UL advance past DIT to make it to Sigerson weekend

UL are into the Sigerson Cup Semi Final after an impressive display of football saw them emerge with a 0-10 to 0-07 victory over DIT at a very cold pitch one in UL.

The home team started well with a point from Mayo Senior Fergal Boland after Gearoid Hegarty caught the ball from the throw up in midfield.

DIT responded with a brilliantly taken point from corner forward Killian O’Gara from out in the far right hand corner. Two minutes later a DIT attack nearly yielded a goal when full forward Liam Irwin struck a long range free that nearly slipped through UL goalkeeper Colm O’Driscoll’s hands and into the net.

From then on it was nip and tuck as both teams exchanged points from frees with the stand out score coming in the form of an exceptionally well struck point from UL half forward Niall Mc Dermott just outside the 21 metre line.

UL lost some momentum in the 18th minute when they were caught twice by the referee for fouls on DIT players giving the Dublin side two kickable frees which were duly dispatched for a 0-6 to 0-2 points lead.

The home side responed well when midfielder and Limerick man Gearoid Hegarty caught a brilliant kick out at midfield and went powering through the DIT defence for his shot to just go inches wide of the post.

Within the space of 8 minutes UL got two frees which McDermott slotted along with a brilliant point by Hegarty. Halfback Pearse Lillis kicked in a high ball, which Sean Ryan punched over the crossbar, levelling the scores at half time 0-6 to 0-6.

UL emerged for the second half primed for whatever DIT were going to throw at them. DIT got a quick point from free far out by Irwin but UL responded well with another McDermott free.

DIT started to put pressure on UL but struggled to get the ball into their full forwards as UL deployed a sweeper to cut out the Dubliners attacks. UL then gained possession through Fergal Boland who scored a great point from just inside the 21-metre line to put UL one point up in the 41st minute.

UL were creating more chances than their opponents and had a goal disallowed when a high ball was punched to the back of the net, only to be ruled out for a square ball.

5 minutes later DIT had their own goal chance when Killian O’Gara found a yard of space only for his shot to cannon off the woodwork. This was a very close call for UL who held a slender 0-8 to 0-7 lead with 8 minutes remaining on the clock.

However it was the home team who pushed on and created one last surge of momentum – with points from Boland and McDermott who hit a fabulous point of the side of his right boot – proving enough to see them through to the semi-finals.

Try as the might; DIT could not forge a late goal opportunity that might have levelled the game. Instead UL closed out the remaining minutes to claim a brilliant win.

The final score was UL 0-10 DIT 0-7. UL will now go onto play in the Sigerson Cup Semi Final. Their opponents are yet to be confirmed.

Player of the Match: DIT had many great players on the day such as Mayo’s Conor O’Shea and Killian O’Gara who worked tirelessly for their team. For UL they had many brilliant performers such as Brendan O’Keefe, Paul White, Niall Mc Dermott and Kerry Senior Michael Geaney. But for us the player of the match award would have to go to ULs Gearoid Hegarty. He was exceptional all afternoon, fielding ball after ball in midfield and also getting a point after making a great run right down through the middle of the field. Thoroughly deserving winner of the award.

UL: Colm O’Driscoll, Cathal Long, John Mullins, Darren Brosnan, Paul White, Luke Boland, Pearse Lilis, Gearoid Hegarty, Cian Sheehan, Fergal Boland, Michael Geaney, Brendan O’Keefe, Shane Ryan, Denis Daly, Niall Mc Dermott.

Subs: Cian O’Dea, Nigel Rabbitt, Aaron Dunne, Cocnor McNamee.

DIT: Lorcan Molloy, Shane Clayton, Conor McGill, Liam Hughes, Graham Guilfoyle, Aran Waters, Glenn O’Reilly, Thomas Corcoran, Ciaran Thompson, Enda Flanagan, Conor O’Shea, Con Kavanagh, Conor Madden, Liam Irwin, Killian O’Gara.

Subs: Karl Grimes, Bill Maher, Diarmuid M Loughlin, Thomas Clarke.

UL: Niall Mc Dermott 0-3 (2 frees), Fergal Boland 0-2, Brendan O’Keefe 0-2 (2 frees) Sean Ryan 0-1, Michael Geaney 0-1, Gearoid Hegarty 0-1.
DIT: Liam Irwin 0-4 (4 frees), Conor Madden 0-1, Glenn O’Reilly 0-1, Killian O’Gara 0-1.

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