Meehan stars as NUIG claim crown

NUIG 1-8

Over the three days of the competition, the performance of the Galway youngster was one of many highlights, and it came as no surprise that he added a "man of the tournament" award to his haul of trophies.

For team captain Lorcan Colleran it was a pleasing result as this was his last Sigerson, having started out as a Fresher with the unsuccessful 1992 team.

Having also lost out in the 1995 final, Colleran began to despair of ever winning that cherished medal.

"It's been a long time coming but well worth the wait", he said. "The feeling of winning a Sigerson as captain is indescribable. While most of the plaudits will go to the players who were fantastic out there today, our team management must take a fair deal of the credit also.

"Tactically they got everything right. It was our game plan to play against the wind in the first half if we won the toss, and to try and contain the UCD forwards.

"That worked out well for us as we were only three points down at half time and were level just five minutes into the second half. The goal we got was a bit of a fluke but you need that kind of lucky break to win Sigerson."

Confusion reigned following the NUIG goal. Referee John Bannon and his umpires confirmed after the game that the UCD 'keeper had stepped back over his own goal-line with the ball after his team-mate Conor Evans failed to hold Michael Meehan's long ball.

Having played with the strong wind, UCD's half time lead of 0-6 to 0-3 was never going to be enough. In the space of seven minutes NUIG had taken a one point lead courtesy of four points in a row, two of them magnificent efforts by Meehan.

For Meehan it had been a hectic three days of top class football and he came through it with flying colours.

"I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Sigerson is a great competition and to win a medal at the first attempt is brilliant", he said.

Asked how he was coping with the pressure of all the games, he replied: "What pressure? Pressure is for tyres. I'm enjoying my football and all I can do is play to the best of my ability with whatever team I'm on.

"If that excites people well and good, but I have no problem with the hype. There are plenty of experienced people around to help me with it".

Meehan's goal helped his side to a 1-7 to 0-6 lead at the three-quarter stage, and while UCD, through Stephen Lucey, Peter Lawless, Darren Magee and Alan Brogan, threw everything at NUIG in the last quarter, the Galway defence, with Richie Murray, Dara Blake and John Donohue outstanding, help firm for their first win in 12 years.

Scorers NUIG: M. Meehan 1-4 (0-3 frees); C. McFadden 0-2; B. Colleran, M. Clancy 0-1 each.

UCD: P. Lawless 0-3 (frees); L. Ó hEineacháin 0-2; R. Ronaghan, A. Brogan, B. Ó hAinneadh 0-1 each.

NUIG: D. Morris; C. Monahan, R. Murray, D. Blake; D. Costelloe, J. Donoghue, K. O'Neill; B. Cullinane, L. Colleran; B. Colleran, M. Clancy, R. Donnelly; M. Meehan, M. Dwyer, C. McFadden. Subs. J. Rafter for O'Neill; G. Flanagan for Cullinane.

UCD: G. Magill; B. Ó hAnnaidh, C. Evans, P. Griffin; S. Lucey, B. Cahill, R. Kelly; D. Magee, C. Murphy; P. Curran, J. Hanly, L. Ó hEineacháin; A. Brogan, R. Ronaghan, P. Lawless. Subs. J. Sheridan for Curran; D. O'Connor for Ronaghan; T. O'Connor for Murphy.

Referee: J. Bannon (Longford).

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