Influential Carey spoils UUJ's party
UUJ 0-13 DCU 1-14
Sigerson Cup hosts University of Ulster crashed out at the semi-final stage yesterday, with Monaghan forward Shane Carey hitting 1-8 in DCU's 1-14 to 0-13 win at Jordanstown.
Defending champions DCU will be joined in today's final by fellow Dublin side UCD, who crushed University Limerick by 4-12 to 1-9 in the other last-four tie.
Carey's goal midway through the first-half gave UCD a cushion they never surrendered.
UUJ fought back with four unanswered points to close to within two points late on, but DCU held out with Carey punishing a wasteful home side.
DCU scored the first three points through Ultan Harney, David Mannix and Carey's free inside six minutes.
Fine long-range scores from Tyrone's Richie Donnelly and Monaghan's Kieran Hughes brought UUJ to 0-4 to 0-2 behind, before a defensive lapse by Donnelly allowed Carey to net the only goal after 14 minutes.
Jordanstown struggled to penetrate DCU's defence and weren't able to get enough ball to Paddy McBrearty, who still scored 0-3 in the opening half, two from frees.
DCU led by 1-5 to 0-5 at the break and had a good third quarter, making far better use of possession.
UUJ were wasteful, hitting seven first-half wides and dropping half a dozen shots into the goalkeeper's hands. They gave away too many turnovers and Carey punished their ill-discipline with unerring accuracy.
DCU led by 1-11 to 0-8 midway through the second-half, following two superb points inside 60 seconds from Davy Byrne and Stephen Attride.
The home side mounted a spirited comeback with two long-range points from Kieran Hughes, another from Ryan McHugh and a McBrearty free.
However, referee Padraig Hughes spotted an off-the-ball foul by Ricky Johnston, allowing Carey to halt the UUJ momentum with a close-in free.
UUJ: S Fox (Tyrone); R Johnston (Antrim), R McNamee (Tyrone), K Clarke (Cavan); R McHugh (Donegal, 0-1), R Brennan (Tyrone), S Sheridan (Armagh); N McKeever (Antrim), R Donnelly (Tyrone, 0-2); C Grugan (Tyrone), R McAnespie (Monaghan), M Argue (Cavan); P McBrearty (Donegal, 0-5 (4f)), K Hughes (Monaghan, 0-4), C O'Boyle (Derry)
Subs: E Regan (Mayo) for O'Boyle (40), G McKinless (Derry) for Grugan (43), S Heavron (Derry, 0-1) for Argue (48), P Hughes (Armagh) for Johnston (58)
DCU: P O'Donnell (Donegal); K Daly (Westmeath), K Feeley (Kildare), J Smyth (Dublin); S Attride (Laois, 0-1), C Moynagh (Cavan), C Begley (Laois); S O'Brien (Tipperary), E Smith (Roscommon, 0-2); D O'Connor (Mayo), M Quinn (Longford), D Byrne (Dublin, 0-1); D Mannix (Kerry, 0-1), U Harney (Roscommon, 0-1), S Carey (Monaghan, 1-8, 7f)
Subs: C McGraynor (Wicklow) for Mannix (35), S Carthy (Dublin) for Smith (45), D Ward (Monaghan) for Byrne (51), S McCoey (Armagh) for O'Connor (BC, 54), C McGonagle (Donegal) for Harney (59), R Connor (Longford) for Harney (60)
Referee: Padraig Hughes (Armagh)
UCD, meanwhile, put four goals past a hugely disappointing UL to move one step closer to a first Sigerson success in 20 years, but they suffered an injury scare over Dublin star Jack McCaffrey.
The 2015 Footballer of the Year walked off with an ice-pack strapped to his right leg in the 15th minute.
The news won't have pleased Dublin manager Jim Gavin, but it looked like a precaution.
The game was already over as a contest, with the management team of John Divilly, Brian Mullins and Sean Boylan well aware of a much tougher test to come against DCU.
UCD ripped through a disappointing UL, with Kildare star Niall Kelly bagging two goals.
The star-studded Dublin side scored an unanswered 2-5 in the opening 16 minutes.
Tipperary's Liam Casey set the tone with a second-minute goal before Laois' Eoin Lowry ran through a porous Limerick defence to drill a rocket across the goalkeeper after 13 minutes.
Paul Mannion hit two points from play and John Heslin nailed four frees in the first-half for UCD in what was am impressive performance.
Aidan Rowan got UL on the board with an 18th-minute point but it was temporary respite.
Kelly drilled home the first of his two goals in the 20th minute to help UCD lead by 3-9 to 0-2 at the break. Kerry's Brian ÓSe hit 0-4 for UL from play and placed balls.
They had the wind after the break, and with UCD running their bench and absolutely no intensity in the game, they were at least able to make a better fist of things after the break.
They chipped over a few points through Denis Daly, Rory Deane and Kevin Moore before Niall Kelly grabbed his second goal in the 48th minute.
Galway's Ian Burke scored UL's only goal in the 54th minute with a low left-footed finish.
He then missed an injury-time penalty, with UCD keeper Eoghan Keogh diving to his right to push the ball around the post.