UCD beat rivals DCU to end 20-year wait for Sigerson Cup

UCD – 0-10 DCU – 2-02 

Jack McCaffrey paid tribute to the late Dave Billings as UCD overcame DCU by two points to win the Sigerson Cup.

It meant that UCD completed a league and cup double for the season as the southsiders won their first Sigerson since 1996.

Dave Billings was a UCD legend who managed numerous UCD teams. He died suddenly in April of last year. UCD star Jack McCaffrey paid tribute in his victory speech.

“The main man worth mentioning today is Dave Billings. Dave was with us all the way just as he was with us every minute through the way in UCD. He was a very special man and he always preached about how the Sigerson Cup wasn’t really about the winning, it was about the friendships you made. That’s what the Sigerson is all about but winning this isn’t half bad either!”

UCD were in control for large parts of the match and DCU could have no complaints on a day of tough weather conditions in Jordanstown, Belfast.

Westmeath’s John Heslin put in a man of the match display for UCD, scoring six points with some excellent long-range shooting.

However UCD’s defence were also in fine form as a backline including Ryan Wylie, Jack McCaffrey and Michael Fitzsimon only conceded one score in the second-half, a penalty by Conor Moynagh.

DCU had led 1-2 to 0-4 at the break thanks to a Steven O’Brien goal after some great interplay by DCU. They scored 1-1 at the end of the half to storm ahead after UCD had led for much of the first period.

UCD came out inspired after the break and scored four unanswered points, including a trio from Heslin.

Moynagh’s goal meant for a tense finish but points from Heslin and Coen ensured that UCD had won the Sigerson Cup for the first time since 1996.

UCD reaction


UCD have won the most Sigerson Cups (33) but had not won the competition since 1996

UCD star Ryan Wylie also paid tribute to Billings.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling. Since I started in UCD, it has been the dream to win. We were happy to win the league but the Sigerson is extra special to do in the year that the great Dave Billings passed away.”

UCD boss John Divilly couldn’t be happier at the performance of his entire panel over the weekend.

“I’m so happy for the group of lads. Everyone behind the scenes in the college has put in a lot of work.”

“The passing of Dave can hinder in a way by making it too emotional but they kept themselves in check until the end. It is great that Nettie Billings was there to see it as well.”

“On the football side of things, I thought we were in control of the match until we lost a bad break in midfield and they opened us up. We should have been leading at half-time after having a lot of possession but we went in behind.”

“So we had to fight back and despite setbacks like Paul Mannion’s injury and Niall Kelly’s black card, we tried to play the best football we could possibly play. It’s a team effort and we were delighted with everyone over the weekend.”

Man of the MatchJohn Heslin (UCD)

UCD: E Keogh (Laois); R Wylie (Monaghan), D Hyland (Kildare), D Byrne (Dublin), C Mullaly (Dublin), M Fitzsimons (Dublin), J McCaffrey (Dublin); L Casey (Tipperary), R McDaid (Dublin); C McCarthy (Monaghan), J Heslin (Westmeath), C Basquel (Dublin); E Lowry (Laois), P Mannion (Dublin), N Kelly (Kildare)

Substitutes: T Hayes (Cavan) for Mannion (17), J McEntee (Meath) for Kelly (BC, 29), S Coen (Mayo) for McEntee (43), J Barry (Kerry) for Lowry (53), S O’Dea (Limerick) for McCaffrey (57), T Moolick for Casey (58).

DCU: P O’Donnell (Donegal); K Daly (Westmeath), K Feeley (Kildare), J Smith (Dublin); S Attride (Laois), C Moynagh (Cavan), D Byrne (Dublin); S O’Brien (Tipperary), M Quinn (Longford); D O’Connor (Mayo), E Smith (Roscommon), C Begley (Laois); R Connor (Longford), R Lyons (Fermanagh), S Carey (Monaghan)

Substitutes: S Carthy (Dublin) for Quinn (HT), C McGraynor (Wicklow) for Connor (HT),D Ward (Monaghan) for Daly (44), C McHugh (Dublin) for Carey (47), C Breheny (Sligo) for Lyons (47), C McNally (Armagh) for Smith (59).

Scorers for UCD: John Heslin 0-06 (0-4f); Conor McCarthy 0-02,  Stephen Coen, Paul Mannion (0-1f) 0-01 each.

Scorers for DCU: Steven O’Brien, Conor Moynagh (1-0 pen) 1-00 each, Stephen Attride, Shane Carey (0-1f) 0-01 each.

By David Gorman

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