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UUJ boss reflects on cruel ending


UUJ's Kieran Hughes on the charge

UUJ's Kieran Hughes on the charge

©INPHO/Presseye/Russell Pritcha

UUJ's Kieran Hughes on the charge

UCC 0-10 UUJ 0-09: UUJ's Sigerson Cup hopes were dashed with a heart-breaking last minute defeat to UCC in Saturday night's final at the Dub.

Jordanstown had fought their way back from seven points down, with Tyrone star Ronan O'Neill inspirational kicking four points in the last 10 minutes to draw his side level with a minute to go.

The game looked set to go to extra-time when Conor Dorman popped up with a dubious 25 metre winning score, which looked like it might have drifted wide in the swirling conditions.

"The boys are devastated, people don't realise what winning a Sigerson Cup actually means," said UUJ boss Adrian McGuckin.

"We didn't use the ball as well as we should have, but it was just a bit cruel the way they scored the winning point in the last 30 seconds."

UUJ were left to rue the 16 wides they kicked over the hour.

UCC were outstanding in defence and forced their opponents into poor shot selection while they were much more clinical with less possession.

Mattie Donnelly got UUJ's first point after 21 minutes.

Conor Cox kicked all six of UCC's first half points and they led by 0-6 to 0-2 at the break.

UUJ's Dean McNally received a black card for dragging down an opponent.

Luke Connolly and Michael Quilivan points stretched UCC's lead out to 0-9 to 0-2 and UUJ looked out of ideas until Conor McAliskey and Kieran Hughes (free) got some spark going.

Then Ronan O'Neill turned on the style with his four points arriving in the last 10 minutes and his superb equaliser coming with the time running out.

However there was still time for one more moment of drama before the hooter sounded, with Dorman scoring with seconds remaining.

UUJ: R Beggan (0-1, '45'); D McNally, C McKaigue, B Tierney; K Clarke, L Keaney, C Walshe, L Keaney; M Donnelly (0-1), N McKeever; D Savage, R O'Neill (0-4, 2f), K Hughes (0-2, 2f); C McAliskey (0-1), C O'Boyle, J Clarke. Subs: C McKaigue for McNally (BC, 26), P Devlin for Savage (43), R Donnelly for McAliskey (57)

UCC: B Kelly; D Culhane, E O'Mahony, F McNamara; T Clancy (0-1), C Dorman (0-1), B Shanahan; D Nation, I McGuire; S Keane, L Connolly (0-1), B O'Driscoll; C Cox (0-6, 4f, one '45'), M Quilivan (0-1), P Geaney. Subs: S Kiely for Nation (37), E Healy for Keane (46)

Referee: Joe McQuillan (Cavan).

Belfast Telegraph