Sport

University of Limerick bidding for Sigerson Cup glory

UL Sigerson Cup Squad

University of Limerick (UL) Sigerson Cup team are bidding to win their first ever Sigerson Cup as they take on NUI Galway (NUIG) tomorrow night in IT Carlow.

Tomorrow night is UL’s first final since 1997 after the defeat to Tralee IT back then, in their way is an impressive NUIG side.

Both teams have a number of intercounty stars with UL boasting the likes of David Clifford, who UL have turned to throughout the competition and has been their main man.

UL will be sweating on the fitness of Mayo star Eoghan McLaughlin who was missing from the semi-final win against DCU but was key throughout the campaign.

If UL are to become champions for the first-time key players such as captain Paul Maher, Sean Powter, Emmett McMahon need to work in tantum and guide the Limerick side to victory.

Our Sports Editor Jamie Dowling takes a look at UL’s impressive form and their path to the final to date.

First round
UL 4-15 Sligo IT 0-7

UL survived a potential banana skin against Sligo IT in the first round. Two years ago, Sligo IT overcame the odds and beat the UL team in the first round. However, the Limerick team learned from their defeat and recorded a statement win.

Kerry star David Clifford was on form scoring 1-5 and was aided by Paul Walsh who came off the bench got in on the act and notched up two goals for the away side.

UL romped home to victory and set up a second-round clash with Letterkenny IT.

Second Round
UL 2-23 Letterkenny IT 3-15

After a very slow start, UL recovered to secure a place in the quarterfinals. Inside the opening 15 minutes UL were six points down and it looked like they were heading for defeat. Once again, UL turned to David Clifford who ended the game with 2-7.

Also, standing out for UL was Eoghan McLaughlin who pulled all the strings from the half-back line and was instrumental in UL’s comeback.

UL showed why they were favourites by getting out of a sticky situation, but once again the attacking talent they had up front was too much for the Donegal side and UL ran out winners by five points. Next up was a quarter-final against Queens University of Belfast.

Quarter-Final
UL 2-12 Queens 0-13

Yet again, a theme that has been throughout the Sigerson Cup, the classy David Clifford tormented the Queens defence and was a thorn in their side, Clifford ended up with 2-4 and booked UL’s place in a semi-final.

Other players to stand out for UL were Donal O’Sullivan and Emmet McMahon who were a constant threat to the Ulster college.

As, in their game against Letterkenny, the Limerick outfit had to stage a comeback after they were behind at half-time.

Armagh star Conor Turbitt caused the UL’s defence havoc ending up with eight points to his name, but it was Clifford who had the final say with UL qualifying for the semi-final.

Semi-Final
UL 0-14 DCU 0-11

This was definitely the game everyone was waiting for. The two favourites to win the competition.

Both teams gave as good as they got. UL sensed they were edging to create history. They knew a win against current holders of the Sigerson Cup would go a long way towards claiming glory.

This game was in the melting pot going into the last ten minutes with both teams matching each other with the score 0-11 apeice.

Once again, the talented David Clifford had the final say and propelled his side to their first Sigerson Cup final in 25 years with two late scores to lead his side to victory – knocking out the defending champions in process.

UL will go into the final as favourites, if Clifford and co perform it is hard to look past that the Sigerson Cup will be heading to UL for the first time ever after many years of heartache.

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