Sligo’s Sigerson joy

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SIGERSON: Patrick O'Connor from St Farnan's in action against Fermanagh for Sligo.

SLIGO has two more Sigerson Cup winners. Third Level students Patrick O’Connor, St Farnan’s, and Jamie Gillen of Drumcliffe-Rosses Point are now part of an illustrious club as they were members of the University College Dublin Senior Gaelic football squad that won last Saturday’s Electric Ireland Higher Education GAA Sigerson Cup final.

UCD, the holders, were one-point winners over NUI Galway, 1-13 to 2-9, at Santry Avenue. This was the Dublin side’s second title in three years and their 34th in total.

Neither O’Connor, who is part of the Sligo Senior team, nor Gillen featured in the decider – both were unused substitutes – but beaten finalists NUI Galway fielded two Sligo Senior Gaelic footballers, Gerard O’Kelly-Lynch (St Mary’s) and Kevin McDonnell (Castleconnor).

O’Kelly-Lynch was wing-back for the runners-up, with Sligo captain McDonnell operating at corner-back. A third Sligo native, Nathan Mullen (Coolaney-Mullinabreena), came on in the 58th minute.

Monaghan’s Conor McCarthy scored 1-6 for the John Divilly-managed UCD (he supplied 1-21 in four Sigerson Cup fixtures) in last weekend’s decider. His 20th minute goal ensured parity at half-time, 1-5 to 0-8.

The Connacht outfit started well and led 0-5 to 0-1 but they missed a glorious goal chance when team captain Damien Comer, the Galway Senior powerhouse, hit the woodwork with a goal effort.

NUI Galway, previous winners of this competition in 2003, were leading by a point, 2-8 to 1-10, with 10 minutes of normal time left. But the team guided by ex-Mayo player Maurice Sheridan were outscored in the closing stages, 0-4 to 0-1.

The game’s talking point was the second-half appearance at the Dublin venue of NUI Galway player Kieran Molloy, who, earlier that afternoon, played a full game for Galway’s Corofin in their All-Ireland semi-final defeat of Moorefield at Tullamore. UCD had a player on the Corofin team, Liam Silke, but he didn’t play in the Sigerson showdown.

The Sigerson Cup semi-finals were played on Wednesday night of last week. NUI Galway defeated Dublin IT by three points, 2-12 to 0-15, at Mullingar. Kevin McDonnell and Gerard O’Kelly-Lynch played in the winners’ defence.

At Inniskeen UCD overcame University of Ulster, after two periods of extra-time, 0-18 to 1-13. Patrick O’Connor featured as a substitute for UCD in extra-time but only got seven minutes on the pitch.

Meanwhile, Diarmuid Gallagher (St Molaise Gaels) scored 1-1 for Liverpool Hope University in their 2-14 to 1-8 defeat of University of Ulster Magee in last Saturday’s HE GAA Corn na Mac Leinn Cup final at Santry Avenue. UU Magee were 0-6 to 0-4 up at half-time.

Ballisodare’s Peter Patton was part of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland side that lost to Liverpool Hope University, 0-13 to 0-11, in the Corn na Mac Leinn Cup semi-final.

Enniscrone-Kilglass GAA Club’s Ciaran O’Dowd was on the losing side in the HE GAA Trench Cup decider at Santry Avenue as Waterford IT were beaten by Limerick’s Mary Immaculate College. Waterford IT lost by a point, 2-14 to 1-16.

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