St Mary's recover from allowing two goals in ten seconds to pip 13-man UCC in Independent.ie Sigerson semi-final
St Mary's 2-7 UCC 2-6
A goal from Ciaran Corrigan ten minutes from time sealed a spot in tomorrow’s Independent.ie Sigerson Cup final for St Mary’s College Belfast, after a thrilling semi-final clash with 13-man UCC at Bekan in Co Mayo.
Six points down in the early stages, St Mary's rallied to lead at the break, but had to push hard to the finish line after Killian Spillane and Brian O’Driscoll pushed UCC into a second-half lead.
The two goals arrived in the sixth minute from UCC’s Ian Maguire and Cathal Bambury, which were the first scores of the game at the Connacht GAA Centre near Ballyhaunis.
But the Ulster side hit back and were level in the space of 11 minutes thanks to two Kevin McGeary frees, a third from Oisin O’Neill, before Matthew Fitzpatrick hit the net for the Belfast side to make it 2-0 to 1-3.
By the start of the second quarter UCC had worked their way into the lead again with their first point of the game from Bambury, but they would only kick one more before the interval as St Mary’s took over with another three of their own.
Facing the wind in the second-half, St Mary’s needed a couple of quick points to cement their advantage, although the black card dished out to Conall McCann didn’t aid their cause.
And it was the Cork side that took the lead by the tenth minute of the second-half thanks to points from Killian Spillane and Brian O’Driscoll, and after another Spillane free that lead was out to 2-5 to 1-6.
But ten minutes from time the vital lead goal arrived for Ranch, as Corrigan applied the finishing touch after some good work in the build-up from Darragh Kavanagh.
Four minutes from time substitute Corey Quinn gave St Mary’s a two-point cushion, and with Adrian Spillane and Alan O’Donovan both sent off in the closing minutes, the UCC comeback was derailed.
O’Driscoll did cut the deficit to a point with a late free, but crucially he missed a chance with the last kick to force extra-time as St Mary’s edged into the decider.
Scorers – St Mary’s: M Fitzpatrick 1-1, O O’Neill 0-3 (2f), C Corrigan 1-0, K McGeary 0-2 (2f), C Quinn 0-1.
UCC: C Bambury 1-1, B O’Driscoll 0-3 (1f), I Maguire 1-0. K Spillane 0-2 (2f).
St Mary’s: M Reid; R Mooney, A McKay, K Mallon; C Byrne, K McGeary, A Nugent; D McConville, O O’Neill; K McKernan, B Óg McGilligan, S McConville; C McCann, M Fitzpatrick, C McShane.
Subs: C Quinn for McCann (31 BC), C Mac Iomhar for McGeary (47 BC), D Kavanagh for McGilligan (49).
UCC: M Martin; C Begley, F Clifford, J Foley; K Crowley, S Cronin, T O’Sullivan; I Maguire, R O’Toole; B O’Driscoll, A Spillane, J Kennedy; R Buckley, K Spillane, C Bambury.
Subs: K Flahive for Begley (h-t), A O’Donovan for O’Toole (41), S Sherlock for Buckley (45).
Referee: James Molloy (Galway).