final hurdle

King Con - O'Callaghan and McCarthy help UCD claim victory after marathon Sigerson Cup semi-final

UCD saw off Ulster University in Inniskeen tonight.

UCD 0-18
Ulster University 1-13

Orla Bannon reports from Inniskeen

(after two periods of extra-time)

UCD ARE THROUGH to the Sigerson Cup final for the third year in a row after a titanic 100-minute struggle against University of Ulster.

It took a double period of extra time to separate two shattered teams in Inniskeen, before the 2016 champions scraped through by two pints.

pjimage (2) Dublin's Con O'Callaghan and Monaghan's Conor McCarthy both starred for UCD tonight. INPHO INPHO

O’Callaghan, fresh from his exploits in helping Cuala reach the All-Ireland club hurling final last Saturday, lined out for the first time in the Sigerson Cup this season for UCD and made his mark for John Divilly’s side.

Scores by Brian O’Seanachain and Con O’Callaghan in the second period of double extra-time saw UCD scrape through to face NUIG in Saturday’s final.

Tyrone’s Mark Bradley got the only goal in the second minute of the first bout of extra time, after a superb pass by Lee Brennan, but UU only scored one point after that with UCD finally nudging ahead at a critical stage.

County managers around the country won’t have been impressed by the mammoth effort expended all round last night, and after a boring first half of normal time which finished 0-3 each, the intensity and pace lifted for the remaining 70 minutes.

Monaghan’s Conor McCarthy lit up the final quarter of normal time with four points in the last 15 minutes to put UCD 0-12 to 0-10 ahead going into injury time.

HE GAA / YouTube

However Tyrone referee Sean Hurson played a very generous six minutes stoppage time and Lee Brennan’s free, followed by Gareth McKinless’ 66th minute point, forced extra time when it finished level 0-12 each.

After Bradley’s goal, UCD took over with Evan O’Carroll deadly from placed balls and McCarthy continuing his scoring form and they nudged in front in the second half of extra time.

For the second time, the Jordanstown outfit snatched a late point to force an extension in the game. Rory Brennan’s 81st minute point tying the scores at 1-13 to 0-16 teeing up a further five minutes each side.

UU failed to score in either half of double extra time.

O’Seanachain’s 86th minute point, followed by O’Callaghan’s simple tap-over free, finally proved decisive.

The first half was a 30-minute yawn, UU reluctant to commit bodies to the attack and when they did come out with the ball, frequently got turned over in possession.

Niall Madine, their only player inside the UCD ’45′ for most of the half, showed well and linked up with Mark Bradley who got on a lot of ball. But there was little end product.

Three times UCD took the lead and three times UU equalised. Tipperary’s Liam Casey got the opening score for UCD in the third minute with a right-footed point which Tyrone’s Frank Burns – a late change in the starting team – cancelled out with a fine long-range effort three minutes later.

UCD hit four first-half wides and Laois’ Evan O’Carroll dropped a simple free short but made amends with a ’45′ soon after.

UU took the lead for the first time in the second minute of the second half through fullback Michael McKernan, who seconds earlier had blocked Jack Barry’s goal-bound shot at the other end.

Inside 11 minutes, UU streaked clear at 0-8 to 0-5 to put the first real daylight between the teams with points from Rory Brennan, Niall Madine and Lee Brennan’s ’45′.

Liam Casey’s second point and O’Carroll’s free kept UCD in touch and with Barry and O’Sullivan an increasing influence in midfield, they soon levelled matters with three frees in as many minutes from O’Carroll, O’Callaghan and McCarthy.

After a quiet opening half, McCarthy nailed 0-4, two from play, in the last quarter to give UCD the initiative again.

They led 0-12 to 0-10 going into extra time through sub Liam Silke’s point but in a very generous six minutes of injury-time, Lee Brennan and Gareth McKinless snatched extra time, for the first time.

Scorers for UCD: Conor McCarthy 0-6 (0-3f), Evan O’Carroll 0-5 (0-3f, 0-2 ’45), Liam Casey, Con O’Callaghan (0-2f) 0-2 each, Eoin Lowry (0-1f), Liam Silke, Brian Ó Seanacháin 0-1 each.

Scorers for UUJ: Lee Brennan 0-3 (0-1 ’45, 0-1f), Mark Bradley 1-0, Frank Burns, Ronan McNamee, Rory Brennan 0-2 each, Terence O’Brien (0-1f), Niall Madine, Michael McKernan, Gareth McKinless 0-1 each.


Charlie Manton (Fethard, Tipperary)

Luke Fortune (Cavan Gaels, Cavan)
Cillian O’Shea (Kilmacud Crokes, Dublin)
Peter Healy (St Enda’s, Antrim)

Stephen Coen (Hollymount-Carramore, Mayo)
Conor Mullally (Cuala, Dublin)
Jimmy Feehan (Killenaule, Tipperary)

Barry O’Sullivan (Dingle, Kerry)
Jack Barry (Na Gaeil, Kerry)

Liam Casey (Cahir, Tipperary)
Conor McCarthy (Scotstown, Monaghan)
Brian Byrne (Naas, Kildare)

Con O’Callaghan (Cuala, Dublin)
Evan O’Carroll (Crettyard, Laois)
Eoin Lowry (Killeshin, Laois)


Brian Ó Seanacháin (Ballydonoghue, Kerry) for Casey (40)
Tom Hayes (Cootehill, Cavan) for Lowry (42)
Liam Silke (Corofin, Galway) for Byrne (50)
Patrick O’Connor (St Farnan’s, Sligo) for Feehan (70)
Larry Moran (Killoe, Longford) for O’Connor (77)

Ulster University

Sean Fox (Killyclogher, Tyrone)

Malachy Magee (Clann na Banna, Down)
Michael McKernan (Coalisland, Tyrone)
Michael McEvoy (Magherafelt, Derry)

Rory Brennan (Trillick, Tyrone)
Ronan McNamee (Aghyaran, Tyrone)
Gareth McKinless (Ballinderry, Derry)

Terence O’Brien (The Loup, Derry)
Jonathan Munroe (Carrickmore, Tyrone)

Ryan McAnespie (Emyvale, Monaghan)
Mark Bradley (Killyclogher, Tyrone)
Eoin McHugh (Kilcar, Donegal)

Lee Brennan (Trillick, Tyrone)
Niall Madine (Saval, Down)
Frank Burns (Pomeroy, Tyrone)


David Mulgrew (Ardboe, Tyrone) for Madine (35)
Daire Gallagher (Trillick, Tyrone) for Burns (55)
Danny Tallon (Watty Graham’s Glen, Derry) for McAnespie (60)
Burns for McNamee (70)
McAnespie for McHugh (78)

Referee: Sean Hurson (Tyrone)

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