Three Ulster Sigerson sides preparing for tough assignments

Conor Deegan’s Queen’s side will open up their Sigerson campaign this evening when they meet NUI Galway in Dublin.

The game at Whitehall Colmcille Collins Avenue (7pm) will see the Belfast college taking on an NUIG outfit that progressed past Ulster University last week without the game being completed.

That was due to an extensive delay on the pitch as Galway’s Sean Mulkerrins suffered a bad knee injury. With the Connacht side a couple of points up with 58 minutes on the clock and no ambulance appearing for a long time, it was agreed by all parties that NUIG would progress even if the official result was recorded as 0-0 to 0-0.

They had been leading 1-10 to 2-5 at the time of that unfortunate incident thanks to a great second-half fightback.

Trailing by five points at the break, the likes of Tomo Culhane and Matthew Tierney started to chip away at the deficit before All-Star nominee Sean Kelly grabbed their goal.

Queen’s have a solid squad this year although access to county players has been an issue. The likes of Armagh pair Tiernan Kelly and Ben Crealey should give them a good standing, but they have been busy with Orchard duties.

Down’s Daniel Guinness, Tyrone’s Matthew Murnaghan and Ryan Conroy and Derry’s Oisin and Lorcan McWilliams are other important players.

Letterkenny IT are first up this afternoon as they meet University of Limerick at the NUI Galway Connacht GAA Air Dome (3.30pm).

The Donegal side gained a smidgen of revenge for last year’s semi-final loss to IT Carlow in 2020 – the last time the competition was played – when they struck late against the same opposition in the first round.

Things did not look good for Maxi Curran’s outfit as they trailed by four points with as many minutes remaining but a goal from Keelan McGroddy got them back into it and it was followed by points from Liam Gaughan, Rory O’Donnell and Jason McGee to secure a 1-13 to 1-11 win.

The Limerick team are one of the competition’s favourites and they delivered a statement of intent by hammering Sligo IT by 20 points in round one.

David Clifford helped himself to 1-4 and he is one of a number of top players that Letterkenny must try and contain.

Tomorrow, St Mary’s will try and build on their impressive win over Trinity when they come up against more Dublin opposition, DCU, at the Davitt’s ground (2pm).

Paddy Quigg got their goal while Crossmaglen’s Cian McConville tagged on a few late scores as Gavin McGilly’s side finished well in the 1-12 to 1-8 win over Trinity.

Holders DCU powered past Maynooth with Sligo’s Red Og Murphy putting on a masterclass in the middle while Robert Finnerty and Joseph Hagan raised green flags in the 2-17 to 1-9 win.

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