Kevin O’Brien reports from Belfield
UCD SURVIVED A ropey start before blitzing CIT with a five-goal haul in the opening round of the Sigerson Cup this afternoon.
Con O’Callaghan, Conor McCarthy, Evan O’Carroll, Fiachra Clifford and Conor Hartley all hit the net for the reigning champions, who now advance into round three of the third-level competition.
UCD trailed by seven points after an extremely slow start to the game, but Paul Walsh’s dismissal for CIT just before half-time severely dented their challenge.
The defeat means CIT head to the backdoor, where they’ll play the losers of tomorrow’s DCU and IT Carlow clash for a place in the third round.
With a host of inter-county stars at UCD’s disposal, including 2017 All-Star O’Callaghan, Monaghan forward McCarthy, Mayo’s Stephen Coen and Tyrone defender Conor Meyler, they took control after the break and powered to victory.
Corofin and Galway corner-back Liam Silke was introduced for the second-half, forming a formidable half-forward line alongside McCarthy and O’Callaghan.
The Cork college wilted after the restart, failing to score in the second-half with UCD’s Cillian O’Shea proving an effective sweeper as the spare man.
John Divilly cut a concerned figure on the sideline early on as UCD fell 0-8 to 0-1 behind inside the opening 18 minutes, with Cork native Daniel Ó Duinnín looking lively and contributing four points.
Hartley, a late addition to the starting team, rolled in a 20th-minute goal to settle the favourites. Five minutes later, McCarthy drilled a glorious outside the boot strike into the top corner, leaving UCD two behind at half-time.
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By that stage, CIT had lost Walsh to a second yellow card for hauling down O’Callaghan, while Gavin O’Brien was black-carded for an off the ball hit on his marker Cian O’Connor.
The second period was merely a procession. Laois man O’Carroll flicked a Barry McGinn delivery into the net and then Clifford, who scored two goals for Kerry in the 2017 All-Ireland minor final, palmed in UCD’s fourth three-pointer from close range.
O’Callaghan finally raised the green flag himself shortly before the end after a strong run and finish past Christopher Kelly.
Scorers for UCD: Evan O’Carroll 1-2 (0-1f), Conor McCarthy, Con O’Callaghan and Fiachra Clifford 1-1 each, Conor Hartley 1-0, Barry McGinn 0-2, Liam Silke 0-1.
Scorers for CIT: Daniel Ó Duinnín 0-4, Kevin O’Donovan 0-3, Chris O’Donoghue, Mark Buckley, Matthew Bradley 0-1 each.
1. Tommy O’Brien (Monaghan)
2. Mark Dempsey (Moorefield, Kildare)
3. Brian Byrne (Naas, Kildare)
4. Martin O’Connor (HWH-Bunclody, Wexford)
5. Cian O’Connor (Kilmacud Crokes, Dublin)
6. Conor Meyler (Omagh, Tyrone)
7. Cillian O’Shea (Kilmacud Crokes, Dublin)
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9. Stephen Coen (Hollymount-Carramore, Mayo)
12. Darren Gavin (Lucan Sarsfields, Dublin)
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21. Conor Hartley (Sarsfields, Kildare)
11. Conor McCarthy (Scotstown, Monaghan)
10. Con O’Callaghan (Cuala, Dublin)
13. Fiachra Clifford (Laune Rangers, Kerry)
14. Evan O’Carroll (Crettyard, Laois)
15. Barry McGinn (Doohamlet, Monaghan)
17. Liam Silke (Corofin, Galway) for Hartley (ht)
19. Frank Connolly (Monaghan) for Byrne (51)
23. Conor Crowley (Palatine, Carlow) for Meyler (54)
18. Dara Kennedy (Killygarry, Cavan) for O’Carroll (55)
24. Conor Moriarty (Curraha, Meath) for Clifford (57)
29. Niall O’Callaghan (Cuala, Dublin) for Con O’Callaghan (57)
1. Christopher Kelly (Éire Óg, Cork)
2. Mike Lordan (Ballinora, Cork)
3. Aidan Browne (Newmarket, Cork)
4. Chris O’Donoghue (Glenflesk, Kerry)
5. Niall O’Donoghue (Firies, Kerry)
6. Eoin Lavers (Dohenys, Cork)
7. Brian Surgrue (Renard, Kerry)
8. Paul Walsh (Kanturk, Cork)
21. Ryan Walsh (Kanturk, Cork)
10. Gavin O’Brien (Kerins O’Rahilly’s, Kerry)
11. Daniel Ó Duinnín (Cill na Martra, Cork)
12. Kevin O’Donovan (Nemo Rangers, Cork)
13. Mark Buckley (Dohenys, Cork)
14. James Crean (Annascaul, Kerry)
15. Matthew Bradley (Aghabullogue, Cork)
17. Sean Walsh (Mitchelstown, Cork) for O’Brien (black card, 30)
18. Ben Hyland (Fr Sheehy’s, Tipperary) for Bradley (ht)
25. Sean Howard (Dromtarriffe, Cork) for Ryan Walsh (46)
19. Brian Hodnett (Carbery Rangers, Cork) for Buckley (46)
23. Donnchadh O’Sullivan (Firies, Kerry) for Crean (55)
Referee: Seamus Mulhare (Laois)
Garda College 1-15
IT Sligo 1-10
TODAY’S OTHER FIRST round Sigerson Cup game finished with a five-point victory for home side Garda College in Templemore.
They finished strongly in order to secure the spoils, outscoring IT Sligo by 1-4 to 0-1 in the closing stages.
Garda College were narrowly in front 0-7 to 0-6 at the interval and stayed in the ascendancy until Donegal’s Jamie Brennan netted from the penalty spot to edge IT Sligo in front by 1-9 to 0-11 in the 52nd minute.
Garda College held their nerve to register three points in succession as they went back in front before a late Ronan Carolan goal helped them seal an eventual five-point success.
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