Rebel contingent chip in as UCC footballers edge NUIG in Sigerson Cup

Rebel contingent chip in as UCC footballers edge NUIG in Sigerson Cup
Colm O'Callaghan of UCC and Eoin O'Donoghue of NUI at the Sigerson Cup. Picture: Hany Marzouk

NUIG 1-14 UCC 2-12

UCC advanced to the quarter-finals of the Sigerson Cup after a real battle away to NUIG on Sunday.

This was an entertaining game of football, with both sides setting up in an attacking manner, which was reflected on the scoreboard.

The Connacht side had a chance to send the game to extra time late on, however Dessie Conneely’s stoppage time shot went wide, much to the relief of the holders.

Billy Morgan’s side featured a number of prominent up and coming Cork footballers, including Liam O’Donovan, Brian Hartnett, Colm O’Callaghan and Mark Cronin.

Brian Hartnett of UCC and Nathan Mullen of NUI. Picture: Hany Marzouk
Brian Hartnett of UCC and Nathan Mullen of NUI. Picture: Hany Marzouk

NUIG made a superb start to the game, scoring the first four points in succession to give themselves an early lead, though UCC’s first score was a goal, which came from Rory Cunningham, after an excellent move involving Cunningham, Sean O’Shea and Padraig Lucey.

A free from O’Shea then levelled the game, though UCC had their second goal shortly after, which arrived courtesy of wing back James McEntee.

Billy Morgan’s side registered the next four points in succession, though NUIG ended the opening half very strongly, as full-forward Robert Finnerty was causing the Cork side serious problems. A goal from Finnerty brought NUIG back into the game, as UCC held a narrow 2-7 to 1-9 lead at the break.

It was a one point game when UCC substitute Dylan Casey was sin-binned shortly after half-time, though NUIG were also reduced to 14 men temporarily, as Sean Mulkerrin was shown a black card for a foul on Sean O’Shea.

UCC remained marginally on top for most of the half and Killian Spillane’s 55th minute score left two between the teams.

Conneely tapped over a free to reduce the gap to one, though he could not convert moments later, as the referee blew for full time after the resulting kick-out and UCC survived by the skin of their teeth.

Morgan’s side now face IT Carlow in the quarter final.

Sean O'Shea of UCC and Eoin O'Donoghue of NUI. Picture: Hany Marzouk
Sean O'Shea of UCC and Eoin O'Donoghue of NUI. Picture: Hany Marzouk

Scorers for NUIG: R Finnerty 1-9 (0-3 f, 0-1 mark), F O’Laoi 0-3, K Molloy and D Conneely (f) 0-1 each.

UCC: R Cunningham and J McEntee 1-1 each, M Cronin 0-3 (0-1 f, 0-1 mark) S O’Shea 0-2 f, C O’Callaghan, C Gammell, B Hartnett, D O’Connor and K Spillane 0-1 each.

NUIG: R Boland; K Carr, S Brennan, S Mulkerrin; K McDonnell, E O’Donoghue, A Claffey; C Darcy, M Ruane; P O’Donnell, F O’Laoi, N Mullen; J Maher, R Finnerty, D Conneely.

Subs: K Molloy for Carr (h-t), P Costello for Maher (36), G Burke for Claffey (39), I O’Sullivan for O’Donnell (45), C Bohan for Brennan (55).

UCC: E O’Brien; D O’Brien, L O’Donovan, C Gammell; J McEntee, M Flood, P Feehan; P Lucey, B Hartnett; J Naughton, S O’Shea, R Cunningham; C O’Callaghan, K Spillane, M Cronin.

Subs: D Casey for Flood (h-t), G Murphy for Cunningham (50), C Barrett for Spillane (55).

Referee: J Gilmartin (Sligo).

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