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Kerrigan man of the match as IT Sligo lose out to UCD

UCD 2-1 IT Sligo

Tubbercurry's Liam Kerrigan was the man of the match as his UCD side defeated IT Sligo 2-1 in the final of the CUFL Men's Premier Division final in Athlone last Tuesday evening.

Kerrigan was one of three former Sligo Rovers players in the UCD starting 11 which also included Jack Keaney and Paul Doyle.

The Dubliners went ahead courtesy of a penalty on 50 minutes, with the Sligo men equalising ten minutes later thanks to an own goal from UCD.

On 72 minutes, Yousef Mahdy scored what proved to be the winner for an impressive UCD side.

IT Sligo, under the management of Colm Jinks, travelled to Athlone hoping to pick up their first ever Men's Premier Division title, having beaten Waterford comprehensively in the semi-final.

UCD need no introduction and having won seven titles in the last 13 years, IT Sligo knew they were up against it coming into this game.

Mark Byrne and Brian Kavanagh went close to opening the scoring for IT Sligo, while Jason Quinn was called into action to deny UCD's Michael Gallagher from close range.

Sligo really should have taken the lead on 31 minutes. Darren Collins spotted the run of Scott Lynch down the left hand side.

Lynch's ball was nicely placed for Gary Higgins to hit first time, but Lorcan Healy in the UCD goals was well positioned to block the effort.

While later the impressive Liam Kerrigan cut in from the left flank and his low shot was held by Quinn while later header by the Co Sligo born Kerrigan from a Gallagher cross went past the post.

Sligo came close again just seconds later, but went in at half-time 0-0.

Lorcan Healy did well to push away Ryan O'Reilly's header after the restart, before the Dubliners eventually took the lead.

The men in blue were awarded a penalty on 50 minutes when Ryan Norris was adjudged to have fouled Kerrigan in the box. Yousef Mahdy dispatched the spot-kick to give the favourites the lead.

IT Sligo didn't drop their heads, though, and went on in search of an equaliser.

A rather fortunate UCD lead only lasted a little over ten minutes when a Kavanagh free kick dropped in the UCD box and O'Brien in attempting to head the ball out for a corner put it past a helpless Healy for the equaliser.

Sligo piled on the pressure after that boost and with high balls being pumped into the UCD area Healy did really well to field most of them.

The goal that finally clinched the UCD win came with just over 15 minutes remaining when a Jack Keaney free wasn't fully cleared out and Mahdy got his foot to a loose ball to hit the roof of the Sligo net with his brilliant first time finish.

Colm Jinks' side once again had to try to find a way to come from behind for the second time in the game, but eventually time ran out.

A disappointing end to what has been an impressive year for the IT's senior men's team.

IT Sligo: Jason Quinn, Ryan Norris, Ryan O'Reilly, Ben Treanor, Oisin O'Reilly, Brian Kavanagh, Jeremiah Idahor, Scott Lynch, Darren Collins, Gary Higgins, Mark Byrne.

UCD: Lorcan Healy, Michael Gallagher, Darragh Corcoran, Luke Boore, Abdel Babikar, Evan Farrell, Yousef Mahdy, Jack Keaney, Colm Whelan, Paul Doyle, Liam Kerrigan.

Referee: Ray Conlon.

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