DCU were given a reality check following comprehensive victories over IT Carlow, Trinity College Dublin and Maynooth earlier in the competition and even though this is the league, this result will not give the Sigerson champions much confidence heading into next year.
UCD’s Eoin Lowry tallied up 1-06 in a man-of-the-match display in the cold and greasy conditions.
The game got off to a sluggish start and while the opening scores were shared, 2015 Sigerson Cup hero Conor McGraynor put DCU ahead on 13 minutes.
Although UCD retained more possession in the opening 15 minutes, it was DCU who were taking their chances. The 2014 U21 Footballer of the Year, Conor McHugh, added with a delightful free from the right-hand-side before McGraynor popped up with a pin-point accurate 45 to put the Glasnevin men 0-06 to 0-03 up.
The scoreline was flattering for DCU however, UCD began to justify their territory in the opposition half and a cleverly worked move initiated by none other than Jack McCaffrey ended up with the ball being fisted in at the back post by Eoin Lowry.
Following a spell that saw the south Dubliners score 1-04 unanswered, McHugh and Lowry traded frees to leave the score at 0-07 to 1-08 coming up to the break.
UCD didn’t relent and Meath man Padraic Harnan neatly tucked away a second goal to put the sides in 0-08 to 2-09 at the interval.
Dublin’s Paul Mannion put over his fourth for UCD just four minutes into the second half and they seemingly put one hand on the trophy as a nine-point lead opened up.
McGraynor powered over his third of the night to keep the deficit at nine and when DCU’s Cian Breheny was dragged down by Michael Fitzsimon, who luckily didn’t receive a black card, McHugh duly converted.
McHugh was replaced by Ryan Lyons, who took over the free taking responsibilities. Lyons’ brief cameo saw two pointed frees that would bring the game back to six points, but unfortunately for his side, they were the last scores his team would conjure up.
UCD emptied their bench and stormed further ahead with late scores coming from Mannion, Lowry, Tommy Moolick, James McEntee and a Paul Kingston free.
Monaghan’s Ryan Wylie lifted the Cup and credited the win to “30 leaders” and “every man leading every person on the training field and the playing field”.
Wylie, who is eyeing a first Sigerson Cup for UCD since 1996, also praised “the freshers that have emerged this year that have given us (UCD) a bit of injection”.
DCU Team: Brendan Flynn, Dessie Ward, David Byrne, Stephen Attride(0-1), Dessie Reynolds, Conor Moynagh, Aiden O’Halloran, Steven O’Brien, Shane Carthy, Rory O’Connor, Tom Lahiff, Ultan Harney(0-2), Conor McHugh(0-4,3f), Conor McGraynor(0-3,1f), Kevin Feely.
Subs: Cian Breheny for O’Brien, Conor McNally for Reynolds, Jonathan Bealin for Moynagh, Nathan Gavigan for O’Halloran, Ryan lyons(0-2f) for McHugh, Mark Plunkett for Carthy.
UCD Team: Eoghan Keogh; Ryan Wylie, David Hyland, Michael Fitzsimons; Conor Mullaly, David Byrne, Sean O’Dea (0-1); Darragh Murphy (0-1), Tommy Moolick (0-1); Niall Kelly (0-1), Padraic Harnan (1-0), Jack McCaffrey (0-1); Eoin Lowry (1-6, 3f), Paul Mannion (0-4, 1f), Paul Kingston (0-2, 1f).
Subs: Robert McDaid for Byrne, James McEntee (0-1) for Kelly, Liam Casey for Murphy, Jack Barry for McCaffrey, Niall McInerney for Mullaly, Tom Hayes for Lowry.