Sigerson Cup: UUJ 0-7 UUC 0-10
They may have been deprived of what would have been their sixth Sigerson Cup triumph by a more polished UUC side at the week-end but UUJ will not allow this setback to dilute their 25th anniversary celebrations.
It was in 1986 that the Jordanstown side made their debut in the competition and last night club president John Farrell hailed the character, courage and skill that the current side had revealed in reaching the decider.
“The lads gave tremendous commitment over the course of three days in which they played three games,” said Farrell.
“Having beaten Carlow IT and Maynooth within a 48-hour period they then went into the decider and actually played very strongly in the second-half before just falling short in the closing stages.
“It was disappointing but we will be taking positives from our involvement in the competition. We certainly have a lot to celebrate since our inception 25 years ago having already won the Sigerson five times and this is a landmark year for us.”
Forced to field without Conor Mortimer, Jamie Clarke, David McKenna, Joe Diver and Raymond Mulgrew for various reasons, UUJ nonetheless did the province proud.
And had they been able to push on when they pegged UCC back to a one-point advantage mid-way through the second-half the outcome might have been very different — a fact reflected upon by manager Adrian McGuckin.
“The team showed great resilience in coming back after having been five points down. They never lost their composure nor their shape. But UCC managed to get three late scores that tipped the scales in their favour,” said McGuckin.
Stark statistics from the decider, though, make for a depressing narrative — they did not score from play until the 24th minute, no forward scored from play until the 45th minute and four of their seven points came between the 45th and 50th minutes.
UCC: K O’Halloran; P Crowley, E O’Mahoney, J O’Sullivan; S Kiely (0-1), B Daly, N Daly; W Kennedy, J Fitzpatrick (0-1); K |O’Driscoll (0-2), M Collins (0-2, 0-1 free), JB Spillane; B O’Driscoll (0-3, 0-2 frees), D Casey, J Buckley (0-1). Subs: S O’Brien for Kennedy (38 mins), S Betson for Casey (57), M Griffin for B O’Driscoll (59).
UUJ: G Kelly; D Mone, B Donaghy, C Galligan (0-1); K Dyas (0-1), D Morgan, C McGinley (0-2); C Murney, N Holly; P Hughes, C O’Boyle, D McNulty; J McAnulla, M Donnelly (0-1), C McManus (0-2, 0-1 free). Subs: E McGuckin for McAnulla (35 mins), G McCartan for Murney (42), C Donnelly for Hughes (45), J O’Neill for McNulty (48).
Referee: David Coldrick (Meath).