DCU dominated for the large part as they cruised past rivals UCD by 15 points in their disappointingly one-sided Sigerson Cup semi-final in St Claire’s on Wednesday evening.
The opening quarter may well have been a tight and cagey affair but the hosts slowly but surely assumed control of matters and kicked on upon the restart to complete an emphatic victory.
Few in advance would have anticipated that such a margin would separate the teams at the final whistle but deprived of their talismanic attacker in Con O’Callaghan, the visitors lacked a consistent scoring threat and failed to gain any kind of foothold at centre field.
To that end, the performance of Shane Carthy were particularly eye-catching as he kept the home team moving forward from midfield and the options up front for DCU proved too much for an overworked away defence.
There was very little to separate the teams initially but neither side willing to commit too much in terms of attacking enterprise with frees from Michael Bannigan and David Garland cancelling out scores at the opposite end from Ray Connellan and Conor Hartley.
Bannigan was a lively presence at centre-forward and was instrumental as DCU turned the screw in the second quarter, assisted as they were by a black card received by Connellan.
Paddy Small fired over a classy effort in the 26th minute and subsequent points from Carthy and Garland ensured a healthy 0-7 to 0-2 interval lead for Paddy Christie’s charges.
Although Gary Walsh trimmed UCD’s deficit popping over a 32nd minute free, it proved a brief ray of light for the visitors whose fate was sealed two minutes later.
Carthy and Garland were involved with the latter felled by Martin O’Connor and although Bannigan’s low penalty was well saved from Gary O’Rourke, the subsequent rebound proved no trouble for the Monaghan forward.
From that juncture, it proved a case of one-way traffic as Small and Garland in particular showcased their point-scoring skills and while they were the only two home forwards that managed to score from play, it proved little more than a statistical curiosity given their total supremacy over the hour.
Scorers for DCU: D Garland 0-7 (3f), M Bannigan 1-2 (1-0 pen, 0-2f), P Small 0-3, E Comerford 0-2 (1f, 1 ‘45’), S Carthy 0-1. Scorers for UCD: R Connellan (f), G Walsh (f), C Hartley 0-1 each.
DCU: E Comerford (Dublin); C Morrison (Donegal), B McCole (Donegal), D Corcoran (Louth); K Flynn (Kildare), J Morrissey (Carlow), D Monaghan (Dublin); S McMahon (Dublin), S Carthy (Dublin); B Stack (Roscommon), M Bannigan (Monaghan), S Bugler (Dublin); T Donohoe (Cavan), D Garland (Monaghan), P Small (Dublin). Subs: T Fox (Dublin) for Donohoe (43), S Smith (Dublin) for Bannigan (55), K Dwyer (Kerry) for Corcoran (55), M Curran (Donegal) for Monaghan (55).
UCD: G O’Rourke (Cavan); L Flatman (Dublin), M Breen (Kerry), M O’Connor (Wexford); K Kennedy (Dublin), R O’Toole (Monaghan), S Coen (Mayo); B O’Sullivan (Kerry), P Ó Cofaigh Byrne (Dublin); B McGinn (Monaghan), C O’Shea (Dublin), L Fortune (Cavan); C Hartley (Offaly), R Connellan (Westmeath), G Walsh (Laois). Subs: R McCormack Down) for Fortune (29), Fortune for McGinn (h-t), C Moriarty (Meath) for Hartley (h-t), F Clifford (Kerry) for Wash (47), S Egan (Dublin) for Fortune (47).
Referee: Cormac Reilly (Meath).