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McGuigan ready to fire St Mary's into Cup decider

Red hot: Shane McGuigan
Red hot: Shane McGuigan
John Campbell

By John Campbell

Shane McGuigan has proved an inspirational figure in helping to take St Mary's University College into tomorrow's Sigerson Cup semi-final against holders University College, Dublin.

The Slaughtneil and Derry scoring ace has landed 0-15 in St Mary's wins over IT Tralee and Maynooth University to date, and will be a key figure again in their attack against a UCD side that boasts the stellar talents of Dublin All-Ireland winner Con O'Callaghan in their attack.

It was just two years ago that St Mary's sent shock waves reverberating through the Higher Education GAA sector when they took delivery of the Sigerson Cup for the first time in many years and now they are within striking distance once again of reaching the final.

But McGuigan is not the only shining light in their side. Armagh's Jarlath Og Burns, rising Down star Liam Devlin and Derry duo Niall Toner and Daniel McKinless are also key players who can have a pronounced influence on tomorrow's proceedings.

But it's McGuigan, the holder of three Derry championship medals and two Ulster club medals, who could once again prove the ace in St Mary's pack.

He landed 10 points in their 1-15 to 1-10 win over IT Tralee and helped himself to another five when they accounted for Maynooth University .

He is expected to be more carefully policed by the UCD defence tomorrow but the fact that he is on top of his game gives the west Belfast seat of learning considerable encouragement entering the fray.

"We were underdogs in the two matches we played but that seems to suit us," said coach Gavin McGilly. "We want to try and hit the ground running against UCD. It's important that we don't find ourselves chasing the game because we are coming up against a really good side."

UCD dynamo O'Callaghan has been in fine form for Dublin both as a creator and finisher in tandem with Laois full-forward Evan Carroll and Cian O'Connor.

This trio in particular are expected to pose big problems for the St Mary's defence.

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