St. Mary’s University College 0-15
Maynooth University 0-13
By Ian Baker
Failing to reach the quarter-final stage since they lost to UCC in the 2014 semi-final, Maynooth University succumbed to St. Mary’s of Belfast in the Sigerson quarter-final in Dundalk.
Meeting a defensively disciplined and avariciously attacking St. Mary’s side, Maynooth University couldn’t register enough scoring opportunities to defeat the 2017 champions.
In the 108 years of Sigerson Cup, Maynooth University has never won the title, though in 1976 St. Patrick’s College won the competition.
Failing to reach the quarter-final stage in the last four years, hopes were high for a team that had John Doyle as manager, Davy Burke as trainer and which included Daniel Flynn, Jimmy Hyland and Pádraig Fogarty.
With Flynn not appearing, Maynooth still reached a quarter-final by defeating Queen’s University in January.
As Fogarty kicked four first-half frees Maynooth University held a one-point lead at half-time in a game that was tightly fought all the way through.
St. Mary’s responded and they won the game by scoring four points in the opening eight minutes of the second-half.
This lapse in concentration disentangled Maynooth’s University’s first-half dominance, to which they couldn’t recover in the second-half.
Despite Maynooth University’s top scorer from play, Stephen O’Hanlon, levelling the game at 0-12 apiece in the 49th minute, Maynooth University always chased the game after half-time.
Not unusually, Fogarty and Hyland were Maynooth University’s top scorers, kicking eight of their side’s thirteen points. The only problem was all their points were from frees and neither got a sniff of goal either.
The Celbridge pair of Paddy Brophy and Kevin O’Callaghan were only introduced late on, and while Brophy scored in the 45th minute, each time that St. Mary’s turned over a ball it increased their intensity.
O’Hanlon and Brophy were the only players to score from play in the second-half as the break-down of scores emphasised Maynooth’s University’s struggles.
Maynooth University scored five of their eight first-half points through frees, meaning overall, they only scored five of their thirteen points from play.
St. Mary’s were by far a more balanced team, with their corner-back and corner-forwards given the instructions to move the ball fast and attack the Maynooth University defence.
The game was level on four occasions in the first-half, yet Maynooth University took a 0-8 to 0-7 lead into half-time through a late Jason Gibbons point as he ran directly at the St. Mary’s defence.
Maynooth University lost the game in the closing two minutes of the first-half and the opening eight minutes of the second-half.
Creating a two-point margin by the 28th minute through Fogarty and Gibbons, Maynooth University allowed St. Mary’s to close the margin to minimum by half-time.
Instead of re-establishing the semblance of dominance that they had held in the first-half, Maynooth University were stunned by St. Mary’s incredible intensity.
Scoring four points in quick succession, St. Mary’s led 0-11 – 0-8 in the 38th minute through their top scorers, Shane McGuigan and Stephen McConville, along with a point from Ryan Coleman.
By the time that McGuigan kicked his third point, Maynooth registered a missed free, a wide and a ball dropped into the ‘keeper’s hands.
Fogarty responded with a well-taken ’45, and while Hyland registered his second free, leaving just one-point between the sides, two further missed efforts tolled Maynooth University’s demise.
On the other end of the spectrum, McGuigan extended the margin but Brophy responded kicking the score of the game, opting to shoot from distance, before O’Hanlon’s third point levelled the game at 0-12 apiece in the 49th minute.
After half-back, Colm Byrne, scored his second point, Hyland uncharacteristically let a free slip past the outside of the post.
At the other end, McGuigan compounded this miss by kicking his fifth point before then setting-up Niall Toner for a score as St. Mary’s carved-out a three-point margin with three minutes remaining.
In the end, as the festering, game-long niggle exploded, Maynooth University had a shout for a David Malone penalty given as a free, to which Fogarty could only kick over the bar for his sixth point.
Teams and Scorers
St. Mary’s University – S McGuigan 0-5 (3fs); S McConville 0-3 2fs); C Byrne 0-2; L Rafferty, J Óg Burns, L Devlin, R Coleman and N Toner 0-1 each.
Maynooth University – P Fogarty 0-6 (5fs, 1 ’45); S O’Hanlon 0-3; J Hyland 0-2fs; J Gibbons and P Brophy 0-1 each.
St.MARY’S UNIVERSITY: Marc Reid; Liam Rafferty, Caolan Dillion, Michael Rooney; Colm Byrne, Ryan McCusker, Aaron Duffy; Jarlath Óg Burns, Liam Devlin; Stephen McConville, Shane McGuigan, Aaron Boyle; Niall Toner, Ryan Coleman, Cahair McKinney. SUBS: Ryan McSherry for McKinney (43 mins); Daniel McKinless for Rooney (49).
MAYNOOTH UNIVERSITY: Niall Carrie; Niall O’Sullivan, James Kelly, Mark Hyland; Daniel Courtney, Jason Gibbons, Emmet Maloney; Ethan Devine, Darragh Lyons; Ruadhán Ó’Giolláin, Niall O’Donnell, Stephen Comerford; Stephen O’Hanlon, Pádraig Fogarty, Jimmy Hyland. SUBS: Paddy Brophy for Lyons (h/t); Kevin O’Callaghan for Comerford (43 mins); David Malone for Devine (55); Kane Barrett for Ó’Giolláin (57).
REFEREE: Kevin Faloon (Armagh)
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