NUI Galway land first Sigerson Cup title since 2003 as strong display secures win over UL

NUI Galway 0-12
UL 1-6

A FIRST SIGERSON Cup title for NUI Galway since 2003 after their powerful start to the second half proved crucial in defeating UL at a rain-lashed IT Carlow grounds tonight.

NUIG’s Cathal Sweeney and Eoghan McLaughlin of the University of Limerick.

Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Despite losing Mayo’s Tommy Conroy and Galway’s Sean Mulkerrin to injury in this campaign, the Maurice Sheridan-managed side were deserved winners against UL.

Matthew Tierney captains Galway to the Sigerson Cup 34 years after his father played for them in the final. pic.twitter.com/2RB6LfMaA1

— Maurice Brosnan (@m_brosnan) February 16, 2022

Roscommon’s Cathal Heneghan came off the bench to shoot 0-3, in a man-of-the-match display while Galway duo Tomo Culhane and Gavin Burke, and Mayo’s Fionn McDonagh were others to produce valuable scoring returns.

They also kept Kerry star David Clifford quiet as the NUIG rearguard succeeded in preventing him from scoring from play, after he had produced a series of devastating attacking displays throughout this competition.

UL lost Cork senior Sean Powter at half-time but were able to start Mayo’s Eoghan MacLaughlin, recovered from his recent injury setback.

It was Clifford who gave UL hope at a stage in the second half when their prospects looked precarious, slamming home a 47th minute penalty for what proved to be the only goal of the game.

46 nóim
@ul_gaa 1-03@nuigalwaysport 0–09

CIC ÉIRICE Ó DAVID CLIFFORD! 🤩🥳

UL are right back in this game! 😍👌
@ElectricIreland @HigherEdGAA @GAA_BEO
#FirstClassRivals | #SigersonCup | #GAABeo

BEO/LIVE AR @TG4TV pic.twitter.com/3MHRLlYHj1

— Spórt TG4 (@SportTG4) February 16, 2022

Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

That penalty had been awarded after Dan Gray’s goalbound shot was judged by referee David Gough to have stopped by a footblock. UL built on that score, which left them 0-9 to 1-3 adrift, to surge back into contention, twice being only a point adrift in the finale after Donal O’Sullivan’s 50th minute point and again when his Kerry colleague Paul Walsh scored in the 56th minute.

Yet on both occasions NUI Galway were never dragged back to parity with Burke and McDonagh nailing crucial points, before Culhane’s injury-time free proved the insurance score as they ran out three-point winners to ensure captain Matthew Tierney lifted the cup.

The first half was a testing affair in difficult conditions. The teams were tied at 0-3 apiece at the interval with scores at a premium. NUI Galway hit over the first three courtesy of McDonagh, Paul Kelly and Burke.

UL didn’t score until the 19th minute, courtesy of Mayo’s Paul Towey, but they were level by the interval after O’Sullivan and Clifford both nailed frees. Indeed Clifford almost scored an audacious goal from distance with Conor Carroll off his line but the goalkeeper got back to gather possession.

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The winning of the match was the scoring spree that NUI Galway embarked upon early in the second half. They were inspired by the immediate impact of Michael Glaveys club man Heneghan, the Roscommon forward jinking clear and weaving paths through the UL defence to pick off three points early in the half.

33 nóim
@ul_gaa 0-03@nuigalwaysport 0–05

Dhá pointe faighte anois ag Cathal Heneghan 🥳

NUI Galway take the lead against the wind!!
@ElectricIreland @HigherEdGAA @GAA_BEO
#FirstClassRivals | #SigersonCup | #GAABeo

BEO/LIVE AR @TG4TV pic.twitter.com/JUNoDhtC3B

— Spórt TG4 (@SportTG4) February 16, 2022

Tierney and Culhane (2) supplemented that burst with further points to send NUI Galway six clear. Clifford’s goal from the penalty ensured it was tense all the way to the final whistle but the newly-crowned champions showed their credentials.

Scorers for NUI Galway: Cathal Heneghan 0-3, Tomo Culhane 0-3 (0-2f),Gavin Burke 0-2, Fionn McDonagh 0-2,  Matthew Tierney 0-1 (0-1f), Paul Kelly 0-1.

Scorers for UL: David Clifford 1-1 (1-0 pen, 0-1f), Donal O’Sullivan 0-2 (0-1f), Eoghan McLaughlin 0-1, Paul Towey 0-1, Paul Walsh 0-1.

NUI Galway

1. Conor Carroll (Oranmore-Maree – Roscommon)

2. Colin Murray (Mountbellew-Moylough, Galway), 3. Neil Mulcahy (Moycullen, Galway), 4. Gavin Burke (Corofin, Galway)

5. Rory Egan (Edenderry, Offaly), 6. Eoghan Kelly (Moycullen, Galway), 7. Nathan Mullen (Coolaney-Mullinabreena, Sligo)

8. Paul Kelly (Moycullen, Galway), 9. Sean Kelly (Moycullen, Galway)

20. Gavin Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels, Mayo), 11. Matthew Tierney (Oughterard, Galway), 12. Cathal Donoghue (Kilcormac-Killoughey, Offaly)

13. Tomo Culhane (Salthill-Knocknacarra, Galway), 14. Fionn McDonagh (Westport, Mayo), 15. Cathal Sweeney (Salthill-Knocknacarra, Galway)

Subs

Cathal Heneghan (Michael Glaveys, Roscommon) for Donoghue (half-time)

Tony Gill (Corofin, Galway) for Durcan (44)

Ryan Monaghan (Oughterard, Galway) for Mullen (60)

UL

1. Conor Flaherty (Claregalway, Galway)

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33. Jack Coyne (Ballyhaunis, Mayo), 3. Ciaran Donnelly (Bracknagh, Offaly), 4. Paul Maher (Adare, Limerick – captain)

5. Gearoid O’Donovan (Newcestown, Cork), 6. Sean Powter (Douglas, Cork), 7. Eoghan McLaughlin (Westport, Mayo)

8. Connell Dempsey (Knockmore, Mayo), 9. Daniel Walsh (Kilmurry-Ibrickane, Clare)

10. Ciaran Downes (Kilmihil, Clare), 11. Emmet McMahon (Kildysart, Clare), 32. Paul Towey (Charlestown, Mayo)

13. David Clifford (Fossa, Kerry), 14. Dan Gray (Castledermot, Kildare), 15. Donal O’Sullivan (Kilgarvan, Kerry)

Subs

Jack Glynn (Claregalway, Galway) for Powter (half-time)

Paul Walsh (Brosna, Kerry) for Dempsey (42)

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Oisin Looney (St Jopseh’s Miltown-Malbay, Clare) for Downes (55)

James McCarthy for Gray (58)

Referee: David Gough (Meath)

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