UCD through to Sigerson semi-final after policing the Guards

Garda College 0-12, UCD 0-15: UCD have advanced to the final weekend of the Sigerson Cup after a surprise victory over the Gardaí in Templemore, writes Killian Woods.After edging University of Limerick through four periods of extra time in the previous round, UCD continued their push towards Sigerson Cup glory with a three point victory over last year’s beaten finalists Garda College. The team produced an effective attacking performance at Templemore against a physically imposing Garda team that included some of last year’s players, who got so close, yet so far from winning the 2008 competition.Though holding the record for raising the prestigious cup the most times, UCD has failed to win the Sigerson cup since 1996. However, after these two wins in as many weeks, a first win in 13 years could be on the cards. There were some great individual performances in this year’s quarter final from some of the team’s reliable players, and this set down a strong base on which to push through this tricky tie.Mark Ronaldson continued his fine form in front of the posts from the previous week against University of Limerick by kicking three points. However, Ciarán Lyng was the star of the show. He led the teams charge by kicking five of UCD’s fifteen points haul, as the Garda outfit found the nippy Wexford player too hard to handle. Though, credit cannot only go to the individuals as all six starting forwards got their names on the score-sheet, with Mark McGowan kicking two points.It was a closely contested match for the opening eighteen minutes as UCD took a slender 0-5 to 0-4 lead, with Mayo star Ronaldson leading the push with some early scores.
“UCD began to exert their own influence on things, with Dublin star Tiernan Diamond orchestrating a relentless assault from the half forward line”
However, the second quarter of the game saw UCD becoming accustomed to the Guards’ physical game, and began to exert their own influence on things, with Dublin star Tiernan Diamond orchestrating a relentless assault from the half forward line, with the Templemore side failing to get to grips with him.By half time that gap had increased to five points with UCD leading 0-10 to 0-5. The half time turnaround saw UCD keep up the pressure. Nine minutes after the break, UCD pulled further away by opening up a seven-point gap over their hosts. However, Garda was not finished yet.The Templemore outfit went for a more route one approach and kicked three unanswered points, giving UCD a minor scare. Following a scoreless ten minute period, man of the match Ciarán Lyng slotted over to ease the teams nerves and for the rest of the match Garda College was kept at arms length until the final whistle.This win sends the much regarded surprise package, UCD into the semi finals of the Sigerson cup. They will play an impressive Dublin Institute of Technology team who made slim pickings of a Galway - Mayo Institute of Technology team at Pearse stadium. DIT kicked an impressive haul of 2-15 to 0-9 in a one sided game.This all Dublin semi-final will be played out at the Cork Institute of Technology GAA grounds along with the other semi final between, NUI Galway and Cork IT this coming Friday, 27th February.UCD: S Gallagher; D Curran, P Kelly, M Loftus; P Kelly (0-2), C O’Sullivan, C Brady; C Murphy, J Fitzpatrick; M Gurn (0-1), T Diamond (0-1), T Warburton (0-1); C Lyng (0-5), M Ronaldson (0-3), M McGowan (0-2). Sub: C Kelly for McGowan (47 mins).GARDA: D O’Brien; S Brehony, C McGill, R O’Connor; S Mulligan, E O’Callaghan, D Mullahy (0-1); M Cussen (0-1), M Milner; J Kavanagh (0-2), J Miskella, B Brennan; M Harrington (0-4 frees), G Brady, E Mulligan (0-2, one free). Subs: J Martin (0-2) for Miskella (inj, 27 mins), N Shevlin for Brehony (h-t), G O'Connell for Milner (47 mins).Referee: D Cahill (Tipperary).