St Mary's battle back from two goals down to dethrone UCD for first Sigerson title in 28 years
St Mary’s from Belfast pulled off a major shock to clinch the Independent.ie Sigerson Cup title with a thrilling win at the Connacht GAA Centre in Mayo.
Paddy Tally’s men recovered from the concession of two early goals to win only their second title ever and in the process deny champions UCD their 34th crown.
And it was a thoroughly deserved win for the Ulster side who also came back from conceding two early goals in Friday’s semi-final win over UCC.
Colm Basquel gave the champions a dream start when he found the net after just 52 seconds — and then added another in the third minute even though they were playing against the strong wind.
But St Mary’s responded well to the challenge and Oisin O’Neill got them moving after ten minutes with their first score of the match.
Conall McCann, Conor Meyler and O’Neill again found the range to cut the gap to 2-00 to 0-04 after 13 minutes.
Cathal McShane and McCann then hit the target to tie the match after 20 before they O’Neill edged them in front with a couple of frees and Ciaran Corrigan pointed to make it approaching half-time.
Paul Mannion eventually ended a 26-minute scoreless spell for the champions when he pointed after a short kickout was intercepted and that left two between them at the interval at 0-9 to 2-1.
Cathal McShane extended the lead after the restart before Barry McGinn and Conor McCarthy responded for the champions.
But the champions couldn’t get level, with Kieran McJeary pointing for St Mary’s and when Eamon Wallace cut the gap, the Belfast side hit back again through the point of the match from Corey Quinn to lead by 0-12 to 2-4 eleven minutes from time.
McKeary put three between them two minutes from time and while Basquel and McCarthy cut the gap to the minimum, the holders couldn’t force extra-time and St Mary’s clinched only their second ever Sigerson title.
Scorers – St Mary’s: O O’Neill 0-4 (3f), K McGeary (f), C McCann & C McShane 0-2 each, C Meyler, C Corrigan & C Quinn 0-1 each
UCD: C Basquel 2-1, C McCarthy 0-2 (f), P Mannion, B McGinn & E Wallace 0-1 each.
St Mary’s – M Reid; R Mooney, A McKay, K Mallon; C Byrne, C Mac Iomhar, C Meyler; C McCann, O O’Neill; C Corrigan, K McGeary, S McConville; K McKernan, M Fitzpatrick, C McShane.
Subs: C Quinn for McConville (45), Hannigan for Mallon (63).
UCD – C Honan; M Fitzsimons, R McDaid, E Murchan; C Mullally, S Coen, J McCaffrey; B O’Sullivan, J Barry; C McCarthy, A McDonnell, E Wallace; P Mannion, C Basquel, B McGinn.
Subs: L Casey for McDonnell (30), T Hayes for Mannion (56), L Moran for O’Sullivan (58, black).
Ref – Conor Lane (Cork).