NUI Galway emerged victorious against the University of Limerick in a wet and windy Carlow to claim their first Sigerson cup since 2003 at a score of 0-12 to 1-06. It was built on the foundation of some superb defence that kept the UL’s David Clifford scoreless from play.
The game started off slowly with the conditions really affecting both teams in a nervy opening few minutes. Both defences seemed on top as the teams finished the first half at 0-3 a piece in what looked to be one of the dourest halves of football in this year’s Sigerson cup.
Clifford looked to brighten up the dull first half with an audacious long-range chip over Conor Carroll. Unfortunately, like the rest of the first half the weather ruined this moment too as the wind held the ball up and Carroll was able to recover.
This all changed however with the introduction of Cathal Heneghan at half time as the Roscommon forward scored three points in close succession to put the Galway side firmly in the driving seat as the second half wore on.
UL struggled to get the ball in any dangerous parts of the pitch, and Heneghan’s three points at the start of the second half were built upon by NUI Galway who, by midway through the second half had expanded the lead to six.
The game became more of a contest however, when David Clifford put away a penalty for UL and cut the lead down to two points. This however, unfazed NUI Galway as scores from Colin Murray and Tomo Culhane built up Galway’s lead to four points again which Limerick could not overcome.
The final score of 0-12 to 1-06 was a fair reflection of the game and showed the defensive excellence of this Galway side, who were missing county player Sean Mulkerrins. There were a few surprises with this Galway team as players like Gavin Burke and Neil Mulcahy stepping up to the plate, with Mulchy doing a particularly impressive man marking job on David Clifford.
Man of the match Cathal Heneghan after the match spoke of the team comradery within the camp which was clearly evident throughout.
NUI Galway: Conor Carroll; Eoghan Kelly, Neil Mulcahy, Colin Murray; Rory Egan, Sean Kelly, Gavin Durcan; Paul Kelly, Matthew Tierney; Fionn McDonagh, Nathan Mullen, Cathal Donoghue; Gavin Burke, Cathal Sweeney, Tomo Culhane.
Subs: Cathal Heneghan for Donoghue h/t, Tony Gill for Durcan 42, Ryan Monaghan for Mullen 64.
NUI Galway scorers: Cathal Heneghan 0-3, Tomo Culhane 0-3 (0-2f), Fionn McDonagh 0-2, Gavin Burke 0-2, Paul Kelly 0-1, Matthew Tierney 0-1 (0-1f).