

17. Conall McCann (Tyrone)
9. Oisin O’Neill (Armagh)

10. Ciaran Corrigan (Fermanagh)
26. Kieran McGeary (Tyrone)
12. Stephen McConville (Down)

13. Kevin McKernan (Down)
14. Matthew Fitzpatrick (Antrim)
15. Cathal McShane (Tyrone)

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24. Corey Quinn (Down) for McConville (45)
2. Jack Hannigan (Antrim) for Mallon (63)


1. Colm Honan (Meath)

3. Michael Fitzsimons (Dublin)
4. Robert McDaid (Dublin)
2. Eoin Murchan (Dublin)

5. Conor Mullally (Dublin)
6. Stephen Coen (Mayo)
7. Jack McCaffrey (Dublin)

8. Barry O’Sullivan (Kerry)
9. Jack Barry (Kerry)

11. Conor McCarthy (Monaghan)
10. Andy McDonnell (Louth)
12. Eamon Wallace (Meath)

13. Paul Mannion (Dublin)
14. Colm Basquel (Dublin)
15. Barry McGinn (Monaghan)


20. Liam Casey (Tipperary) for McDonnell (30)
18. Tom Hayes (Cavan) for Mannion (56)
19. Larry Moran (Longford) for O’Sullivan (58, black)

Referee: Conor Lane (Cork).

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About the author:

John Fallon

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