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UL and Clare's Ciaran Downes in action against Limerick's Cian Sheehan.

Back-to-back Sigerson final anguish for UL

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Heartbreak for UL as they were made to suffer a second successive Sigerson Cup Final defeat, this time after extra-time to UCC by 1-16 to 0-16 in an inclement Carrignore, Waterford on Wednesday evening.
The goal which opened the scoring in spectacular fashion through a Dylan Geaney flick in only the fourth minute, predominantly separated the sides as UL chased the Corm college in vain until midway through the third quarter.
Powered by a seven-strong Clare contingent led by inspirational captain Emmet McMahon, the Limerick college produced a remarkable seven point turnaround in as many minutes by the turn of the final quarter to hit the front for the first time.
Kilmihil’s Ciaran Downes began the seven point unanswered blitz in the 38th minute while Emmet McMahon kicked a superb brace of points from the left wing to nudge his side into the ascendency at 0-13 to 1-8.
UCC refused to yield however, with points through chief marksmen Geaney and Mark Cronin and Cathail O’Mahony getting their side back on track, leaving Darragh Cashman to have to force extra-time with effectively the last kick of the hour at 1-12 to 0-15.
There would only be one team in the additional periods however as UCC proved the fresher side while fatigue noticeably hampered UL’s challenge. Emmet McMahon’s fourth point of the night on the 70 minute mark was essentially against the grain as UCC clinched a first All-Ireland Senior A Third Level Football Championship title since 2019 with four of the last five points.
Daniel Walsh (Kilmurry Ibrickane), Ikem Ugwueru (Éire Óg), Ciaran Downes (Kilmihil), Aaron Griffin (Lissycasey) and captain Emmet McMahon (Kildysart) all impressed in a low-scoring opening period that saw McMahon and Downes both open their accounts in a late rally to slash the half-time arrears to just two at 1-5 to 0-6.
Cooraclare’s Brian McNamara, who was briefly introduced as a blood sub midway through the first half, was officially sprung from the bench by the two thirds mark just as UL sparked into life.
They simply couldn’t maintain their momentum as the final quarter developed though as instead UCC outscored a flagging UL by 0-8 to 0-3 in the final 35 minutes to secure their 24th Sigerson Cup crown.

About Eoin Brennan

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