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01st Dec 2022

Castleknock’s Warnock the hero as Maynooth win first ever Ryan Cup final

Niall McIntyre

Darragh Warnock scored a late, great point for Maynooth University, to win the Kildare college their first ever Ryan Cup final.

Maynooth were underdogs coming into the game but got off to a flying start and, despite being clawed back by UCD, they came good again at the death.

Darragh Warnock was the man of the moment for Maynooth as, deep into injury time, he took on the responsibility and kicked a beauty. The game was brimming with tension at that stage – UCD had scored three points in a row to level things up – but Maynooth were patient, and Warnock was the man.

It was a great win for Maynooth, a team managed by new Roscommon senior football manager Davy Burke, and it will give them plenty of confidence ahead of their upcoming Sigerson Cup campaign.

Darragh Walsh had put them in the driving seat with a cracking goal in the first half while Naas duo Darragh Kirwan and Paddy McDermott also played their part.

UCD, managed by John Divilly, did come back but that was when Warnock, who plays for Castleknock, took centre stage. Some UCD players were protesting that the ball had gone wide but when asked about this by videographer and journalist Jerome Quinn, Warnock was quick to set things straight.

“We were working the ball across, a lot of pressure, a lot of roaring and shouting, but I just found myself in a bit of space and decided to swing a leg at it,” said Warnock.

“You say it went over the bar,” replied Quinn, “A few of the UCD lads weren’t too sure now.”

“It did,” said Warnock.

“Yeah it was tight enough, but it curled over on the near post so, I’ll take them all.

“It was a bit of a driver with a bit of a curl.

“We were being hassled, UCD are a great team and we knew coming into this that they would do that. I just found myself in a bit of space, I had the time, so I just had to take a breath and then swing it over.”

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