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Sigerson Cup: Conor Cox points the way as UCC claim spot in decider

The Kerry player hit 0-10 as UCC proved too strong for hosts Athlone IT in this afternoon’s semi-final.

UCC's Kevin O'Driscoll and Kieran Martin of AIT.
UCC's Kevin O'Driscoll and Kieran Martin of AIT.
Image: INPHO/James Crombie

UCC 1-20
Athlone IT 1-9

UCC BOOKED THEIR place in the Sigerson Cup final this afternoon with an impressive 1-20 to 1-9 win over Athlone IT.

The Billy Morgan managed side were far too strong for their opponents in a game that was played at the Athlone IT grounds.

2011 champions UCC will now go forward to tomorrow’s decider against Dublin IT in what will be their third final appearance in four years.

Six of their team – Eoin O’Mahony, Peter Crowley, Jamie O’Sullivan, Niall Daly, JB Spillane and Kevin O’Driscoll – started in that final victory two years ago against UUJ.

The scoring damage was done this afternoon by two newcomers in Kerry’s Conor Cox, who fired 0-10 from full-forward, and Tipperary’s Conor Sweeney, who weighed in with 1-5 from corner-forward. Their contribution helped UCC cope with the loss of attacker Paul Geaney with the Kerry player ruled out with a hamstring injury.

It was the hosts Athlone IT who had got off to a bright start when James McGivney smashed a fierce drive to the net in the 11th minute after UCC lost possession as they attempted to work the ball out of defence.

That put Athlone IT ahead by 1-1 to 0-2 and with Kieran Martin, their best player on the day, and Frank Burke on target, they were in front by 1-3 to 0-4 by the 17th minute.

However UCC then took over with Peter Acheson in towering form at midfield while Eoin O’Mahony, Peter Crowley and Jamie O’Sullivan fronted a strong rearguard.

That resulted in several chances being created up front with Cox, Gavin O’Grady, Brian Coughlan and Luke Connolly all on target to help them string together seven unanswered points before the break.

Facing a 0-11 to 1-3 deficit as they emerged for the second-half, Athlone IT did briefly threaten to make a fight of it but UCC soon resumed their dominance. Sweeney emerged as their go-to guy up front and after UCC notched a series of points, it was the Tipperary man’s goal in the 54th minute which sealed their triumph as it propelled them into a 13-point advantage.

The game petered to its inevitable conclusion from there with UCC now going forward to contest tomorrow’s final where they will hope to claim the college’s 21st Sigerson Cup title.

Scorers for UCC: Conor Cox 0-10 (0-7f), Conor Sweeney 1-5 (0-3f), Luke Connolly 0-2, Peter Acheson, Brian Coughlan, Gavin O’Grady 0-1 each.
Scorers for Athlone IT: Kieran Martin 0-4 (0-1f), James McGivney 1-0, Alan Coffey 0-2, Frank Burke 0-1.

UCC: Sean Mellet (Carrigaline, Cork); Philip Galvin (Ballymacelligot, Kerry), Eoin O’Mahony (Macroom, Cork), Peter Crowley (Laune Rangers, Kerry); Jamie O’Sullivan (Bishopstown, Cork), Niall Daly (Padraig Pearses, Roscommon), Tomas Clancy (Fermoy, Cork); Peter Acheson (Moyle Rovers, Tipperary), JB Spillane (Castlegregory, Kerry); Kevin O’Driscoll (Tadgh MacCarthaigh, Cork), Brian Coughlan (Kinsale, Cork), Luke Connolly (Nemo Rangers, Cork); Gavin O’Grady (Glenbeigh-Glencar, Kerry), Conor Cox (Listowel Emmett’s, Kerry), Conor Sweeney (Ballyporeen, Tipperary).

Subs: Darragh O’Sullivan (Dingle, Kerry) for Coughlan, Eoghan Buckley (St Michael’s, Cork) for O’Grady, Fergal McNamara (Austin Stacks, Kerry) for Crowley, Billy Hewitt (Ardfinnan, Tipperary) for Cox, Paul Murphy (Rathmore, Kerry) for Clancy.

ATHLONE IT: Gary Connaughton (Tubberclair, Westmeath); Colm O’Brien (Menlough, Galway), Killian Clarke (Shercock, Cavan), Eoin Kerins (Annaghdown, Galway); Levi Murphy (Cavan Gaels, Cavan), Thomas Rahill (Oldcastle, Meath), James Dolan (Garrycastle, Westmeath); Ciaran Duggan (Annaghdown, Galway), Ger Egan (Tyrellspass, Westmeath); James McGivney (Northern Gaels, Longford), Kieran Martin (Maryland, Westmeath), Peter Masterson (Dromard, Longford); Alan Stone (Castledaly, Westmeath), Frank Burke (Annaghdown, Galway), Alan Coffey (Tubberclair, Westmeath).

Subs: Diarmuid Maleady (Edenderry, Offaly) for Kerins, Cathal Shine (Clann na Gael, Roscommon) for Duggan, Dan Queeney (Enfield, Meath) for Masterson, Adam Caul (Round Towers Lusk, Dublin) for McGivney, Duggan for O’Brien.

Referee: Gary McCormack (Dublin)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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