Sigerson Cup Game Review
NUI Galway emerged 1-10 to 2-05 winners over Ulster University on a chilly evening in Whitehall. This victory, however, was overshadowed by the early conclusion of the game due to an injury sustained by NUI Galway full back Sean Mulkerrins. The game was delayed for half an hour waiting for an ambulance after Mulkerrins went down in the 58th minute before being eventually ending early.
The game prior to this stoppage was a trilling contest that saw a five-point half time deficit being overcome by the tribesman to advance to the next round of the competition against Queens University. The opening ten minutes were a tight affair, but Ulster were able to pull away as the half went on thanks to goals from Seamus Loughran and Andrew Gilmore.
NUI Galway were unable to deal with Ulster’s quick counter attacks which could have produced more than their half time score of 2-04. Points from Tomo Culhane and Tommy Conroy were able to keep the Galway side in it at the half, but it was the introduction of newly appointed Galway captain Sean Kelly which truly turned the tide of the game after the break.
In the second half a different Galway side emerged who were able to cut the deficit thanks to good free scoring from Tomo Culhane and Matthew Tierney. NUI Galway were also able to match Ulster’s intensity in the tackle which keep Ulster scoreless from play in the entire second half.
The tie was truly won in the 50th minute after Conroy was able to turn the ball over at the halfway line and play it to Sean Kelly who beat several men before firing the ball home. Poor shooting from Ulster keep the Galway side ahead by two points before substitute Sean Mulkerrins went down with what turned out to be a serious knee injury and led to the game concluding early.
NUI Galway will now face Queens University in the next round of the competition while Ulster will have to go through the backdoor if they hope to secure come silverware. It was an entertaining match with many twists and turns that finished in disappointing circumstances.
Player welfare does have to be thought of after this game as Mulkerrins was left lying on the pitch in near freezing conditions waiting 30 minutes for an ambulance in Dublin city of all places. I was surprised to hear very little in the way of concern over the welfare of Mulkerrins. It is farcical to think that it could happen in this day and age when player welfare seems to be an important issue. It is just lucky it was not a more life-threatening injury, but questions still need to be raised.
NUI GALWAY: C Carroll (Oranmore/Maree); C Murray (Mountbellew/Moylough), N Mulcahy (Moycullen), G Burke (Corofin); R Egan (Edenderry), E Kelly (Moycullen), C Monaghan (Oughterard); M Tierney (Oughterard), C Marren (Tourlestrane); P Kelly (Moycullen), T Conroy (Neale), N Mullen (Mullinabreena); C Heneghan (Glavey’s), T Culhane (Salthill/Knocknacarra), T Gill (Corofin).
Scorers for NUI Galway: T Culhane (0-4, 4f); M Tierney (0-3, 3f); S Kelly (1-0); T Conroy, C Heneghan, C Sweeney (0-1 each).