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Goalkeeper The Hero As UCC Win Dramatic Sigerson Cup Shootout

Goalkeeper The Hero As UCC Win Dramatic Sigerson Cup Shootout
PJ Browne
By PJ Browne
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UCC progressed to the semi-finals of the Electric Ireland Sigerson Cup after a penalty shootout victory over St Mary's in the quarter-finals at the GAA Centre of Excellence in Abbottstown on Wednesday evening.

Goalkeeper Dylan Foley was the hero for UCC, saving three penalties in the shootout as his side won 3-2. It was Foley's fellow Corkman Mark Cronin who scored the winning kick for UCC. This was the second consecutive game in this year's tournament which UCC have won on penalties. They also defeated Queen's by the same method in the third round.

"It's just about making yourself as big as possible," Éire Óg man Foley said following the game.

"The ball is so close, it's just about staying big and hoping one or two come within your reach."


It was a game filled with intense drama and numerous twists. UCC looked to be heading for victory in normal time, holding a three-point lead deep into injury time.

However, a hopeful diagonal ball towards the UCC goal found the hands of Tyrone man Mattie McGleenan and the St Mary's centre forward fired past Foley to level the game at 1-7 each and send it to extra-time.

"We thought we had it dead and buried with five minutes to go, and then a high ball into the square, and they get a goal," said Foley.


"These things happen. Marys have a great tradition, they never died."

In extra-time, St Mary's appeared to find the winning score in the 22nd minute when they were awarded a highly contentious 45 which goalkeeper Charlie Symth of Mayobrige sent over to give his side a 1-10 to 1-9 lead.


There was still time for further drama. UCC were given a free just outside the St Mary's 45. The kick from Mitchelstown man Cathail O'Mahony dropped under the crossbar and a scramble ensued which resulted in referee Barry Tiernan throwing up the ball. He immediately awarded UCC a free following a pull by a St Mary's player, and O'Mahony converted the kick to level the match at 1-10 each and send it to a penalty shootout.


"I wasn't thinking, I was praying, to be honest with you, that we'd get some opportunity," Foley said when asked what was going through his mind at the end of extra-time with his side a point in arrears.

"Thanks be to God, something came our way, and we got a free. In fairness, Cathail O'Mahony stepped up and took it well. He took his penalty very well too.

"Only for us getting a hop ball there, and a free, we could be the ones going home tonight."



Wednesday night's other quarter-final between TU Dublin and UCD also went to extra-time. TU Dublin eventually won 0-16 to 0-15.

The draw for the semi-finals was made following Wednesday's games. The last-four will be a double-header at Netwatch Cullen Park on February 8th.

UL, victors over reigning champions the University of Galway, on Tuesday will face DCU who defeated MTU Cork. In the other semi-final, it's UCC against TU Dublin.

2023 Electric Ireland Sigerson Cup semi-final draw

February 8th, Netwatch Cullen Park, Carlow

6:15pm: UL vs DCU

8pm: TU Dublin vs UCC

See Also: Young Cork Camogie Star Thriving Two Years After Positional Switch



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