By Eoghan Cormican, Jordanstown
UCD 0-10 DCU 2-2
A dogged second-half showing propelled UCD to a first Sigerson Cup crown in 20 years this afternoon.
Having led from the off, the Belfield outfit found themselves in arrears at half-time after a well-worked Steven O’Brien goal and Shane Carey free in quick succession during first-half stoppages moved the reigning champions into a 1-2 to 0-4 interval lead.
UCD were dealt major blows during that opening period; Paul Mannion was forced off with a quad injury, while Niall Kelly was black-carded.
To their credit, though, Divilly’s side produced a determined second-half performance to grind down their Dublin opponents.
John Heslin kicked frees on 31, 38 and 42 minutes to return the favourites in front and the gap was stretched out to three points, 0-8 to 1-2, when Heslin set-up Conor McCarthy for his second on 43 minutes.
On 52 minutes, the pendulum swung back in DCU’s favour. Colm Begley played through Conor McHugh and while his shot was saved by UCD ‘keeper Eoghan Keogh, Conor McGraynor was fouled when attempting to finish the rebound. Conor Moynagh dispatched the spot-kick to level matters.
Diarmuid O’Connor and Kevin Feely dropped successive shots into Keogh’s arms in the ensuing passages and they were made to pay for such wastefulness when an excellent Heslin kick on 57 minutes edged UCD back in front.
There they remained during the six minutes of injury time played, sub Stephen Coen rubber-stamping a league and championship double for UCD with a late minor.
Scores for UCD: J Heslin (0-6, 0-4 frees); C McCarthy (0-2); P Mannion (0-1 free), S Coen (0-1 each).
Scorers for DCU: C Moynagh (1-0 pen), S O’Brien (1-0 each); S Carey (0-2 frees).
UCD: E Keogh (Laois); D Hyland (Kildare), D Byrne (Dublin), R Wylie (Monaghan); C Mullaly (Dublin), M Fitzsimons (Dublin), J McCaffrey (Dublin); L Casey (Tipperary), R McDaid (Dublin); C Basquel (Dublin), J Heslin (Westmeath), C McCarthy (Monaghan); N Kelly (Kildare), P Mannion (Dublin), E Lowry (Laois).
Subs: T Hayes (Cavan) for Mannion (16 mins, inj), J McEntee (Meath) for Kelly (28, bc), S Coen (Mayo) for McEntee (43), J Barry (Kerry) for Lowry (53), S O'Dea (Limerick) for McCaffrey (57, inj), T Moolick (Kildare) for Casey (58).
DCU: P O'Donnell (Donegal); K Feely (Kildare), J Smith (Dublin), S Attride (Laois); C Moynagh (Cavan), K Daly (Westmeath), J Smith (Dublin); S O'Brien (Tipperary), M Quinn (Longford); R Connor (Longford), E Smith (Roscommon), C Begley (Laois); R Lyons (Fermanagh) D O'Connor (Mayo), S Carey (Monaghan).
Subs: S Carthy (Dublin) for Quinn (HT), C McGraynor (Wicklow) for Connor (HT), D Ward (Monaghan) for Daly (44), C McHugh (Dublin) for Carey (47), C Breheny (Sligo) for Lyons (47), C McNally (Armagh) for Smith (59).
REFEREE: D Coldrick (Meath).