ST PAT’S, Palmerstown man Dr Brian Carson is looking positively towards UL’s encounter with Sigerson Cup holders UCD this Friday, feeling his side improved vastly for the latter 40 minutes of their recent quarter-final contest against DIT.
UL matched their semi-final berth in 2016 with the victory over DIT, a result that saw the Limerick students overcome a shaky start to take total control of the contest over the latter stages.
“We had a poor start and we found ourselves 0-6 to 0-2 down with about 20 minutes played,” Carson explains. “It was really windy, poor conditions, and every time we turned over a ball in those opening minutes they took advantage.
“But we turned things around and dominated possession. We knew we had to work on our defence, as we’d conceded 4-15 to Maynooth last time around [UL scored an astonishing 3-19, with the game going to extra time], and you don’t win many games conceding those kind of points.”
That progress has been made in that department is abundantly clear: once UL took control of the quarterfinal contest, DIT scored just a single point in 40 minutes, with UL winning out in tough conditions by 0-10 to 0-7.
Carson – who worked at DIT for several years, and took on the coaching role of the Sigerson Cup side two years ago – still travels back and forth to play alongside his St Pat’s team mates at weekends, despite his post as a Lecturer in Exercise Physiology on Shannonside.
“It’s different training a Sigerson side, as they all have difficult schedules; a lot of demands on their time,” Carson explains.
“We don’t do any fitness work as a team. It’s all technique, due to limited time. These guys are all serious players and it’s about creating the strongest side we can with the limited time we have available.
“There are a lot of players on the panel that I’d expect big things from in the coming years. I don’t want to single people out, as they’re all great players, but there’s great potential,” he continues.
UCD demolished UL by a score of 4-12 to 1-9 in last year’s Sigerson Cup semi-final, and went on to win the title. The south Dublin side knocked out favourites Ulster University in the last round this year, and feature a host of big names: Jack McCaffrey, Paul Mannion, Colm Basquel and Mayo man Stephen Coen have all featured already in the 2017 tournament.
“They’ve got some great players, but so have we, including a few guys from smaller counties who are really going to make an impact” Carson tells us. “I expect we’ll be much closer than last time around.”

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