Queen's GFC launch Biggest Sigerson to date
March 02, 2007
Ulster Bank Sigerson Cup 2007 Press Release:
Queen's GFC launch Biggest Sigerson to date
By Mark Rooney
The excitement is building. The waiting is over. On the occasion of their 75th anniversary year, Queen's GAA will play host to one of the most prestigious competitions in Gaelic Football, and the biggest sports event on the Irish intervarsity calendar: the Ulster Bank Sigerson Cup 2007. Five thousand spectators from all over Ireland will travel to the Malone Playing Fields on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd March to see the country's finest Third Level teams lock horns in what promises to be one of the biggest sporting events to come to Belfast this year. With the Trench Cup, Corn na Mac Leinn and the inaugural Higher Education Cup also being contested, Queen's University will provide a truly great festival of football and cultural activities.
To those involved, the Sigerson Cup is more than just a football competition. For many students it is the highlight of their university life, and the cultural aspects of Sigerson will be recognised this weekend through a series of events to be held off the field of play.
This year's festival kicks off in earnest on Thurday 1st March with the official launch in the Great Hall at Queen's University, followed by a night of stand-up comedy at Mandela Hall with Colin Murphy, Neil Delamare and Tim McGarry. Queen's 1982 Sigerson Cup winning team will be recognised in a reunion dinner on Friday 2nd March, while the Sigerson Banquet and Captains' Table Dinner take place on Saturday 3rd March after the victors of this year's event have been decided. Traditional music and bar facilities at Malone Playing Fields will also ensure that there is a special atmosphere before and after the on-field action, the type of atmosphere that only the Sigerson Cup can create.
So what of this year's four semi-finalists? As hosts, Queen's University may seek to capitalise on their home advantage, and will be driven further by the fact that they have lost the last 3 finals. The experience of Gerard O'Kane, Aidan Carr and captain Daniel McCartan will be vital if the Malone Road men are to reach the Holy Grail which has so painstakingly eluded them in recent years. They will face Cork IT, who are aiming to claim their first ever Sigerson Cup. The Munster side have their best ever chance to do just that, with the hugely talented Kerry duo of Brian Sheehan and Darren O'Sullivan in their ranks. Liam Hodnett's side have been scoring for fun so far in the competition, and may well spoil the Queen's party.
In the other semi-final, two of the Sigerson Cup's most consistent teams in recent years will face off in a repeat of last year's quarter final. The University of Ulster, Jordanstown, have a star-studded panel including Antrim's Paddy Cunningham, Down's James Colgan and team captain, Derry powerhouse Mark Lynch. A win in the back yard of their arch rivals would guarantee the bragging rights in Belfast for the next few years at least, and given their strength in depth, a UUJ victory is a very distinct possibility. Standing between them and a place in the final are IT Sligo, winners of the competition in 2004 and 2005. With the experience of Sigerson Cup winners Andy Moran, Paul Durcan and Karl Lacey still among their ranks they, like Cork IT, will be hoping to gatecrash proceedings and claim a third title in four years.
While the mouth-watering prospect of a QUB-UUJ final has been on the lips of every GAA fan in Belfast, the smart money could be on a major upset, as all four teams have the potential to go all the way and be crowned Ulster Bank Sigerson Cup champions 2007. Nonetheless, this year's competition promises to be the biggest and most exciting Sigerson Cup ever both on and off the field of play, and will further enhance the celebrated reputation of Queen's University Gaelic Football in it's landmark 75th year.
FIXTURES (All games to be played at Malone Playing Fields, Belfast)
Sigerson Cup 2007:
Semi - Finals - Friday 2nd March 2007
1.30pm - Pitch 10 QUB v Cork IT
3.00pm - Pitch 13 IT Sligo v UUJ
Final - Saturday 3rd March 2007
2.30pm - Pitch 10 QUB/Cork IT v IT Sligo/UUJ
NB: For a full listing of fixtures in all competitions, as well as details of other events taking place over the course of the weekend, visit the official website of the 2007 Sigerson Cup at Queen's, www.sigerson2007.com
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