St Mary's and UUJ make ideal start in Sigerson Cup
St Mary's University manager Paddy Tally hailed the superb fighting spirit of his players after they etched out a 1-11 to 2-6 extra-time victory over Dublin Institute of Technology at a blustery and freezing Garvaghey in the Sigerson Cup.
The Ranch have now put themselves in line for a glamorous all-Belfast quarter-final clash away to the hosts of the Sigerson weekend, University Ulster Jordanstown, who themselves came through their test against Garda College, 2-14 to 0-11.
Tally spoke of the commitment required from his players, who were especially well served by Tyrone trio Kieran McGeary, Ronan O'Neill and Conor Meyler, along with some timely contributions from Kevin McKernan, culminating in three late frees from substitute Jack Grugan.
"Commitment is the one thing we need to have. One thing that The Ranch have been known for down through the years is young fellas who commit 100 per cent. We know that if we don't play like that, we will not compete," stated Tally.
"This win was another example of it. When the chips are down and our backs are against the wall, there is only one way to come out and that is fighting, and they did that."
UUJ joint-manager Barney McAleenan was pleased with the ability of his side to overcome a tough hurdle, with Tyrone star Rory Brennan being red-carded in the first-half. Patrick McBrearty and Evan Regan grabbed a goal either side of half-time.
"We played with a strong wind in the first-half and it was 1-7 to 0-5 at half-time, but we lost Rory to a red card. We were down to 14 men, playing against the wind," he said.
"There were six points in it and they got a penalty, but Sean Fox saved it. That was a turning point for us. Then we pulled away at the end."
University of Limerick were in action against former champions IT Tralee and won 2-15 to 2-8. They will now provide the opposition for Queen's University Belfast in the quarter-finals.