The Sigerson Cup draw has again thrown up some very interesting first round games.
Click live score for latest updates
As always, a couple of shocks are on the cards in the early rounds, as teams will be motivated by the fact that a win on Thursday will qualify them for the showpiece Sigerson Cup Weekend at Belfield on the first weekend in March. (Unfortunately, the final of the competition has also been confirmed as being in Belfield, despite an offer from GAA President Christy Cooney to make Croke Park available for the Centenary Sigerson Cup Final this weekend).
SIGERSON CUP 2011 FACEBOOK GROUP
On the field, the meetings between University of Ulster, Jordanstown and Cork IT, St. Mary’s Belfast and DCU and NUI Maynooth and Queens University are billed as the ties of the round, while the meeting of IT Dublin and University of Limerick is sure to attract plenty of attention with a certain Kerry man set to begin his studies, and restart his Sigerson Cup career at Grangegorman.
University of Ulster Jordanstown against Cork IT, the tie of the round in many people eyes, brings face to face the competition winners of 2009 and 2008. Few will be brave enough to make a definitive call on the game; this one could require extra time, with the winners sure to be a force to be reckoned with at the weekend.
Last year’s winners DCU host St. Mary’s University College, and after a 2-13 to 2-12 Ryan Cup victory for the hosts earlier in the year, will know that they will need to be on top of their game to stop the Belfast outfit causing an upset. Encouraging performances in the Dr. McKenna Cup, especially against Armagh, will have instilled confidence in St. Marys, and DCU’s early exit, losing comprehensively to Kildare, will not have helped preparations for the Glasnevin outfit, who normally take the competition seriously as preparation for Sigerson.
NUI Maynooth will hope for a repeat of their giant killing exploits of last years campaign, when then they caused the shock of the competition by beating UUJ at this stage. Another Ulster powerhouse make the trip South this week, with Queens University the opposition. Not being able to partake in the pre season Inter County tournaments will have hindered Maynooth preparations, as Queens have three competitive games under their belt in 2011, this could prove the difference.
The Connacht derby game sees IT Sligo hosting NUI Galway, where the hosts will be seeking revenge for the 2-9 to 0-14 defeat inflicted on them in the Ryan Cup in the first semester. NUI Galway will be boosted by a good run in the Connacht FBD League, and despite a final defeat to Mayo in Castlebar last Friday night, they will be favourites to progress to a Quarter Final meeting with UCD on Thursday 3rd March.
Dublin IT, who achieved their first Senior Football Title when they captured the Ryan Cup a fortnight ago, comprehensively beating UCC by 0-17 to 0-4 in Ballykelly, host a University of Limerick side whose college are more well known for the exploits of their star studded Fitzgibbon Cup Hurling team. After recent big wins in the Ryan and O’Byrne Cups, a comfortable win for the Dublin side will be the expected outcome here.
UCC host GMIT at the Mardyke, and they will be hoping to go one step better than last year, when they lost at the final stage to DCU. Many of the faces are the same as last year, and they will be hoping to get another crack at the holders at the Quarter Final stage if they can get over the Galway side. GMIT looked less than impressive in the recent FBD League, and travel to Cork more in hope than expectation.
The final tie of the round sees the Midlands Institutes of Technology, in Athlone and Carlow, do battle to see who will meet the winners of the UUJ/Cork IT game in the quarter final. Athlone IT, who reached the penultimate stage last year, will be hoping for a repeat performance this season, while Carlow, bolstered by new recruits to their GAA Coaching Course, are sure to become a force in Sigerson Cup football in the coming years.
NOTE: We will have live score updates from all Sigerson cup matches in 2011
Round 1 (February 17):
(A) Neutral Venue TBA : UUJ v Cork IT
(B) Grangegorman: DIT v UL
(C) Mardyke :UCC v GMIT
(D) Carlow: Carlow IT v Athlone IT
(E) Sligo: IT Sligo v NUI Galway
(F) DCU: DCU v St Marys, Belfast
(G) Maynooth: NUI M v QUB
Quarter-Finals (March 3):
H. Winners E v UCD
J. Winners F v Winners C
K. Winners G v Winners B
L. Winners D v Winners A
Semi-Finals/Final (March 4):
Winners H v Winners J
Winners K v Winners L
Final (March 5)