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15th Feb 2023

The four big talking points ahead of the Sigerson Cup final

Niall McIntyre

UCC and UL will contest the Sigerson Cup final on Wednesday night.

UCC are the kingpins, they have won the competition 23 times, but despite having never won the competition before, UL are the favourites.

They lost last year’s final to NUIG and that gives them a wrong to right. Here are the five biggest talking points ahead of the SETU Waterford finale.

Is the competition as important as it once was?


And 2019 was when it first started losings its prestige.

That was the first year in 26 years that there was no Sigerson Cup weekend which meant that, by extension, the final took place in the middle of the week. Big competitions do not have their finals in the middle of the week.

It has been the same story for the last two renewals and, this being a Wednesday, it will be another diminished occasion tonight.

There are many reasons for this midweek mash-up but the main one, due to the condensed nature of the season, is that there’s a barely a free weekend from here to July.

The 2018 final was the last one to take place on a Saturday and for us, for many reasons, that was much more memorable than the last three.

Maybe it’s the fact that Con O’Callaghan was playing that day, that Kieran Molloy was rushing up the road too, but if you were there in 2019 for the following year’s final in O’Moore Park, along with no more than 200 others, you’d have realised that this competition, sad as it is to say it, is going downhill.

The moral of the story of course being: Bring back weekend finals!

Morgan still going strong on UCC sideline

Billy Morgan hesitantly agreed to become UCC’s Sigerson manager in 2009 but 14 years on, he’s still going strong.

The 78-year-old will patrol the UCC line for a seventh Sigerson Cup final this Wednesday, as he aims to win the competition for a fourth time.

His previous triumphs as manager came in 2011, 2014 and 2019.

The Nemo Rangers club-man has previously expressed his frustrations about the squeezed nature of the competition – he doesn’t feel it gets the respect it deserves – but  few have done more for it.

O’Mahony the man of the moment for UCC

Having lit up the All-Ireland junior hurling championship for Ballygiblin, O’Mahony has taken that form cross-code to Gaelic football.

He scored a stunning goal for the Cork seniors in their hammering of Kildare a fortnight ago, there’s definitely more to come on that front, but most eye-catching of all has been his form for UCC in the Sigerson Cup.

The Mitchelstown footballers hunts for goals and he scored a stunner in their quarter final win over St Mary’s, before nailing a penalty in the shoot-out. He then hit 0-6, four from play in their semi-final win over TUD.

The man is playing brilliant stuff, and UL will need to come with an O’Mahony-shaped plan.

UL’s diverse team

Nine different counties represented UL in their semi-final win over DCU. Some of these players came from the ‘weaker’ counties such as Leitrim, Limerick and Clare and, as it turned out, these players have been some of UL’s best.

Clare duo Emmett McMahon and Ciaran Downes have been two of the best players in the competition while Leitrim’s Paul Keaney has also impressed.

This might be their only chance to win a top-tier first grade All-Ireland, so it’s no surprise that they take it so seriously.

Predicted line-ups


Dylan Foley; Bríain Murphy, Daniel O’Mahony, Damien Bourke; Maurice Shanley, Rúairí Murphy, Bill Curtin; Shane Merritt, Brian Hartnett; Jack Murphy, Fionn Herlihy, Killian Falvey; Dylan Geaney, Mark Cronin, Cathail O’Mahony.


Conor Flaherty; Colm Moriarty, Jack Glynn, Jack Coyne; Darragh Cashman, Jack O’Brien, Daniel Walsh; Eoghan McLaughlin, Paul Keaney; Ciaran Downes, Ikem Ugweuru, Mark Lenehan; John Hayes, Emmett McMahon, Aaron Griffin.

Electric Ireland Sigerson Cup final

UCC v UL, SETU Waterford Arena.
Wednesday, February 15, 7.30pm.

Watch the game live here, on the Higher Education GAA Youtube.

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