Team of the Sigerson Cup
It's been a great month of Electric Ireland Sigerson Cup football.
They'll say its importance is weaning, they'll say it doesn't matter any more. The magic is still there though, and the smiles on Billy Morgan's, Sean O'Shea's and every UCC face in Portlaosie on a windy Wednesday night showed that.
— GAA JOE (@GAA__JOE) February 20, 2019
Here's our best 15 of the competition.
1 Marc Reid (St Mary's Belfast, Down)
The Ranch were one of the meanest defences in the competition only conceding two goals the whole way through and their Down kept them all in line.
His short kickouts were accurate and his long ones played to Jarlath Óg Burns strenghts in midfield.
2 Liam Rafferty (St Mary's Belfast, Tyrone)
Showed nerves of steel to kick the winner in the shootout in the first round against NUI Galway. Got forward for a scores from distance as the tournament progressed and was part of the heroic rearguard effort that kept UCD's lethal full forward line scoreless from play.
This, from 0.32 was the highlight though.
Video: See St Mary's win this afternoon's @ElectricIreland Sigerson Cup quarter-final with Maynooth and reaction from Colm Byrne (@TyroneGAALive & @EglishGAC) St Mary's won by 0-15 to 0-13.. pic.twitter.com/9wbCELidRm
— GAA Higher Education (@HigherEdGAA) February 6, 2019
3 Miceal Rooney (St Mary's Belfast, Down)
Never stopped running, probing and trying in the final. The Down man was solid this whole campaign.
4 Graham O'Sullivan (UCC, Kerry)
Bursted forward for two crucial points in the final. Was solid in defence too.
— UCC GAA (@ucc_gaa) February 21, 2019
5 Kieran Molloy (NUI Galway, Galway)
Always steps up when NUI Galway need him. Kicked a heroic winner against Queen's and then followed it up with a clutching goal against UUJ.
Video: See all the goals and drama as @nuiggaa1 win at @QueensGAA tonight in the @ElectricIreland Sigerson Cup, 1-8 to 1-7.. @officialgaa with Kieran Molloy's winning point & reaction @Galway_GAA pic.twitter.com/CRNT9s6OJH
— Jerome Quinn (@JeromeQuinn) January 23, 2019
One of the Electric Ireland Sigerson Cup's best players of the last two years.
6 Brian Ó Beaglaoich (UCC, Kerry)
Holds the centre well for UCC and much of their attacks break out from his smart, incisive runs and passes.
7 Cian Kiely (UCC, Cork)
UCC's captain fantastic led by example the whole competition long. Kicked a fine score when St Mary's were coming back into the final. A direct wing back with plenty of bite, with leaders like this fella, you'd wonder how the Cork county team are going so bad.
Video: ‘Age doesn’t come into it’ - @ucc_gaa captain Cian Kiely pays tribute to Billy Morgan after their @ElectricIreland Sigerson Cup Final win last night.. @OfficialCorkGAA @BallincolligGAA pic.twitter.com/metDXKExDJ
— GAA Higher Education (@HigherEdGAA) February 21, 2019
8 Jarlath Óg Burns (St Mary's Belfast, Armagh)
A beast in the middle for Mary's. Their captain caught kickouts for sport and drove forward like King Kong in his prime leaving victims in his destructive wake.
Video: What about this for inspirational play today by Jarly Og Burns for St Mary's - fielding a high ball, driving forward in the lead-up to their goal, and then scoring a point in the @ElectricIreland Sigerson Cup win over IT Tralee.. #GAA pic.twitter.com/NjQXPRGoAN
— GAA Higher Education (@HigherEdGAA) January 30, 2019
9 Jack Kennedy (UCC, Tipperary)
The Tipperary man is so slick in possession and his calmness and ability to pick the right pass and make the right decision is a key part of the UCC machine.
10 Keelan Sexton (UL, Clare)
Turned in one of the performances of the competition against DIT when he was unplayable and scored 1-8 from play. The Clare man also tried hard against IT Carlow and was unlucky for his side to be dumped out at that stage.
11 Sean Ó Shea (UCC, Kerry)
The most glorious kicker in all the land. Barely missed a free all campaign for UCC and he lashed them over from play too.
Capped it off with a man-of-the-match performance in the final. 2019 is going to be the year of Sean O'Shea.
His manager Billy Morgan summed it up after the game.
"He's an absolutely class player, even with the mass defence, it's impossible to stop him from scoring."
12 Shane McGuigan (St Mary's Belfast, Derry)
Stepped up for St Mary's whenever they needed him. He was their go-to forward for much of the competition but he thrived on the pressure. Kicked some fine points against UCC again in the final. Will be a key man in the Derry resurrection.
13 Padraig Fogarty (Maynooth University, Kildare)
Maynooth University brave Electric Ireland Sigerson Cup run was only ended by a brilliant St Mary's team. The Kildare sharpshooter kicked points from all angles for them in the win against Queen's and against Mary's.
Video: Great point! Padraig Fogarty kicks a brilliant score from a tight angle for @MaynoothUniGAA in today's @ElectricIreland Sigerson Cup win at @QueensGAA in Belfast.. #GAA @MQ_Video @KildareGAA pic.twitter.com/gYveCamvYr
— GAA Higher Education (@HigherEdGAA) January 20, 2019
14 Evan O'Carroll (UCD, Laois)
Not many could handle the big, burly Laois man with the keen eye for a goal. Racked up some big scorelines in UCD's campaign.
15 Conor Keane (IT Tralee, Kerry)
The Killarney Legion goal-machine came up with the goods for IT Tralee against IT Sligo and against St Mary's.
*All of the highlights and videos in this article came from the brilliant coverage of Jerome Quinn.