Mayo's brightest prospects linking with Dublin hotshots in game everyone wanted 9 months ago

Mayo's brightest prospects linking with Dublin hotshots in game everyone wanted

You couldn't have picked a better match-up.

For history, for form, for the collection of individual talent from all over Ireland, UCD v DCU in the Electric Ireland Sigerson Cup Quarter-final is going to have it all.

On Wednesday night, the last eight of one of the best competitions in the GAA gets under way. NUI Galway against Jordanstown is a standout - as Jordanstown usually are in any fixture - whilst 2017 kingpins St. Mary's take on Stephen O'Hanlon-inspired Maynooth. Elsewhere, IT Carlow have the impossible task of trying to keep Sean O'Shea off the scoresheet but the highlight of the evening once again will be found at Belfield as the champions, UCD, host the Fresher champions, DCU.

The innate rivalry between the south Dublin and the north Dublin college cannot be overstated and the talent at both of their disposal will make it a cracker.

Electric Ireland are live streaming it and it’s one not to be missed.

The Electric Ireland Sigerson Cup
Quarter-final
UCD v DCU
Belfield, 7.30pm (coverage from 7.15pm)

Live-streaming:
www.Electricireland.ie/HEC

And throughout what promises to be a 60-minute cracker, some eye-catching battles and partnerships will take shape.

DCU's Mayo and Dublin love

Brian Reape/Shairoze Akram (Mayo) with Stephen Smith/Evan Comerford (Dublin)

Two former Mayo under-21 team mates, who led the county to an All-Ireland title in 2016, are key cogs in the DCU machine.

Akram, who made his trade as a skilful wing back, is alternating between 10 and 5 for the Dublin outfit, still offering the energy, drive and attacking prowess that makes him an exciting prospect for the men from the west.

Brian Reape's stock grows bigger every week, after bursting onto the scene with that screamer goal in the first league game against Roscommon.

He's a pure winner. During the same time he helped Mayo to under-21 glory, he also shot DCU to the Fresher title and now he's leading the line for the Sigerson outfit and he's doing it alongside two Dublin stars for the future.

You couldn't have a higher ranking as a prospect than what Evan Comerford has right now, being earmarked as Stephen Cluxton's long-term successor. We're not talking about a sub keeper, we're talking about the young fella who is obliged to take over from the best goalkeeper of all time - one of the best footballers ever - and a man who reinvented the position and has become not only Dublin's captain but their playmaker. To top it all off, he has to fill those shoes within the biggest, most precious empire being built in the sport and he will do so in the most perilous part of the pitch. Playing against the Sigerson champions won't bother him.

Whilst Comerford will start proceedings from the tee, Mayo's Akram and Reape will be linking up with another Dublin hotshot in the forward line. Stephen Smith has made it onto Jim Gavin's senior panel after a superb club championship, a destruction of the Underdogs, and a convincing O'Byrne Cup campaign.

Akram and Reape have won the under-21 All-Ireland for Mayo, Smith and another highly-rated youngster Tom Fox have done it for Dublin and, whilst the two counties will be the biggest threat to one another again, it's all about DCU on Wednesday night.

So Stephen Coen in the UCD midfield won't be expecting a warm welcome from his Mayo compatriots.

Mícheál Bannigan (DCU) v Conor McCarthy (UCD)

If anyone was under any illusions about DCU's ability to keep pace with the well-known firepower of UCD, they only need to look at the fellow county men in different jerseys.

Conor McCarthy might well be ripping it up with UCD for a second successive year and, with Con O'Callaghan and Laois' Evan O'Carroll, that gets easier and easier to do, but he will have two of his own Monaghan people doing damage at the other side of the pitch.

They come in the form of set-piece master and general dead eye Mícheál Bannigan and David Garland. Garland kicked seven points last year as he guided DCU to the Fresher title and, alongside Bannigan and Reape, can be cause for serious concern for the opposition. It could turn into a Monaghan v Monaghan shootout.

UCD can be flexible with Liam Silke in their backline however. The Galway and Corofin star scored three points whilst marking Brian Howard last week against DIT but he can just as effectively be deployed in the full back line if either of the DCU forwards are acting up.

Electric Ireland Sigerson Cup Quarter-Finals

IT Carlow v UCC
NUI Galway v Jordanstown
St Mary’s v Maynooth University
UCD v DCU

Electric Ireland is proud to support the Electric Ireland Sigerson Cup. As part of its sponsorship, Electric Ireland will live stream eight key Fitzgibbon and Sigerson Cup games at www.electricireland.ie/hec and www.GAA.ie/GAANow, bringing fans closer to the action than ever before. Follow the Championship and be a part of the conversation on social using the hashtag, #FirstClassRivals or visit @ElectricIreland on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Electric Ireland’s Sigerson, Fitzgibbon and Higher Education Championship campaign, #FirstClassRivals, showcases the unique trait of these historic GAA competitions that sees team composition, unlike in club and county Championships, determined by place of learning not place of birth allowing traditional rivals to form the most unexpected of alliances.