DCU collected their fifth Electric Ireland HE Sigerson Cup crown on Wednesday night after shaking off a dogged IT Carlow to win by seven points (0-14 to 0-7) in Glasnevin.
The Dublin college entered the game as heavy favourites given the manner with which they hammered both Queens University Belfast and UCD en route to Wednesday night’s final. The Carlow men, meanwhile, were preparing for a first-ever final after shocking last year’s champions UCC in the quarter-finals.
The North Dublin outfit were full value for their win on the night with much of the praise being heaped onto goalkeeper Evan Comerford.
Comerford’s status as the back-up goalkeeper to Stephen Cluxton means he is perhaps the most talked about and well-known understudy in Gaelic Games.
However, whilst he’s had the opportunity to showcase his skills in big games such as Leinster finals and Allianz League encounters with Kerry, the higher-education competition gave the Dublin shot-stopper the chance to showcase his free-taking ability.
The Ballymun Kickhams man finished the final with 0-3 to his name. However, much like the man he’s striving to emulate when pressed on his contribution, Comerford was adamant that he’d have disappointed not to kick all three scores.
“I would have been disappointed if they hadn’t gone over, they weren’t too far out. I was happy enough to get them over the bar and help the team out a small bit,” Comerford said.
The DCU man did, however, give an indication of just how strong the wind was on the night in Glasnevin.
“We didn’t estimate how strong it was before we came out onto the pitch.
“Once you start playing and kick against it, you see how strong it was. Testament to Carlow, they dealt with it very strongly in the first half and really kept themselves in the game.”
Testament to IT Carlow is right, they deserve credit. Pat Critchley’s side hung with the favourites for the majority of the game before DCU pulled away kicking four of the last five points.
Comerford knew they were never going to go away and that last night’s final would not play out the same way as their previous two games in the competition.
“It was always going to be a case where it was five, six points in the game, we were never going to hammer them like the last two games. It’s a testament to their preparations all year, they really put it up to us, it was a great challenge.”
Of course, there can be no denying that DCU’s win was no doubt helped by the fact that they played each of their games at home. Comerford is aware of that fact and is just thankful for the support that the team received en route.
“Them little factors all row in at the end of the day and all help towards the team playing well. We had a load of people from the college coming out here to us and that helped us crawl over the line in the end.
“It was great to have all the support here.”