Pat Critchley bids to extend Carlow’s Sigerson fairytale

While Wednesday night’s Sigerson Cup semi-final at DCU features two familiar names in the hosts — four wins, all since 2005 — and record 34-time winners UCD, the other last-four tie has a more novel feel to it.

Pat Critchley bids to extend Carlow’s Sigerson fairytale

While Wednesday night’s Electric Ireland Sigerson Cup semi-final at DCU (6pm) features two familiar names in the hosts — four wins, all since 2005 — and record 34-time winners UCD, the other last-four tie has a more novel feel to it.

At Inniskeen in Co Monaghan, IT Carlow take on Letterkenny IT (throw-in 7pm) with both institutions gracing the semis for the first time and Letterkenny in their maiden season in the competition.

There hasn’t been much time for the pair to savour their new status, having only won their quarter-finals on Sunday, but Carlow manager Pat Critchley is looking forward to the test that lies ahead.

“It’s going to be unique for either team, whoever wins it’s their first-ever final,” he says.

“It’s a great opportunity but we’ll have a tough battle on our hands. We have good momentum now and the lads are playing well.

“It’s been mighty, there’s a great old buzz around the place. College football is for players to develop and it’s a great opportunity for that. It’s different to a club or county team in that they’re all around the same age and living together, there’s a unique bond there.

“They’re all willing to listen and learn too.”

Carlow beat holders UCC by 3-9 to 1-14 in the quarter-finals, having never trailed at any stage, and Critchley is hoping for another strong finish.

“When UCC drew back level with 10 to go, we finished very strongly, as we had in the first game against IT Tralee,” he says.

“Against Tralee, we probably didn’t deserve to be where we were with 14 minutes to go. It was touch and go, score for score for a lot of that game.

“We finished very strongly and showed good character to drive on for the win.

“We got a bad beating from UCC last year, we were nearly like rabbits in headlights own out there, it was over after 10 minutes.

“It was good to respond to that, though a lot of the lads are new to the team this year and they didn’t have that baggage.”

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