The first round of the gaelic football's collegiate elite has concluded, as the 2017-18 Electric Ireland Sigerson Cup moves to the quarter-final stage. There were some shocks along the way and we are all set up for a brilliant culmination to the tournament.
Here are the quarterfinal ties, to be played on February 6th and 7th.
Ulster University v University of Limerick
IT Tralee v Dublin IT
DCU v UCD
UCC v NUIG
Before we look ahead to those ties, let's cast an eye on the most impressive performers from Round One.
David Clifford - IT Tralee
At times over the last couple of years, David Clifford looked like he could be the first man to have a Laochra Gael before a senior career. The latter arrived last Sunday, in which the Fossa forward was solid if unspectacular, kicking only a point but assisting 1-2 as he learned of the hostility of full-back lines at senior level. Two days after that debut against Donegal, Clifford kicked IT Tralee to a first Sigerson Cup win in 11 years. His 1-4 was half of Tralee's total in their three-point win over Queen's. Normal service resumed, then: Clifford as the star of the show, having seen the headlines of his Kerry debut hijacked by the next man on this list...
Sean O'Shea - UCC
O'Shea was terrific against Donegal for Kerry, and he carried that form into UCC's clash with Garda College. While his county-mate Killian Spillane converted the last-gasp penalty which avoided a shock defeat for UCC, O'Shea provided the main forward thrust for the Cork university. He kicked five points - three of them from play - to elevate a great week even further.
Damien Comer - NUIG
Like O'Shea, Comer enjoyed a fabulous week. Having celebrated a goal against Tyrone in the first minute of his Galway captaincy, Comer was in equally merciless mood for NUIG against IT Sligo. This time, he waited until the fourth-minute to score a resistance-shattering goal. He tacked on another two points as NUIG eased to a 15-point victory.
Eanna O'Conchuir - DCU
DCU avoided the mother of all upsets against Dundalk, and had O'Conchuir to thank for doing so - the Kerry forward kicked 1-4 of DCU's 1-7 against Oisin McConville's side. A cross-city derby with UCD will add to O'Conchuir's hefty fixture schedule of late - in addition to an appearance for An Gaeltacht against Moy in the All-Ireland club semi-finals, he made an appearance for Kerry against Mayo in the National League over the weekend.
Jack Barry - UCD
UCD reached that quarter-final with far less fuss. They eased past John Doyle's Maynooth by 12 points, and while Laois' Eoin Lowry topped the scoring charts, Barry imposed himself at midfield and dominated against the all-Kildare partnership of Paddy Brophy and Paul Cribben. He added a goal for good measure.
The Electric Ireland Sigerson, Fitzgibbon and Higher Education Championships. Taking rivalries to the next level. #FirstClassRivals