DCU issued a warning to rivals with a dominant display to defeat Athlone IT by 22 points in the first round of the Sigerson Cup.
DCU 6-14 Athlone IT 1-7
The scoreline did not flatter the defending champions as they powered past a totally outclassed Athlone IT team at the DCU Sportsgrounds.
Monaghan’s Shane Carey scored an eye catching 3-6, with Conor McGraynor acting as the perfect foil for Carey in the full-forward line.
Athlone IT struggled to deal with the Wicklow man and while he was wasteful at times with his shooting, his large presence upfront created chances which Carey exploited.
DCU took charge all over the pitch from the off, pushing most of their players into Athlone’s half of the pitch. Davey Byrne and Conor Moynagh were utterly dominant in the half-back to midfield area and they were the heartbeat of the highly-fancied DCU outfit.
However Athlone stayed within touching distance thanks to the play of intercounty Westmeath star Kieran Martin. In a disappointing display, Martin was one of the few to stand out for Athlone IT scoring 1-5.
In truth, it was all about DCU and they separated themselves by the half-time whistle with goals from McGraynor and Carey. The pick of their scores in the first-half was a sumptuous chip up and point by Longford’s Micky Quinn and it demonstrated DCU’s attacking power. The half-time score was 2-06 to 0-02.
DCU never relented throughout the contest and they added another goal quickly after the break after a fantastic team move following an impressive run from Mayo’s Diarmuid O’Connor.
With DCU well out of sight, Athlone IT continued to push forward but it left big gaps at the back and DCU’s talented attack took advantage. Shane Carthy, Ultan Harney added to the goal tally and Shane Carey rounded off a fine display with a hat-trick.
The competition for places at DCU was evident as the subs continued to punish Athlone IT as Kerry’s David Mannix made an impression as a substitute.
All in all, it was job done by DCU, who should face sterner tests in the future. They will face IT Carlow in the quarter-finals, who beat IT Sligo 1-10 to 0-10.
Elsewhere, NUIG Galway and Queen’s University Belfast were victorious against Trinity College Dublin and Maynooth University respectively.
DCU: S Carey 3-6 (0-4f), U Harney 1-1, S Carthy, C McGraynor 1-0 each, D O'Connor, M Quinn, D Mannix 0-2 each, D Ward 0-1.
Athlone IT: K Martin 1-5 (0-2f), C McMonagle 0-2.
Man of the Match: Shane Carey (DCU)