Gearoid Hegarty inspires UL to victory over DIT in last Sigerson quarter-final
UL 0-10 DIT 0-7
Limerick dual star Gearoid Hegarty produced a superb display to send UL into the semi-finals of the Independent.ie Sigerson Cup for the second year in a row.
The midfielder provided the leadership as UL recovered from a poor start to punish a wasteful DIT side who only managed a pointed free in the second-half at a cold and windy UL grounds yesterday.
UL will be the first to appreciate that a big improvement will be required if they are to make an impact at the Connacht GAA headquarters the weekend after next.
UL will now meet holders UCD in the semi-finals after coming from 0-6 to 0-2 behind in the opening half to turn around level and then outscore the Dublin side by 0-4 to 0-1 after the restart.
DIT seemed poised for an easy win when Killian O’Gara and Conor Madden hit early points to tie the sides at 0-2 apiece after Fergal Boland and Brendan O’Keeffe had found the range for a UL side who failed to make the most of three good goal chances in the opening half.
Liam Irwin saw a dipping free come back off the crossbar but he landed two frees and Ciaran Thompson and Glenn O’Reilly also found the range to lead by 0-6 to 0-2 after 20 minutes.
However, remarkably DIT only managed one point after that for the remainder of the match.
O’Keeffe, Niall McDermott, Hegarty and Shane Ryan found the range to tie the match at 0-6 apiece by the break, and while Irwin restored DIT’s with a third free just after the restart, their challenge faded after that.
McDermott levelled with a free and then Boland pushed them into a lead they never lost after 44 minutes. DIT hit five wides in the second-half and O’Gara rattled the crossbar with a rasping shot, but Hegarty and Kerry’s Michael Geaney saw UL home with the only scores of the final quarter to secure their semi-final spot against the champions.
Scorers – UL: B O’Keefe & N McDermott 0-2 (0-2f), F Boland & G Hegarty 0-2, M Geaney 0-1 (0-1f), S Ryan 0-1.
DIT: L Irwin 0-3 (0-3f), C Thompson, G O’Reilly, C Madden & K O’Gara 0-1.
UL – C O’Driscoll; C Long, J Mullins, D Brosnan; P White, L Boland, P Lillis; G Hegarty, C Sheehan; F Boland, M Geaney, B O’Keefe; S Ryan, D Daly, N McDermott.
Subs: S Courtney for Brosnan (27), C O’Dea for Ryan (57), J Naughton for McDermott (60).
DIT – L Molloy; S Clayton, C McGill, L Hughes; G O’Reilly, A Waters, E Flanagan; T Corcoran, C O’Shea; C Kavanagh, C Thompson, G Guilfoyle; L Irwin, C Madden, K O’Gara.
Subs: D McAllister for Madden (40), R Scott for Thompson (58, black card).
Ref – James Molloy (Galway).