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Here Is Our 2018 Sigerson Cup Best XV

Here Is Our 2018 Sigerson Cup Best XV
By Arthur James O'Dea Updated

The Sigerson Cup came to its conclusion on Saturday afternoon with UCD claiming their second title in three years.

With plenty of big names on display, it was Monaghan man Conor McCarthy who proved decisive in UCD's narrow win over a resilient NUIG side.

Scoring 1-06 of UCD's 1-13 in Santry, it was left to Tipperary's Liam Casey to secure the final two points and push UCD beyond NUIG's 2-09.

In a tightly contested affair, NUIG's Damien Comer had made his presence felt during a first half where the Galway side were unfortunate to go in only level with their opponents. His 0-03 points were only surpassed by Mayo man Adam Gallaghar; his 1-03 very nearly contributing to a hard-earned win.

Over the last number of weeks, many players from colleges across the country have demonstrated their prowess within this intense format. Although an ideal XV will be made up players from those two finalists, the Sigerson Cup XV is a relatively eclectic bunch.

The Sigerson Cup Best XV:

Goalkeeper - Tadgh O'Malley (NUIG/Galway)

If not for UCD's Charlie Manton making a mistake in the final to allow in NUIG's Seán Kelly for a goal, there would not have been much to separate the pair. Conor McCarthy's goal for UCD in the Electric Ireland Sigerson Cup final was the fist that O'Malley had conceded since NUIG's first round demolition of IT Sligo.

Right corner-back - Stephen Brennan (NUIG/Mayo)

A consistent member of NUIG's incredibly stingy full-back line, Brennan will have every reason to be disappointed that he has not ended the 2018 Sigerson Cup with a winners medal. Brennan, like Coen of UCD, was another member of that Mayo All-Ireland minor winning side of 2013.


Full back - Cillian O'Shea (UCD/Dublin)

Ever-present throughout UCD's run to the final, O'Shea was one of a number of All-Ireland U-21 winners with Dublin on the UCD panel. For the final, O'Shea was afforded a bit of a freer role as NUIG had drafted Seán Kelly back to play in a sweeper role. Looking more and more assured as the game progressed, NUIG only managed three scores in the second half; that two of them were goals does not flatter O'Shea, but he was largely blameless.

Left corner-back - Kevin McDonnell (NUIG/Sligo)

Another versatile member of NUIG's back-line, McDonnell did a fantastic job in the final keeping UCD's Con O'Callaghan to a solitary point. Part and parcel of a defence that rarely gave up much by way of scores throughout their run to the final, NUIG's occasional profligacy in attack came back to haunt that back-line all the same.

Right wing-back - Kieran Molloy (NUIG/Galway)

Molloy offered the greatest side-story that the Sigerson Cup final could have hoped for. Having played the majority of Corofin's victorious All-Ireland semi-final against Moorefield in Offaly, the NUIG man was given a Garda escort to Dublin, and, amazingly played out most of the second half in his college's narrow final defeat.


Centre back - Stephen Coen (UCD/Mayo)

UCD's captain Stephen Coen made the Sigerson Cup his third national title won; he had previously captained Mayo to All-Ireland success at minor and U-21 level. With Dublin and UCD's Jack McCaffrey still sidelined through an injury sustained in last year's All-Ireland final, Coen offered a reliable presence in UCD's half-back line.

Left wing-back - Jimmy Feehan (UCD/Tipperary)

A versatile member of UCD's half-back line, Feehan was constant throughout. Helping out with the occasional point throughout their successful run, the 22-year-old is already a regular member of the senior Tipperary side and played as they reached their first All-Ireland semi-final since 1935 in 2016.

Midfield - Barry O'Sullivan (UCD/Kerry)

Although NUIG's Peter Cooke gave a strong account of himself in the final, O'Sullivan's sustained performances over the course of the tournament push him slightly ahead overall. Working well his fellow Kerry man Jack Barry in midfield, their influence shaped much of the way that UCD went about their business.


Midfield - Jack Barry (UCD/Kerry)

A ceaseless source of movement in the UCD midfield, the Kerry man, along with his midfield partner and fellow Kerry man Barry O'Sullivan, set the pace for UCD's frantic pressing-style. Allowing NUIG less and less time on the ball in their own half in Saturday's final, Barry also clocked up important scores in earlier round for UCD.

Right wing-forward - Adam Gallagher (NUIG/Mayo)

Almost the man whose scores brought the Sigerson Cup to Galway for the first time since 2003, Gallagher was a constant threat throughout. Four points in their semi-final win over DIT were also of crucial importance.

Centre forward - Conor McCarthy (UCD/Monaghan)

The outstanding player of the Sigerson Cup final, McCarthy made his influence felt throughout. In the semi-final against Ulster University, McCarthy contributed 0-06 of UCD's 0-18 point total. Appeared to be everywhere his side needed him in Saturday's final, his place in this team is indisputable.


Left wing-forward - Liam Casey (UCD/Tipperary)

In Saturday's Sigerson Cup final alone, Casey's influence on proceedings was immense. Although he only managed 0-03 points, each was vital. Putting UCD immediately ahead after starting the second half on level terms, the Tipperary man proceeded to get UCD's final two points, winning his college the cup in the process.

Right corner-forward - Damien Comer (NUIG/Galway)

Like a number of those players plying their trade in this year's  Sigerson Cup, Comer was torn between college and inter-county commitments. Already a key member of the Galway panel, Comer made an electric start to Saturday's final. Looking a different calibre of player altogether, though he faded as the match progressed, his influence throughout was key in bringing NUIG to this point.

Full forward - Evan O'Carroll (UCD/Laois)

Although he will look back at this performance in the final and wonder whether he could have done a little better with some of his missed frees, O'Carroll was a consistent source of scores for UCD throughout their run to the final. A big, physical presence who held up the ball well for his teammates in Santry all the same, his bandaged head in the final lent the Laois man a certain amount of menace also.


Left corner-forward - David Clifford (IT Tralee/Kerry)

While crossing the divide from minor to senior with Kerry amid huge national interest, Clifford was victim to a fairly hectic schedule in the opening weeks of 2018. Although IT Tralee only made it as far as the quarter-final, Clifford was instrumental in the Kerry school claiming their first Sigerson Cup win in 11 years.

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