DIT knocked out of Sigerson Cup

Bernard Daly of DIT looks on as DIT's dream is over until next year

Holders DIT have been knocked out of the Sigerson Cup (Photo courtesy of Piers Moyles)

Defending Sigerson Cup Champions DIT were knocked out of this year’s Championship by red-hot favourites, University of Ulster Jordanstown (UUJ), on Thursday at Parnells GAA club.

Having dispatched of St Mary’s Belfast by the smallest of margins, DIT understood they needed a big performance to overcome this hurdle having after they were defeated already by UUJ in the league semi-finals back in November.

However, the performance necessary wasn’t the performance given by the champs as they succumbed to a three point defeat.

With the match already postponed a day due to bad weather, the large crowd in attendance still had to deal with a ferociously cutting wind, making it difficult to watch but for the 30 footballers out on the pitch, far more difficult to play.

UUJ took full advantage of the breeze blowing behind them in the opening exchanges as they stuck over five scores without reply in the first twenty minutes.  It was by no means one-way traffic, but the Institute of Technology were just incapable of navigating the wind to direct the ball between the posts.

Finally, they did, from a free-kick deep inside the Jordanstown half, as Niall Scully opened DIT’s account. Conor Madden added another score from a free as DIT looked like they were finally getting the scores that their intricate play deserved.

It looked as if the tables were about to turn, especially when former DIT captain Colin Walshe (now captaining UUJ) looked set to get his marching orders with a black card for a cynical challenge.  Referee Anthony Nolan thought otherwise and decided on a yellow instead.

Both sides ran in for the warmth at half time, with DIT trailing UUJ by six points to two. Yet, there was optimism amongst their selectors, feeling that they could really take the game to their Northern opponents with the fierce wind in their favour.

And DIT duly took the game to their counterparts, creating chance after chance. However, constructing opportunities is one thing, taking them is another, and DIT’s conversion ratio was haunting them.

They did manage a couple of points, two of them from wing-back Ross Sheridan, but it was UUJ who took the main initiative. Having struggled with the wind at the beginning of the half, they constructed a goal to make the game 1-08 to 0-04. It looked like the game was up, with just under a quarter of an hour to play.

However, the Dublin side sprang into life once more. Talisman Peter Acheson went past two Jordanstown players with ease and then from what must have been 25 yards placed a shot into the bottom corner of the net, past the hapless Rory Beggan in the UUJ goal.

It made for a very tense final ten minutes, with Bernard Allen slotting the pick of the points and with play after play resulting in missed opportunities for the holders.

DIT will look to build on what is a good side for next season, whilst Jordanstown must really up their game if they are to live up to their favourites tag.

DIT manager Sean Fox gave his take post match.

“The crown was on the line today and we didn’t perform well enough. We had the beating of that team today but we didn’t do it in the end” he said, “I’m a bit disappointed with some of the performances.”

“We made a couple of bad decisions, didn’t take our chances and didn’t come out of the blocks in the second half like we should have, but that’s the way it goes.” he said


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