IT Carlow booked their place in the final of the Sigerson Cup in dramatic fashion when Adam Steed’s 62nd minute goal defeated Letterkenny IT the fog in Inniskeen.
LyIT who had Darragh Black sent off on 42 minutes, looked as though they’d join them in the final as they were leading 0-8 to 0-6 on 49 minutes.
Ten minutes from time, though, Cian Farrell spun on a shot and although he might’ve been shooting for a spectacular point, his stunning effort came back off Michael Lynch’s crossbar and the rebound was picked up by Evan Lowry, who spun to shoot the opening goal of the game.
Padraigh O’Toole scored his third of the evening and Chris Byrne his first. A second goal was almost registered by Farrell, who turned and shot wide. Michael Murphy’s LyIT were reeling and looked buried.
Although Michael Langan scored a free late on, it looked over. But in the 61stminute, Eoghan McGettigan skipped in from the sideline and centred for Caoimhinn Marley to slap home a goal from close range. It left it Letterkenny Institute of Technology 1-9 Institute of Technology Carlow 1-9.
Talk spread through the night air about extra-time. Just when folk were getting settled, there was a cruel twist for LyIT. Farrell spayed a ball across the square and in at the back post came Steed to punch the winner.
Murphy’s team had defied the critics to progress to the last four following a 1-8 to 3-4 win in Athlone and then another victory on the road against Sligo, 1-14 to 1-8.
In the first half, Carlow had most of the play and although they managed three frees from Farrell, it was LyIT who went in at the break having turned a 0-4 to 0-2 deficit into a 0-5 to 0-4 advantage with Michael Langan, Marley and Aaron Gilhooley scoring.
There wasn’t much in it in the second half and although LyIT were a man down, they got two in front with Peadar Mogan’s point the best of the night. They looked as though they might write the next chapter in an amazing maiden run in the first ever time in the competition. But it wasn’t to be. Drama at the bitter end. Heartbreak for LyIT. Joy for IT Carlow, who meet DCU in the final.
IT Carlow: Killian Roche; Josh Moore, Richard Hitchcock, Ronan Ryan; Conor Doyle, Trevor Collins, Cathal Walsh; Niall Hughes, Sean Ryan; Padraig Ó’Toole (0-3), Chris Byrne (0-1), Adam Steed; Cian Farrell (0-4, 3fs, 1m), Jack Walsh, Evan Lowry (1-0). Subs: Gearoid Murphy (0-1, 1 ’45’) for C.Walsh (38 mins), Tommy Griffin for J.Walsh (42 mins), Patrick O’Connor for Hitchcock (56 mins).
Letterkenny IT: Michael Lynch; Aaron Gillooley (0-1), Mark McAteer (Glenswilly), Nathan McElwaine; Liam Jackson, Ultan Doherty, Christian Bonner; Michael Langan (0-4, 3fs), Caoimhin Marley (1-1); Ryan McFadden, Peadar Mogan (0-1), Paddy Dolan; Darragh Black, Eoghan McGettigan (0-1); Oisin Langan (0-1). Subs: John Campbell for Jackson (Half-time), Ethan Harkin for R.McFadden (54 mins).
Referee: Martin McNally (Monaghan).