Kerry and Clare combine in lightning attack whilst St. Mary's prepare to meet an old friend
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60 minutes from the big time.
All roads lead to Mallow this weekend as the Electric Ireland Sigerson Cup Semi Final games play out in Cork between real giants of the competition.
Within those games, counties are coming together for the good of the college.
St. Mary's v UCD (Saturday, 3pm)
Conor Meyler (Tyrone) and Conor McCarthy (Monaghan) and Luke Fortune (Cavan) - UCD
Three Ulster men from three neighbouring counties make up the UCD half-forward line in what is an engine room, a reinforcement and a creative hub.
Conor McCarthy plays a more advanced role than the other two and acts as the perfect link man between them and the inside duo of Con O'Callaghan and Evan O'Carroll.
It will be a particularly interesting day for Conor Meyler who has skin in both camps. It was only two years ago that he led St. Mary's Belfast to their first ever and only ever Sigerson title but now he's with the new champions and, now, his old teammates stand in his way.
He'll be helped by Luke Fortune on the other wing who is just getting better and better. The versatile Breffni man has represented his college and county in the full back line, in the half back line and on the other 45' and he lit the place up two weeks ago with a phenomenal goal against DIT, taking the ball the whole way from the sideline and ripping the net.
— GAA JOE (@GAA__JOE) February 1, 2019
Even with Liam Silke missing from the half back line for UCD, owing to club commitments for Corofin, the champions will take some stopping.
UCC v NUI Galway (Sunday, 2pm)
Paudie Clifford (Kerry) and Eimhin Courtney (Clare) - UCC
We could talk all day about Sean O'Shea and what seems to be a customary 12 points he's posting for Kerry and UCC in every game and, in the other changing room, the exhilarating career of Kieran Molloy is well documented, as is the rise of Cein D'Arcy and the consistent class of Peter Cooke.
But there are two hotshots for UCC who have routinely been going about their business and their trade is one of destruction.
Paudie Clifford won the All-Ireland junior title with Kerry last year and it doesn't take the most trenchant researcher to work out that he has decent genes in his make-up. The Fossa forward is in flying form and his 3-1 against Athlone earlier in the tournament is just a warning shot of what he could do if you even think of taking your eye off him for a second.
Despite a real traditional rivalry between Kerry and Clare and a feeling in the Kingdom - as Paul Galvin once put it - that the Banner outfit needed to be kept down for fear they'd rise and rise, both counties come together for Sigerson and for UCC. The electrifying Eimhin Courtney joins Clifford in a razor-sharp Cork attack that will cause NUI Galway all sorts of headaches.
The former St. Finnian's student made his senior inter-county debut for Clare last season and, in this his fourth year with the college, he has the opportunity to lead the mighty UCC back to the final for the first time since 2015.
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.
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