We have all the latest fixtures, live score updates & betting from the 2014 Sigerson Cup gaelic football college competition.
While the provincial competitions wrapped up around the country last Sunday, the GAA enthusiast will now turn their eye to the Sigerson cup competition which got under way yesterday, when Queens University Belfast and UCD recorded victories.
There are 18 teams taking part in this year’s competition with Blanchardstown I.T the new entrants.
Indeed, the Sigerson cup is a chance for people to sit up and take note of many of the new emerging inter-county stars, as well as many of our current ones. We have taken a look at 8 teams whom we reckon will make the quarter finals in this year’s tournament and ponder on whom will rise to become cream of the crop in Belfast, come the 22nd of February.
Here is a look at our top 8.
We start with the current champions who took the crown in style last year when beating U.C.C in Athlone. However form in college competitions is really not a factor and D.I.T were less than impressive in their O’Byrne cup campaign this year. They beat Carlow I.T however, suffered defeats to Meath and Wicklow. They lost narrowly to eventual winners U.U.J in the Ryan Cup semi-final back in October. The panel includes county stars Michael Shields, Brian Menton and Thomas O’Connor of Kildare. They face St Marys of Belfast in the first round and should progress.
Dr Niall Moyna’s side upset the odds at the Donnycarney venue a number of weeks ago when they defeated the all-Ireland champions with a late surge. However they would have been quite un-happy at the manner of defeat in the semi-final, at the hands of Meath. Wicklow native Conor Mcgraynor has been in impressive form for the 2011 winners and he will take handling. They will be confident coming into this year’s tournament with Vincent’s based Davy Byrne another notable influence. They should account for either IT Tralee/NUIG in their first round encounter.
Without doubt, the Ulster University look the team to beat in this year’s campaign, and a look at their team sheet will justify their favourites tag for the tournament. The Shore Road club celebrate their 40th anniversary this year and this will add extra incentive to their campaign. Conor McAlliskey and returnee Darren Hughes have been in impressive form and were central to their Ryan Cup victory, where they recovered from a woeful start to claim the title against UCD. Anglo Celt medallists Rory Beggan and Colin Walshe join the team this year while it remains to be seen if Cavan’s Gearoid McKiernan will recover from injury in time. Talent is well spread across this team with Cailean O’Boyle in fine fettle for the university team. While they didn’t record a win in the McKenna Cup tournament with heavy defeats against Antrim and Down. One wonders though how serious they treated the competition with a forfeit against Cavan in their final game. The Ryan cup champions are the team to beat. They open up their account with a home draw against Sligo I.T this Wednesday.
The South-side University reached the semi-final of the O’Byrne cup final where they were on the wrong end of a heavy defeat at the hands of Kildare. However, they did record impressive victories against Wexford and Laois. They boast All-Ireland medal winners Jack McCaffrey and Paul Mannion, while Westmeath native John Heslin is another player who will take watching. Matt O’Hanlon from Wexford and Laois player Paul Kingston complete an impressive panel. They will enter the tournament with a confidence and if they can keep up their consistent form, will take beating. They are already through to the quarter final following victory over A.I.T yesterday.
NUIM will enter this competition with the player of the year, the latest addition to their panel. The University benefit from the addition of the former Corn Na Mic Leinn team, Froebel College who have moved from Blackrock onto campus. Thus, Michael Dara McCauley, a student there, joins the panel. They face I.T Blanchardstown in the first round and should have enough to account for the new entrants.
Queens University Belfast
The hosts of this year’s will more than any team want to be involved come Sigerson Cup weekend at the end of February. Queens had not experienced a win in the premier competition in six years. They ended that on Tuesday however when they beat University of Limerick in the preliminary round, they will now face GMIT. Ryan Mallon, Ryan Raffetry and Craig O’Brien are among the panel members. We predict a semi-final position for the hosts.
Cork Institute of Technology (C.I.T)
C.I.T lost narrowly to Kerry in the McGrath cup semi-final a number of weeks ago. Cathal Vaughan is their stand out forward and was particularly impressive against Kerry, where he scored 0-8 points from play. He is helped in the forward line by Donal Og Hodnett. Brendan O’Sullivan has also been quite prominent in the middle of the field. They take on Carlow IT in the first round and should progress.
Last year’s beaten finalists take on Trinity College Dublin in the first round and while they will have to travel to Dublin for the first round, should have enough to come through this meeting. With quality players such as Luke Connolly among their set up, the Cork University will take beating.
Wednesday 29th Jan
Sigerson Cup preliminary round
IT Tralee v NUIG, IT Tralee, 2pm
Sigerson Cup round 1
UUJ v IT Sligo, UUJ, 2pm
Trinity v UCC, Trinity, 3.45pm
Tuesday 4 February
Sigerson Cup round 1
IT Blanchardstown v NUIM, IT Blanchardstown, 3pm
Cork IT v IT Carlow, Cork IT, 7.30pm
Wednesday 5 February
Sigerson Cup round 1
DCU v IT Tralee or NUIG, DCU, 2pm
DIT v St Mary’s, Grangegorman, 2pm
Queen’s v GMIT, TBC, 2pm