McKernan's injuries add to the UU misery
Ulster University suffered a double setback in yesterday's Electric Ireland Sigerson Cup tie against UCD when they not only lost the match in extra-time but had defender Michael McKernan hospitalised with serious injuries.
McKernan (below) has been in the Tyrone senior county squad for the past two years and it is understood that his injuries include a punctured lung and two broken ribs.
Ulster University club president John Farrell confirmed that the injuries had been sustained in an accidental collision with another player and added: "This is a big setback for Michael and a shock to the rest of us. Our thoughts are very much with him and his family and we sincerely hope that he will make a full recovery."
UCD won the match by 0-13 to 0-11 after the sides had been deadlocked at 0-7 each at the end of normal time with Cavan player Luke Fortune having fired over the UCD equaliser that necessitated extra-time.
The Ulster University scorers were Lee Brennan, Daniel Kerr (0-3 each), M McKernan, M Gallagher, D Mulgrew, D Gallagher and Ryan Jones (0-1 each).
But while Ulster University faltered, St Mary's University College and Queen's University chiselled out impressive wins over Maynooth University and TUD respectively.
A second-half goal from new Tyrone recruit Conn Kilpatrick which was complemented by points from Oisin O'Neill and Jack McCartan helped to cement St Mary's impressive win over a Maynooth side that never got into their stride.
And while the New Year may still be in its infancy, Antrim football is already lapping up a double bonus that holds out the prospect of better things to come.
The exciting Odhran Eastwood, one of the county's most talented players, stepped onto centre stage for Queen's in their handsome 1-14 to 1-8 win over TUD in the Sigerson Cup while in the Under-20 Football Development League the Saffrons surprised Down by winning by 1-10 to 0-10.
St Enda's clubman Eastwood pilfered a stunning 1-3 within a nine-minute spell in the second half to chart Queen's path to victory with Ciaran Higgins, Cathal Gorman, Callum O'Neill and Darragh McGurn also to the fore for Conor Deegan's side.
Queen's manager, former Down All-Ireland winner Conor Deegan, afterwards hailed his side's work ethic and tenacity.
"They showed grit in holding their own in the first half before going on to come out on top after the break," said Deegan. "They were very resilient."