Today’s Sigerson Cup previews

Jackie Cahill looks at all the games coming up in today’s Sigerson Cup
Today’s Sigerson Cup previews

Round 1 St Joseph’s 1.30pm: St Mary’s University College v NUI Galway (extra time if necessary)

Referee: Paul Faloon

NUI Galway enjoyed a comfortable start to their Sigerson Cup campaign, seeing off Trinity College by 14 points.

Mayo’s Adam Gallagher and Galway’s Damien Comer were to the fore as NUIG set up a round 2 clash with St Mary’s.

NUIG won’t need reminding that St Mary’s knocked then holders DIT out of the competition last year. Tyrone’s 2015 All-Ireland U21 winners Cathal McShane, Kieran McGeary and Conor Meyler are listed in the St Mary’s squad, but it remains to be seen what team they’ll go with.

A game already under their belts is a big help to NUIG but the bookies are finding it difficult to split the teams, with St Mary’s the slight favourites.

Verdict: St Mary’s

Belfield 2pm: University College Dublin v Institute of Technology Sligo (extra time if necessary)

Referee: John Hickey

IT Sligo came through a preliminary round fixture with GMIT last week but now face a real step up in class against holders UCD — and away from home for good measure.

Former footballer of the year Jack McCaffrey is eligible for UCD again and they also have his Dublin team-mate Mick Fitzsimons in the squad.

Conor Mullally, who won an O’Byrne Cup medal last Sunday, should also feature while his Cuala clubmate Con O’Callaghan is also in the panel. Colm Basquel and Paul Mannion are other well-known Dublin squad members listed but there’s a good spread of counties in the UCD set-up, including Tipperary pair Liam Casey and Jimmy Feehan, and Mayo’s Stephen Coen. IT Sligo will look to the sharpshooting skills of James Shaughnessy, scorer of 1-6 against GMIT, but in truth, this is a step too far for them.

Verdict: UCD

Templemore 2pm: Garda College v Ulster University (extra time if necessary)

Referee: James Molloy

Having seen off Cork IT in desperate weather conditions last week, Garda College are now preparing to welcome the Ulster University superstars to their Templemore base.

Donegal All-Star Ryan McHugh, county-mate Patrick McBrearty, Tyrone pair Ronan McNamee and Mark Bradley, and Monaghan’s Kieran Hughes are just some of the top players that Ulster University have in their ranks.

But Garda will feel confident of competing around the middle of the field, with Carlow’s Brendan Murphy and Longford’s Darren Gallagher a useful pairing. Cork’s Peter Kelleher dropped deep to contest kick-outs against CIT and this was a tactic that worked well.

But Ulster University are a far superior outfit to CIT and should book a quarter-final slot.

Verdict: Ulster University

Dublin City University Sportsgrounds 3pm: DCU St Patrick’s Campus v University College Cork (extra time if necessary)

Referee:

Niall Mc Kenna

DCU St Patrick’s campus (Drumcondra) face UCC on home soil – and the Cork-based visitors are heavy favourites to advance.

But Dublin pair Ciarán Kilkenny and Cormac Costello are in the St Pat’s panel, along with Roscommon pair Ronan Daly and Diarmuid Murtagh, and if they play, they’ll be competitive. UCC’s panel is, not surprisingly, laced with current Cork inter-county players, while neighbours Kerry, Tipperary and Waterford are also represented. UCC will look to the likes of Stephen Cronin, Ian Maguire, Cian Dorgan and Brian O’Driscoll for cool heads while seasoned Kerry observers will note the inclusions of young forwards Jordan Kiely and Killian Spillane in the squad. Ross Mulcahy and Jack Kennedy fly the flag for Tipperary, while Brian Looby is Waterford’s sole representative on the UCC squad.

Verdict: UCC

Carlow IT 15.30: IT Carlow v Institute of Technology Tralee (extra time if necessary)

Referee: Brendan Cawley

IT Tralee are visitors to IT Carlow but favourites, nonetheless, to book a place in the last eight of the Sigerson Cup. IT Carlow have been tearing it up in League hurling in the last few years but they may struggle to compete as a football force this year.

Mark Russell was a member of the Tipperary U21 hurling setup last year and he’s included in the IT Carlow football squad. Luke Flynn was a Kildare U21 footballer last year and Caolan Ward has worn the Donegal shirt at inter-county level. IT Tralee will hope that Gavin Crowley, injured in Kerry’s recent McGrath Cup final victory over Limerick, is fit while Gavin O’Shea is a former Kingdom minor. Conor Keane graduated from the Kerry minor ranks to play for three years at U21 level. In 2015, he scored 1-7 of Kerry’s 1-9 as they lost to Cork — and he appeared as a sub in the recent McGrath Cup final win.

Verdict: IT Tralee

Round 1 Athlone Institute of Technology 7.30pm: Athlone Institute of Technology v Dublin Institute of Technology (extra time if necessary)

Referee: Anthony Nolan

Dublin IT were Sigerson Cup winners two years ago – and they appear to have a decent panel again. Killian O’Gara, fresh from his O’Byrne Cup final goalscoring exploits for Dublin, is in the DIT squad along with Tipperary’s former Munster U21 medallist and current senior panellist Ian Fahey. Liam Irwin scored 2-2 for Mayo in last year’s All-Ireland U21 final victory over Cork and, if included in the starting line-up, will prove a handful for the Athlone IT defence. Graham Guilfoyle’s an established Offaly senior and Tipp’s Bill Maher was one of the Premier County’s stand-out performers during the memorable 2016 championship campaign. That’s not all as DIT also have Mayo’s Conor O’Shea and Ciaran Thompson, Donegal’s U21 captain last year. Athlone IT will call upon players from Westmeath and the surrounding counties and they’ll do very well to live with DIT.

Verdict: DIT

More in this section

GaaFootballSportSigerson CupPlace: TipperaryPlace: TemplemorePlace: DonegalPlace: SportsgroundsPlace: PatrickPlace: DublinPlace: RoscommonPlace: IT CarlowPerson: Jackie CahillPerson: Paul FaloonPerson: Adam GallagherPerson: Damien ComerPerson: Cathal McShanePerson: Kieran McGearyPerson: Conor MeylerPerson: John HickeyPerson: Jack McCaffreyPerson: Mick FitzsimonsPerson: Conor MullallyPerson: Con O’CallaghanPerson: Colm BasquelPerson: Paul MannionPerson: Liam CaseyPerson: Jimmy FeehanPerson: Stephen CoenPerson: James ShaughnessyPerson: James MolloyPerson: Ryan McHughPerson: Patrick McBreartyPerson: Ronan McNameePerson: Mark BradleyPerson: Kieran HughesPerson: Brendan MurphyPerson: Darren GallagherPerson: Peter KelleherPerson: Niall Mc KennaPerson: Ciaran KilkennyPerson: Cormac CostelloPerson: Ronan DalyPerson: Diarmuid MurtaghPerson: Stephen CroninPerson: Ian MaguirePerson: Cian DorganPerson: Brian O’DriscollPerson: Jordan KielyPerson: Killian SpillanePerson: Ross MulcahyPerson: Jack KennedyPerson: Brian LoobyPerson: Brendan CawleyPerson: Mark RussellPerson: Luke FlynnPerson: Caolan WardPerson: Gavin CrowleyPerson: Gavin O’SheaPerson: Conor KeaneEvent: Sigerson CupEvent: 2015 All-Ireland U21Event: McGrath CupOrganisation: St Joseph’sOrganisation: St Mary’s University CollegeOrganisation: NUI GalwayOrganisation: Trinity CollegeOrganisation: MayoOrganisation: GalwayOrganisation: NUIGOrganisation: St Mary’sOrganisation: TyroneOrganisation: St MaryOrganisation: St Mary’s BelfieldOrganisation: University College DublinOrganisation: Institute of TechnologyOrganisation: SligoOrganisation: GMITOrganisation: UCDOrganisation: DublinOrganisation: CualaOrganisation: UCD TemplemoreOrganisation: Garda CollegeOrganisation: Ulster UniversityOrganisation: CorkOrganisation: GardaOrganisation: LongfordOrganisation: CITOrganisation: Ulster University Dublin City UniversityOrganisation: DCU St Patrick’s CampusOrganisation: University College CorkOrganisation: UCCOrganisation: KerryOrganisation: WaterfordOrganisation: TipperaryOrganisation: UCC CarlowOrganisation: IT TraleeOrganisation: IT CarlowOrganisation: Kildare U21Organisation: DonegalOrganisation: Limerick
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