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Dublin: 9°C Friday 26 February 2021
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13-man UCC see off NUI Maynooth to reach Sigerson Cup final

The 2011 champions are through to tomorrow’s decider in Belfast.

UCC's Tom Clancy and NUI Maynooth's Michael Dara Macauley.
UCC's Tom Clancy and NUI Maynooth's Michael Dara Macauley.
Image: INPHO/William Cherry/Press Eye

UCC 1-14
NUI Maynooth 0-12

UCC SURVIVED THE second-half dismissals of Alan Cronin and Michael Quinlivan to defeat NUI Maynooth and book their place in tomorrow’s Sigerson Cup final this afternoon.

Playmaker Cronin got a straight red card for an off-the-ball offence after 39 minutes. Eleven minutes from the end, Michael Quinlivan became the second UCC player to be sent-off, with a yellow card booking quickly followed by a black card for a deliberate body collide.

UCC had to play into a gale-force wind in the second-half yet refused to buckle with Kerry’s Conor Cox landing four brilliant points into a gale-force wind in the second-half.

The 2011 champions reached their fourth final in five years with this famous success at Queen’s University in Belfast. Captain Paul Geaney struck a crucial first-half goal for the side managed by Billy Morgan and registered 1-3 in all in the opening period.

All-Ireland winners Paddy McBrearty and Michael Darragh McAuley were influential for NUI Maynooth, particularly in the first-half.

McBrearty was their top scorer with 0-6, including three from play over the hour, and McAuley won and carried a lot of ball.

Geaney got the decisive goal for UCC in the seventh minute. The Maynooth goalkeeper’s kickout was held up in the wind and only travelled about 25 metres before Cronin won it and fed Geaney who took one solo before burying the ball back past Mark Donnellan.

Source: HE GAA

 

It gave UCC a precious cushion and they still led by 1-6 to 0-6 at half-time. Maynooth had closed the deficit to two points when Cronin was dismissed in the 39th minute.

McBrearty showed great leadership to step up and hit two monster frees to draw Maynooth level on 41 minutes – the first time the sides had been level since the sixth minute.

With a man down, their lead gone and facing into a hellish breeze, UCC looked to have everything against them but they dropped bodies back and were smart on the ball, picking their runs cleverly.

Even after Quinlivan’s dismissal, defenders David Culhane and Tom Clancy broke forward to score important points with Cox and substitute Sean Kiely adding the final touches to an impressive victory.

Scorers for UCC: Conor Cox 0-7 (0-4f), Paul Geaney 1-3, David Culhane, Tom Clancy, Michael Quinlivan, Sean Kiely 0-1 each.
Scorers for NUI Maynooth: Paddy McBrearty 0-6 (0-3f), Eamonn Wallace, Paddy Brophy (0-1f) 0-2 each, Paul Cribben, P Faulkner 0-1 each.

UCC: Brian Kelly (Kerry); David Culhane (Kerry), Eoin O’Mahony (Cork), Fergal McNamara (Kerry); Tom Clancy (Cork), Conor Dorman (Cork), Brian Shanahan (Cork); David Nation (Cork), Ian Maguire (Cork); Luke Connolly (Cork), Alan Cronin (Cork), Brian O’Driscoll (Cork); Conor Cox (Kerry), Michael Quinlivan (Tipperary), Paul Geaney (Kerry).

Subs: Sean Kiely (Cork) for Nation (45), Sean Keane (Kerry) for Connolly (45).

NUI MAYNOOTH: Mark Donnellan (Kildare); Colin O’Shea (Kildare), Padraig Faulkner (Cavan), David Hyland (Kildare); Eric Lowndes (Dublin), Fergal Conway (Kildare), Jamie Gonoud (Westmeath); Michael Dara McAuley (Dublin), Dean Kelly (Donegal); Paul Cribben (Kildare), Paddy Brophy (Kildare), Eamonn Wallace (Meath); David Duke (Kildare), Paddy McBrearty (Donegal), Ronan Kennedy (Leitrim).

Subs: Emile Mullan (Dublin) for O’Shea (23), Seamus Mattimoe (Meath) for Kennedy (38), Dean McNicholas (Westmeath) for Kelly (51), Fergus Toolan (Meath) for Duke (58).

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About the author:

Orla Bannon

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