Underdogs St Mary’s take another scalp to win Sigerson Cup

St Mary’s 0-13 UCD 2-6

St Mary’s once again defied the odds to secure a first Sigerson Cup in 28 years this afternoon, writes Eoghan Cormican.

Having made little of their underdogs tag when taking down DCU and UCC to reach the final, Paddy Tally’s charges completed a remarkable campaign by denying UCD back-to-back titles in a hugely entertaining final.

Paul Mannion of UCD in action against Aaron McKay, left, and Kieran McGeary of St. Mary's. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Mary’s elected to play with the wind in the opening period, but endured a disastrous start and found themselves two goals down after just three minutes. It was almost a case of déjà vu for Paddy Tally’s side who had been hit for two goals in quick succession in Friday’s semi-final against UCC.

Colm Basquel had the ball in the Mary’s net after 51 seconds and he added a second on three minutes after great work by Jack McCaffrey and Barry O’Sullivan.

The Belfast University steadied themselves and Oisin O’Neill kicked their opener after nine minutes. It was the first of nine unanswered points which saw them lead by 0-9 to 2-0 after 25 minutes. Paul Mannion ended a 26-minute barren spell for UCD approaching the break to leave two between the sides at half-time. They could have had a third goal after a Mary’s kick-out went wrong, but Paddy Tally’s defence covered the danger.

Cathal McShane drew first blood for St Mary’s upon the restart. Barry McGinn and Conor McCarthy cut the gap to the minimum thereafter, but UCD were unable to draw level. They squandered chance after chance and kicked five wides in the third quarter. They finished with 13 wides in total.

Kieran McGeary, Corey Quinn and Colm Byrne cancelled out whatever UCD could conjure up at the far end and while there were a few nervy moments at the finish, the Belfast University hung on for a first title since 1989.

Scorers for St Mary’s: O’Neill (0-4, 0-3 frees); C McCann, C McShane (0-2 each); C Byrne (0-1 free); C Meyler, C Corrigan, C Quinn, K McGeary (0-1 each)

Scorers for UCD: C Basquel (2-1); C McCarthy (0-2, 0-1 free); E Wallace, P Mannion, B McGinn (0-1 each).

UCD: C Honan (Meath); E Murchan (Dublin), M Fitzsimmons (Dublin), R McDaid (Dublin); C Mullally (Dublin), S Coen (Mayo), J McCaffrey (Dublin); B O’Sullivan (Kerry), J Barry (Kerry); A McDonnell (Louth), C McCarthy (Monaghan), E Wallace (Meath); P Mannion (Dublin), C Basquel (Dublin), B McGinn (Monaghan)

St Mary’s: M Reid (Down); R Mooney (Derry), A McKay (Armagh), K Mallon (Armagh); C Byrne (Tyrone), C Mac Iomhar (Armagh), C Meyler (Tyrone); C McCann (Tyrone), O O’Neill (Armagh); C Corrigan (Fermanagh), K McGeary (Tyrone), S McConville (Down); K McKernan (Down), M Fitzpatrick (Antrim), C McShane (Tyrone).

Referee: C Lane (Cork).

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