THE University of Limerick reached the last eight of the Sigerson Cup after an impressive display saw them defeat IT Tralee 2-15 to 2-8 on Tuesday.
The Limerick college were the better side throughout but failed to make their advantage count on the scoreboard until late in the game.
UL had Limerick trio Gearoid Hegarty, Danny Neville and Glin’s Kevin Moore in the starting line-up and James Naughton of St Senan’s also made an appearance for Brian Carson’s side.
IT Tralee got off to a good start and a quick free caught the UL defence napping and Conor Lowney scored the games opening goal to give the Kerry college a 1-2 to 0-3 lead.
There was a heavy downpour in the first half but both sides continued to play attacking football on the all-weather pitch in UL’s North Campus and points from Kevin Moore and Ruairai Deane had the sides level after 18 minutes.
The sides went score-for-score in the final stages of the half leaving the sides level 1-6 to 0-9 at the break.
In tricky conditions both sides were accurate as UL shot four wides, while IT Tralee had just two. However, both sides were guilty of dropping balls short.
UL hit the net early in the second half after a strong run from Gearoid Hegarty. The St Patrick’s man cut through the defence before laying off to Shane Killoran who finished coolly to give the Limerick side a five point lead.
Paudie Quill hit back straight away with a goal to make it 1-12 to 2-7 and the Kerry side were back in it with a quarter of the match to play. However they did not score again until injury time as UL pulled away.
The win was sealed by a Bryan O’Shea of Dr Crokes who rose highest to fist a dropping ball into the net to secure a seven point win.
For manager Brian Carson, who himself won a Sigerson Cup medal in 2006, it was a good performance but a few flaws for the side to work on. UL are at home again in the quarter-final, where they play Carson’s old college Queen’s University, Belfast.
SCORERS - UL: Shane Killoran, Bryan O’Shea 1-2; Fergal Boland, Kevin Moore 0-3 each; Ian Burke 0-2; Ruairi Deane, Cian O’Dea, James Naughton 0-1 each
IT Tralee: Paudie Quill 1-3; Conor Lowney 1-0; Conor O’Driscoll, Cillian Cromwell 0-2 each; Denis McElligott 0-1
UL: Colm O’Driscoll (Cork); David Larkin (Wexford), Cathal Long (Kerry), Patrick O’Connor (Kerry); Aidan Rowan (Roscommon), Eamonn Kelly (Kerry), Fergal Boland (Mayo); Gearoid Hegarty (Limerick), Ruairi Deane (Cork); Danny Neville (Limerick), Shane Killoran (Roscommon), Cian O’Dea (Clare); Ian Burke (Galway), Kevin Moore (Limerick), Bryan O’Shea (Kerry). Sub: James Naughton (Limerick) for Cian O’Dea (40)
IT Tralee: Barry Galvin; Cian Counihan, Eamon Hickson, Sean Flynn; Denis McElligot, Cian Horan, Cillian Cromwell; Damian Somers, Conor Lowney; Alan Moriarty, Gavin O’Shea, Conor O’Driscoll; Vincent Horan, Darren Wallace, Paudie Quill.
REFEREE: Richard McNicholas (Galway)
- For more on this game, see the Wednesday and weekend print edition of the Limerick Leader