Sheridan star quality ensures DCU capture Sigerson glory
DCU just had too much class for a determined UCC as they claimed their second trophy in six days with a deserved victory in Leixlip on Saturday.
Boasting a team brimming with inter-county stars, the Dublin-based outfit were coming off a win in the O'Byrne Cup decider the previous Sunday and they never really looked like losing this.
Team manager Niall Moyna was delighted with the win but was clearly peeved by insinuations that the university had a policy of recruiting fully-fledged inter-county senior footballers.
"I think to be fair to the bunch of lads, people come to DCU as undergraduate students and during their four or five years, they develop and mature as football players and make their county teams.
"There's a perception out there that they arrive into DCU as inter-county senior footballers and that's not the case. They're a great group of guys, they've worked very hard and this is just reward for the work they've put in this year.
"(In the quarter-final) we beat a Cork IT team, a team of stars (with) five players that played in the All-Ireland final. We don't have anyone of that quality. But for some reason we have got this tag," he added.
Brian Sheridan walked away with the man-of-the-match award for his contribution of 1-5.
The Meath man was unerring from placed balls, but it was his composed finish to the UCC net in the 41st minute after a direct run from Cathal Cregg that gave the winners a six-point advantage and enabled them to hold off the defiant Leesiders in the final quarter.
Moyna felt that DCU's high-tempo game caught UCC cold in the opening 20 minutes, meaning that Billy Morgan's men "were always playing catch-up" thereafter.
Paul Flynn, Sheridan (with two frees) and team captain, Paddy Andrews all had points on the board before Kevin O'Driscoll finally got UCC off the mark in the 18th minute.
DCU were full value for their 0-6 to 0-3 interval lead and when Sheridan provided that consummate goal finish, it looked like curtains for UCC.
The introduction of David Goold certainly had an impact for UCC though and he kicked two fine points within minutes. When Seamus Hayes added a score of his own, the deficit was down to three.
Significantly though, UCC did not create a goal opportunity until deep into injury-time, when Mark Collins' blistering drive was tipped over the bar by DCU goalkeeper, Michael Boyle. In the end, Sheridan even had the luxury of taking a point from a penalty in the 59th minute after he had been fouled when through on goal.
Scorers -- DCU: B Sheridan 1-5 (0-4f, 0-1 pen), P Flynn 0-2, R Flanagan (0-1f), C Cregg, P Andrews, D Kelly 0-1 each. UCC: D Casey, B O'Driscoll (0-2f), D Goold, M Collins 0-2 each, K O'Driscoll, S Hayes 0-1 each.
DCU -- M Boyle (Donegal); P McMahon (Dublin), K Gavin (Westmeath), K Nolan (Dublin); J Cooper (Dublin), B Cullen (Dublin), D Mooney (Monaghan); D Sheridan (Monaghan), H McGrillen (Kildare); R Flanagan (Cavan), P Flynn (Dublin), C Cregg (Roscommon); P Andrews (Dublin), B Sheridan (Meath), D Kelly (Sligo). Subs: H Gill (Dublin) for Cooper (43), M Lyng (Cavan) for Cregg (54).
UCC -- K O'Halloran (Cork); E Cotter (Cork), E Hegarty (Cork), S Enright (Kerry); D Limrick (Cork), A Greaney (Kerry), P Corrigan (Cork); M Shields (Cork), J Buckley (Kerry); K O'Driscoll (Cork), S Kiely (Cork), D Casey (Kerry); B O'Driscoll (Cork), S Hayes (Cork), D Kearney (Cork). Subs: P Crowley (Kerry) for Greaney (h-t), D Goold (Cork) for Kiely (39), M Collins (Cork) for K O'Driscoll (47), B Daly (Cork) for Corrigan (54), P Honohan (Cork) for Kearney (58).
Ref -- Marty Duffy (Sligo).