Letterkenny Institute of Technology suffered a heartbreaking loss when Adam Steed’s 62ndminute goal sent Institute of Technology Carlow into the final of the Sigerson Cup in the fog in Inniskeen.
Letterkenny Institute of Technology 1-9 Institute of Technology Carlow 2-9
For a while last night at Gatten Park in Inniskeen it looked like manager Michael Murphy and his team from Letterkenny Institute of Technology would be writing their most famous chapter yet in a spellbinding maiden campaign in the Sigerson Cup.
He won the competition with DCU in 2012 – the same year he captained Donegal to Ulster and All-Ireland success. Today, DCU were already in the final, having deciphered UCD in stunning fashion, 1-15 to 0-3, on Dublin’s north-side.
LyIT who had Darragh Black sent off on 42 minutes, looked as though they’d join them in the final as they were leading Institute of Technology Carlow 0-8 to 0-6.
Ten minutes from time, 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.
From then on, it was Carlow, with Padraigh O’Toole scoring his third of the evening and Chris Byrne his first. A second goal was almost registered by Cian Farrell, who turned and shot wide.
LyIT looked buried and 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.
A free from Farrell opened the scoring for the Leinster-based side before Eoghan McGettigan levelled after a Michael Langan free cannoned down off the upright on seven minutes.
Farrell restored the Carlow lead prior to a boomer from Adam Steed knocking over a boomer for long-range. LyIT, though, kept in touch from an impressive point on the run from the impressive Oisin Langan on 16 minutes.
Carlow had ruffled a few feathers of their own on their way to the semi-final, with a shock 3-9 to 0-14 win over 23-time winners and reigning champions University College Cork. Beforehand, Pat Critchley, the Carlow manager, saw his troops overcome the University of Limerick on an 0-11 to 0-10 scoreline.
Farrell knocked over a third free to establish a two-point lead and then tried his luck from 40 metres after intercepting a kick-out from Michael Lynch, who backpedaled and was relieved to see the ball go wide.
LyIT weren’t at their best but were clinging onto the Carlow coattails as was evident when Langan’s free, some 24 minutes in, brought the north-westerners back to just one down at 0-4 to 0-3. His centre-field partner, Caomhinn Marley, stroked over a point to level it up with ease before Aaron Gilhooley edged LyIT in front for the first time.
On the face of it, LyIT weren’t in a bad position heading into the break.
However, Carlow managed not only to equalize through Farrell’s fourth free, they went ahead courtesy of a point from O’Toole on 36 minutes. They repeated their decent start to the first half at the start of the second.
Michael Langan, though, popped over a close-range free to make it 0-6 to 0-6 before the point of the night from Peadar Mogan, with the outside of the right foot. It was then Letterkenny lost Black to a second yellow, 0-7 to 0-6 up with 18 to play.
The yellow-carded Richard Hitchcock, the Carlow full-back, was black-carded and sin-binned when Michael Langan scored from an acute angle to put LyIT 0-8 to 0-6 up.
Drama was to follow. Heartbreak for LyIT. But what a journey it’s been.
Letterkenny Institute of Technology:Michael Lynch (Naomh Colmcille); Aaron Gilhooley (0-1, MacCumhaill’s), Mark McAteer (Glenswilly), Nathan McElwaine (Termon); Liam Jackson (St Mary’s, Louth), Oisin Langan (0-1, St Michael’s), Christian Bonner (Na Rossa); Michael Langan (0-4, 3f, St Michael’s), Caoimhinn Marley (1-1, Glenswilly); Ryan McFadden (Termon), Peadar Mogan (0-1, St Naul’s), Paddy Dolan (St Mary’s Convoy); Darragh Black (Milford), Ultan Doherty (Naomh Conaill), Eoghan McGettigan (0-1, Naomh Conaill). Subs: John Campbell (Buncrana) for Jackson (half-time), Ethan Harkin (Gaoth Dobhair) for R McFadden (54)
Institute of Technology, Carlow:Killian Roche; Josh Moore, Richard Hitchcock, Ronan Ryan; Conor Doyle, Trevor Collins, Cathal Walsh; Niall Hughes, Sean Ryan; Padraigh O’Toole (0-3), Chris Byrne (0-1), Adam Steed (1-1); Cian Farrell (0-4, 4f), Jack Walsh, Evan Lowry (1-0). Subs: Gearoid Murphy (0-1) for C Walsh (38), Tommy Griffin for J Walsh (42), Patrick O’Connor for Hitchcock (56)
Referee:Martin McNally Monaghan.Tags: