NUIG 0-6 St Mary’s, Belfast 0-5
A magnificent save from NUIG net minder, Donal O’Sullivan in the final seconds proved to be the decisive moment in this Sigerson Cup tie at Dangan ,as Michael Stephenson had looked certain to equalise.
Westmeath referee Sean Carroll signalled the end as St Mary’s ‘keeper Niall Morgan’s ’45’ fell short, and the ensuing disgraceful scenes did nothing to enhance the reputation of the Belfast side.
It had been a tense but not overly so game though referee Carroll had issued six yellows.
The Galway university NUIG, managed by John Maughan, had led by three points (0-4 to 0-1) at half-time, but they had been reduced to 14 players as Kieran Conroy had been sent off (two yellow cards ) immediately before the half time whistle went.
In the second half, St Mary’s did well to reduce their opponents lead to but a single point , but in a low scoring encounter two points from Neil Douglas put the Galway side back in front ; there followed St Mary’s points from both Stephenson and Niall Sludden and still some eight minutes left on the clock.
Hard though they tried they could not get another score and thus NUIG deservedly progressed. St Mary’s did have enough chances to win after the Galway side had been reduced to fourteen but it was not to be. The shameful scenes at the end though marred this encounter.
Scorers :- NUIG: N Douglas 0-4 (3f), J Doherty, I Galvin 0-1 each. St Mary’s, Belfast: B Herron 0-2, P Harte, N Sludden, M Stephenson 0-1 each.
NUIG — D O’Sullivan; G Sweeney, D Gavin, K McDonald; J Moore, J Maloney, R Kiely; S Guing, S Moran; F Deasmhunaigh, S Gilmartin, K Conroy; N Douglas, J Doherty, I Galvin. Subs: R Rochford for Moore (17), C Griffin for Galvin (42), D Newcombe for Deasmhunaigh (51), K Conlon for Guing (55).
St Mary’s, Belfast — N Morgan; M Slane, M Murray, D McBride; G Teague, E McArdle, C O’Hara; B Doyle, S O’Neill; J Gilmore, B Herron, D McCusker; R Sexton, P Harte, N Sludden. Sub: M Stephenson for Gilmore (42).
Ref — S Carroll (Westmeath).