Athlone IT meet UCC in the second semi final of the Irish Daily Mail Sigerson Cup, at 2.30, this Friday afternoon. The former have home advantage as they make a welcome return to the finals weekend.
In the Ryan Cup, both sides qualified from their respective groups to reach the last eight, but were both defeated at that stage by DIT (v AIT) and QUB (v UCC) respectively. In the group stages, AIT qualified in second place after a win against GMIT, a draw with NUIG and a loss to IT Sligo who topped the group. In the Munster section, UCC were top of the pile with wins against CIT and IT Tralee and a draw with IT Carlow.
So far in this year’s Irish Daily Mail Sigerson Cup, both of these sides have come through tough and close fought encounters. UCC have overcome two Belfast opponents, in the form of UUJ and St. Marys University College, while Athlone IT have come through tests against both Carlow IT and then Cork IT in the last eight.
The Leeside college head to Athlone in search of their twenty first title, while Athlone IT have yet to register a win in the premier competition of third level gaelic football. Should Athlone qualify, it would certainly add to the atmosphere and attendance at Saturdays final in their fine new on campus sports facilities, however with the upper hand in experience of Sigerson weekends and a sprinkling of previous winners, UCC will be expected to prevail to a final date against Dublin opposition at 3pm Saturday.
Players To Watch
Westmeath star Gary Connaughton is the man to watch on the home side, while former Kerry minor Gavin O’Grady has been racking up the scores in the UCC attack all season.
UCC have the experience and tradition, and it is difficult to look beyond the Cork college for the win, At 4/11 with Boylesports they look good things to add to any accumulators for the weekend.