Monday 22 October 2018

Holders St Mary's dumped out by Belfast rivals

Ulster University 0-17 St Mary's 1-9

Ulster University ended St Mary's reign as Sigerson Cup champions, beating them 0-17 to 1-9. Stock photo: Sportsfile
Ulster University ended St Mary's reign as Sigerson Cup champions, beating them 0-17 to 1-9. Stock photo: Sportsfile

Orla Bannon

Ulster University ended St Mary's reign as Sigerson Cup champions, scoring seven second-half points in a row to take charge of yesterday's first round tie in Belfast.

Some of last year's Ranch stars like Oisín O'Neill and Cathal McShane impressed in the first half on the 3G pitch in Finaghy.

St Mary's had the wind and twice built up a three-point advantage in the early stages, leading 0-7 to 0-4 after 20 minutes. But they missed too many chances in that opening half when they were on top, McShane's thunderous shot crashing off the crossbar in the 18th minute one of several opportunities to slip by. And Jordanstown made them pay.

Two quick-fire points by Ryan McAnespie, followed by two frees late in the half from Lee Brennan, cut UU's deficit to just 0-7 to 0-6 at the interval at wintry Woodlands.

They were by far the better side after the break, winning most of the breaks and dominating possession.

They hit seven points in a row - holding St Mary's scoreless for 21 minutes - to take complete charge. Tyrone forward Mark Bradley caught the eye with two of his three points during that spell, while Down full-forward Niall Madine also landed a brace, one from a huge distance.

Despite a black card for Eoin McHugh, UU continued to press on with Danny Tallon using the wind to perfection to score from long range with Ronan McNamee also on target after a driving run.

Deep into stoppage time with the game all but over, O'Neill drilled a St Mary's free low into the square and it hit the back of the net for the outgoing champions. UU will be at home against UL in the quarter-finals next Tuesday.

Scorers - St Mary's: O O'Neill 1-4 (3f), C McShane 0-2, S McConville, N Toner, D Canavan 0-1 each. UU: L Brennan 0-5 (3f); M Bradley 0-3; N Madine, R McAnespie 0-2 each; D Gallagher, D Canavan, R McNamee, D Tallon, T O'Brien 0-1 each.

St Mary's - M Reid; C Byrne, J Hannigan, K Mallon; K MacIomhair, C McConville, L Rafferty; L Devlin, J óg Burns; S McConville, O O'Neill , C McShane; N Toner, D Canavan, C Meyler. Subs: Aaron Boyle for Devlin (BC, 43).

Ulster University - S Fox; M Magee, M McKernan, R Brennan; R McAnespie, R McNamee, G McKinless; F Burns, J Munroe; E McHugh, M Bradley, D Gallagher; L Brennan, N Madine, D Tallon. Subs: Terence O'Brien for McHugh (BC, 42).

Ref - B Cassidy (Derry)

Irish Independent

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