The University of Limerick fell at the final hurdle as Billy Morgan’s UCC earned their 24th title
By James Roulston Mooney
The University College Cork Sigerson Cup side won the competition for the first time since 2019 and the fourth time under Billy Morgan with a 1-16 to 0-16 victory over the University of Limerick, after extra time.
Forward Dylan Geaney scored a fantastic goal via a set piece to help his side take a strong and early lead at the SETU Arena in Waterford that UL had to work hard to reverse.
The University of Limerick struggled to breach the Corkonian defences for much of the game – last year’s finalists were second-best for the majority of the match.
However, the Wolves managed to put everything together in the final moments of the first-half and, after a small period of dominance for their opponents, put seven points over the bar to take the lead.
Clare’s Emmett McMahon stood out for UL in the last Sigerson Cup tie of 2023, scoring four pints from play and causing problems in the forward line.
UCC fought back and Michael O’Gara almost sealed the deal but his late score was cancelled out by Darragh Cashman, who forced extra-time with his equaliser.
The Cork side pulled away in extra-time, outscoring their opponents by 0-4 to 0-1 to take the national crown for the seventh time since 1985 in their fourteenth final in 38 years.
UL, on the other hand, will have to wait at least another year to open their Sigerson Cup cabinet after more heartbreak in the final stretch.
UCC: Dylan Foley; Briain Murphy, Daniel O’Mahony, Damien Bourke, Maurice Shanley, Shane Merritt, Bill Curtin, Ruairi Murphy, Brian Harnett, Jack Murphy, Fionn Herlihy (0-2), Killian Falvey (0-1), Dylan Geaney (1-4, 2f), Mark Cronin (0-5, 3f), Cathail O’Mahony (0-2).
Subs: Michael O’Gara (0-1) for Killian Falvey (48′), Liam Wall for Bill Curtin (50), Sean O’Connor (0-1) for Cathail O’Mahony (60′), Mark Cooper for Briain Murphy (60′), Sean Quilter for Dylan Geaney (ET), Dan Peet for Damien Bourke (ET).
UL: Ronan McElligott; Jack Glynn, Colm Moriarity, Jack Coyne (0-3), Darragh Cashman (0-2), Jack O’Brien, Daniel Walsh, Paul Keaney (0-3, 3f), Emmet McMahon (0-4), Ciaran Downes (0-2), Ikem Ugwueru, Eoghan McLaughlin (0-1), John Hayes, Aaron Griffin, Mark Lenehan (0-1).
Subs: Paul Walsh for John Hayes (34′), Sean McDonnell for Ikem Ugwueru (35′), Brian McNamara for Jack O’Brien (38′), Eoghan O’Sullivan for Paul Keaney (58′), David Mangan for Aaron Griffin (ET), Cian Glennon for Daniel Walsh (ET), Geaoird Hassett for Sean McDonnell (ET), Sean O’Leary for Jack Coyne (ET)