Dublin City University 0-14
IT Carlow 0-7
By Kieran Murphy
IT Carlow’s Sigerson Cup journey came to an end at the final hurdle when they lost out to a slick and talented DCU team who also had the advantage of playing at home in last Wednesday’s decider.
At the start of the competition Carlow were not one of the favourites but with victories against IT Tralee and UCC they had earned respect. DCU, powered by influential Éire Óg man Jordan Morrissey at midfield, started well and brought the game to their opponents.
Goalkeeper Evan Comerford converted a first-minute free and two minutes later the Dubliners were unlucky to see Thomas E Donohoe’s shot fly across the face of the goal and just outside the right-hand upright. Later on they could have atoned for that miss and in similar circumstances Brendan McCole just had to keep his low effort on target but again the ball flew just wide. All DCU had to show for their superiority was another solitary point from Michael Bannigan. Carlow got off the mark when Chris Byrne ran at the DCU cover, drew the foul and Cian Farrell converted the resultant free.
The home team played with the aid of a slight breeze in the opening half and while it wasn’t significant the slight mist made underfoot conditions difficult with some players losing their balance as they turned quickly.
By half-time the eventual winners led 0-5 to 0-2. A score from Shane Carthy and a brace from the dangerous David Garland accounted for the DCU total while Evan Lowry scored the second IT Carlow point.
If Carlow were to sow doubt into their opponents’ minds they needed to find some early points in the second half.
Instead DCU annexed those scores. Shortly after the restart Comerford posted the second of his three points over the hour and a passing movement saw Michael Bannigan raise another white flag.
Carlow lost two players to black cards in the final quarter with Richard Hitchcock first to go on 51 minutes while Niall Hughes was unlucky to be dismissed when his tackle on Jordan Morrissey was at best mistimed.
One of the reasons the black card was introduced was a deterrent for cynical play. The rule and the sanction needs to be revisited.
The diminished Carlow numbers had no bearing on the result but it had to leave a bitter taste for the two players who were probably playing the biggest game of their lives.
With Éire Óg and Carlow senior footballer Jordan Morrissey pulling the strings for the eventual winners, DCU eased their way into an eight-point lead. A late free from Cian Farrell brought an end to the scoring for this year’s premier third level football competition. It may have ended in defeat, but IT Carlow will look back on the 2020 Sigerson with fond memories.
DCU: Evan Comerford (0-3 frees, Dublin); Conor Morrison (Donegal), Brendan McCole (Donegal), Daniel Corcoran (Louth), Kevin Flynn (Kildare), Sean McMahon (Dublin), Declan Monaghan (Dublin); Jordan Morrissey (Carlow), Sean Bugler (Dublin); Shane Carthy (0-1, Dublin), Michael Bannigan (0-3, 0-2 frees, Monaghan), Brian Stack (Roscommon); Thomas E Donohoe (0-1 free, Cavan), Paddy Small (0-2), David Garland (0-4, 0-1 free, Monaghan). Subs: Tom Fox (Dublin) for Donohoe (37 mins), Mark Curran (Donegal) for Morrison (54 mins), Stephen Smith (Dublin) for Stack (55 mins), Nathan Gavigan (Donegal) for McMahon (59 mins), Kieran Dwyer (Kerry) for Corcoran (59 mins).
IT Carlow: Killian Roche (Clare); Josh Moore (Carlow), Richard Hitchcock Laois), Ronan Ryan (Meath), Conor Doyle (Carlow), Trevor Collins (Laois), Cathal Walsh (Wexford); Niall Hughes (Wexford), Sean Ryan (Cork); Padraig O’Toole (Wicklow), Chris Byrne (0-1, Kildare), Adam Steed (Kildare); Cian Farrell (0-6 frees, Offaly), Jack Walsh (Offaly), Evan Lowry (0-1 free, Laois). Subs: Gearoid Murphy (Wicklow) for J Walsh (37 mins), Sean Crowley for C Walsh (48 mins), Tommy Griffin (Limerick) for Steed (51 mins).
Referee: Derek O’Mahony (Tipperary).