DCU hold on after late Darragh Canavan goal to win in exciting Sigerson Cup finish

DCU 2-12
Ulster University 2-11

DCU SURVIVED IN an exciting finale after a late Darragh Canavan goal to clinch a one-point success over Ulster University in their Sigerson Cup quarter-final tie this evening.

DCU’s Liam Coleman tackles Ulster University’s Darragh Canavan.

Source: Tom Maher/INPHO

DCU, the reigning champions after their success in 2020, prevailed after a brilliant second-half display. They trailed by three points at half-time and by five early in the second half, but inspired by the impact off the bench from Galway’s Robert Finnerty, along with goals by Laois forward Mark Barry and Sligo’s Red Óg Murphy, Paddy Christie’s side secured a last four place.

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Watch full time highlights here as DCU narrowly defeat UU .@DCUDocEirGAA 2-12@UlsterUniGAA 2-11#FirstClassRivals #DCUvUU@HigherEdGAA pic.twitter.com/LVR65ITzNx

— Electric Ireland (@ElectricIreland) February 2, 2022

DCU looked comfortable with a four-point advantage with a minute of normal time left but then a mix-up when in possession in defence saw the ball passed straight to Canavan on his own near goal and he side-stepped the goalkeeper before booting to the net.

Ulster University, who brought on Derry’s Conor Glass in the second half to partner Cavan’s Thomas Galligan at midfield, pushed for a levelling score in injury-time. They had two long-range speculative efforts for points that tailed wide and then the full-time whistle was blown during another passage of play.

DCU’s Shea Ryan is challenged by Ulster University’s Thomas Galligan.

Source: Tom Maher/INPHO

The terms of the first half were dictated by Ulster University as they went head 0-6 to 0-3 at the interval. McKernan struck one quality point from distance while Derry’s Niall Loughlin and Down’s Andrew Gilmore showed up well in attack, finishing 1-7 between them.

DCU were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty when Shea Ryan was fouled before half-time but a free was instead given which Barry converted. DCU shipped early points to Karl and Michael Gallagher in the second half, before they received a lifeline in the 33rd minute, Matthew Costello and Mark Curran combined to split the defence, the move culminating with Barry scrambling in a goal.

DCU scored four of the game’s next six points, Finnerty shooting three of those, and by the 40th minute they were level at 1-7 to 0-10. Then Ulster University came strong again with Canavan pulling the strings to set up Loughlin for a goal and place him for a mark with a brilliant pass.

Sligo’s Red Óg Murphy in action for DCU.

Source: Tom Maher/INPHO

They were 1-11 to 1-8 clear in the last quarter before DCU took over and shot 1-4 without reply. Meath’s Shane Walsh started to become influential in attack with some impressive points and the key score occurred in the 51st minute when Red Óg Murphy netted from a penalty after being fouled himself.

Canavan’s goal left DCU hanging on to their advantage but they booked their spot in the semi-finals, where they join MTU Kerry and NUI Galway.

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Scorers for DCU: Mark Barry 1-2 (0-1f), Robert Finnerty 0-4 (0-3f), Red Óg Murphy 1-0 (1-0 pen), Shane Walsh 0-3 (0-1f), Joseph Hagan, Padraic Hughes, Mark Curran 0-1 each.

Scorers for Ulster University: Niall Loughlin 1-3 (0-1f, 0-1 mark), Andrew Gilmore 0-4, Darragh Canavan 1-0, Liam Nugent, Michael McKernan, Karl Gallagher, Mark Gallagher 0-1 each.

DCU

David O’Hanlon (Na Fianna, Dublin)

Dan Corcoran (Geraldines, Louth), Shea Ryan (Sarsfields, Kildare), Mark Curran (An Clochan Liath)

Luke Towey (St Molaise Gaels, Sligo), Jordan Morrissey (Éire Óg, Mayo), Matthew Costello (Dunshaughlin, Meath)

Liam Coleman (Castletown Liam Mellows, Wexford), Red Óg Murphy (Curry, Sligo)

Padraic Hughes (Kilanerin, Wexford), Shane Walsh (Na Fianna, Dublin), Bill Carroll (Cappincur, Offaly)

Shane Tierney (Daingean, Offaly), Jack Bryant (Shamrocks, Offaly), Mark Barry (O’Dempsey’s, Laois) 

Subs

Shane O’Donnell (St Eunan’s, Donegal) for Carroll (half-time)

Robert Finnerty (Salthill/Knocknacarra, Galway) for Bryant (half-time)

Karl Lynch Bissett (Naomh Mearnóg, Wexford) for Barry (40)

Joseph Hagan (Dromard, Longford) for Tierney (46)

S Byrne (Killybegs, Donegal) for Coleman (56).

Ulster University

Odhran Lynch (Magherafelt)

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A Clarke (Omagh, Tyrone), F McElroy (Longstone, Down), M Gallagher (Trillick, Tyrone)

M McKearney (Dungannon, Tyrone), R Boyle (Truagh, Monaghan), M McKernan (Coalisland, Tyrone)

T Galligan (Lacken, Cavan), M McGleenan (Eglish, Tyrone)

K Gallagher (Emyvale, Monaghan), D Canavan (Errigal Ciaran, Tyrone), R Gormley (Strabane, Tyrone)

L Nugent (Rock, Tyrone), N Loughlin (Greenlough, Derry), A Gilmore (St John’s, Down).

Subs

D Mulgrew (Ardboe, Tyrone) for Gormley (h-t)

C Glass (Glen, Derry) for McGleenan (40)

J Garrity (Trillick, Tyrone) for K Gallagher (46)

S Loughran (Ballyholland, Down) for Canavan (60).

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