Independent.ie Sigerson Cup Semi-Final
St Mary’s, Belfast 2-7 UCC 2-6
By Cian O’Connell at the Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence
Ciaran Corrigan’s 52nd minute goal proved to be the key score as St Mary’s, Belfast advanced to their first Sigerson Cup Final since 1993.
Despite conceding two goals at the start of the game Paddy Tally’s hard working team responded impressively to secure victory.
Corrigan’s goal was followed by a splendid point from substitute Corey Quinn which edged the Ranch two in front.
A Brian O’Driscoll free narrowed the deficit, but UCC squandered several decent chances to force extra-time.
In the closing stages Adrian Spillane and Alan O’Donovan were both sent off for UCC, who had enjoyed such a productive opening.
UCC ruthlessly punished some early lapses in St Mary’s concentration to bag two goals. Ian Maguire fisted a fifth minute goal and from the restart fed Cathal Bambury, who expertly bagged a second.
Mary’s, though, came thundering back with points from Kieran McGeary (2) and Oisin O’Neill before netting a levelling goal.
Matthew Fitzpatrick reacted smartly to score after an O’Neill shot struck the woodwork. By the time the interval rolled around Mary’s had edged 1-6 to 2-2 ahead.
When the action recommenced it remained keenly contested with three UCC points from Killian Spillane and O’Driscoll guiding them two points ahead.
Tally’s well organised Mary’s outfit remained calm with Corrigan’s major the important blow as UCC exited the competition.
Scorers for St Mary’s, Belfast: Matthew Fitzpatrick 1-1 (1f), Ciaran Corrigan 1-0, Oisin O’Neill 0-3 (2fs), Kieran McGeary 0-2 (2fs), Corey Quinn 0-1.
Scorers for UCC: Cathal Bambury 1-1, Ian Maguire 1-0, Brian O’Driscoll 0-3 (1f), Killian Spillane 0-2 (2fs).
St Mary’s, Belfast: Mark Reid (Down); Ruairi Mooney (Derry), Aaron McKay (Armagh), Kyle Mallon (Armagh); Colm Byrne (Tyrone), Conor Meyler (Tyrone), Kieran McGeary (Tyrone); Oisin O’Neill (Armagh), Diarmuid McConville (Armagh); Kevin McKernan (Down), Brian Og McGilligan (Derry), Stephen McConville (Down); Conall McCann (Tyrone), Matthew Fitzpatrick (Antrim), Cathal McShane (Tyrone).
Subs: Corey Quinn (Down) for Conall McCann (29 mins, bc), Ciaran MacIomhar for Kieran McGeary (47 mins, bc), Aidan Nugent (Armagh) for Stephen McConville (60 mins).
UCC: Michael Martin (Cork); Caoimhin Begley (Kerry), Fionan Clifford (Kerry), Jason Foley (Kerry); Kevin Crowley (Cork), Stephen Cronin (Cork), Tom O’Sullivan (Kerry); Ian Maguire (Cork), Ronan O’Toole (Cork); Ronan Buckley (Kerry), Adrian Spillane (Kerry), Jack Kennedy (Tipperary); Brian O’Driscoll (Cork), Killian Spillane (Kerry), Cathal Bambury (Kerry).
Subs: Kevin Flahive (Cork) for Caoimhin Begley (31 mins), Alan O’Donovan for Ronan O’Toole (42 mins), Stephen Sherlock (Cork) for Ronan Buckley (45 mins).
Referee: James Molloy (Galway