A second half display of power and pace blasted UCD to the perfect start in the defence of the Sigerson Cup setting up a quarter-final tie with Ulster University next Wednesday.
While always the underdog Sligo IT gave the UCD men a lot to think about in the opening period, thanks in part to Mayo’s James Shaughnessy and lax UCD defending.
UCD manager John Divily put his side’s sluggish opening quarter performance down in part to ring rustiness.
Paul Mannion’s poor fourth-minute missed free, right under the posts, set the scene for the opening 16 minutes with Sligo taking a two-point lead thanks to scores from Cathal McGettigan and Robert Gorman.
UCD fought back to level the scores but Sligo were able to restore a two-point lead thanks to Shaughnessy and Jamie Brennan with UCD finally fighting back to lead for the first time on 16 minutes, five points to four.
UCD then found their rhythm. Sligo keeper Daniel Cafferkey produced a fantastic save to keep Larry Moran’s low 14th minute drive out, though he was helpless to keep Moran out on 17 minutes.
Quick and sharp hand-passing emanating from Conor McCarthy’s powerful run with a hand pass to Mannion whose quick hands allowed Moran to slip the ball past Cafferkey from close range.
UCD grew as an offensive unit and added first half points all from play from Moran, Eamonn Wallace and Jack Barry to open a seven- point lead 1-8 to four points in a six minute spell. However
Sligo brought themselves right back into the game on 23 minutes with a goal from Eoghan Ban Gallagher. UCD leding at half-time 1-9 to 1-5.
The hosts then showed ruthlessness after the break with a goal from Paul Mannion. The tide had swung as Eoin Lowry added a free for UCD with Jamie Brennan firing Sligo’s only second half point just before referee John Hickey brandished Cathal McGettigan a black card on 35 minutes for upending Colm Basquell on the 15 metre line.
Dean McGovern outwitted Colm Honan to give Sligo a second goal five minutes later, but that was the final score for the Sligo men. UCD led 2-11 to 2-6 on 44 minutes when Conor McCarthy blasted in a long-range third goal.
UCD added a fourth goal through Moran on 52 minutes and in injury time Brian O’Seannachain to fired home their fifth.
C McCarthy 0-2, E Lowry 0-4, 3f, R McDaid 0-1, L Moran 2-2, E Wallace 0-2, J Barry 0-1, P Mannion 1-0, C Basquel 0-1, B McGinn 0-1, A McDonnell 1-1, B O’Seannachain 1-0, B.D. O’Sullivan 0-1
C McGettigan 0-1f, R Gorman 0-1, J Shaughnessy 0-1, J Brennan 0-3, E B Gallagher 1-0, D McGovern 1-0
C Honan (Meath), C Mullally (Dublin), R McDaid (Dublin), P Healy (Antrim), S O’Dea (Limerick), S Coen (Mayo), J McCaffery (Dublin), B D O’Sullivan (Kerry), J Barry (Kerry), C McCarthy (Monaghan), C Basquel (Dublin), E Wallace (Meath), P Mannion (Dublin), L Moran (Longford), E Lowry (Laois) Substitutes: B McGinn (Monaghan) for Mannion 35, E Murchan (Dublin) for Basquel 40, A McDonnell (Louth) for Coen 40, N McInerney (Roscommon) for McCafferty 53, T Hayes (Cavan) for O’Dea 53
D Cafferkey (Sligo), R Gallagher (Donegal), A McClean (Donegal), D McConnon (Sligo), E.B Gallagher (Donegal), R Gorman (Westmeath), E McGrath (Donegal), R Connolly (Sligo), K McBrearty (Donegal), P Neilan (Roscommon), R Smyth (Longford), C McGettigan (Donegal), B Walsh (Mayo), J Shaughnessy (Mayo), J Brennan (Donegal) Substitutes: D. McGovern (Leitrim) for Walsh HT, D Curran (Donegal) for Neilan 34, K Rudden (Sligo) for Brennan 49, J O’Reilly (Sligo) for McGrath (54) S Meehan (Donegal) for McGettigan (Black card)
John Hickey (Carlow)