By Niall Gartland
Sigerson Cup quarter-finals
Letterkenny IT v IT Sligo
Sunday, IT Sligo Grounds, 2pm
LETTERKENNY IT boss Michael Murphy says they may lag behind other colleges in terms of manpower and resources, but that one thing that can’t be questioned is the commitment of his players.
They claimed their first ever Electric Ireland Sigerson Cup win when they overcame Athlone IT at the weekend, and their maiden voyage in the competition continues when they face neigbours IT Sligo in Sunday’s quarter-final clash.
25 players on Letterkenny’s 28-man panel hail from Donegal, and there aren’t many instantly recognisable names in the squad, but Murphy’s been delighted with their aptitude which was rewarded by that historic victory over Athlone IT.
“My wish for the team was that they’d translate their hard work from early October into a performance and they did that. Things went against us in the early part of the second-half but the lads stayed brave and kept attacking and looking for the ball and as a result the scores came for us and we pulled away.
“We have a couple of intercounty players but the majority are club players only and I think that was the cornerstone of why we decided to enter the Sigerson Cup, to give those players the experience of playing at that level of football.
“We’re not up with the bigger colleges in terms of our player resources. The college itself supply everything for us and help us out as best we can but we know our resources aren’t the same as others in terms of the player power.
“But in terms of effort and commitment it’s been fantastic. As the competition progresses the teams are going to get better so we’re going to have to have quality and class as well and time will tell whether we have enough.”
Letterkenny had a number of star performers against Athlone, including Paddy Dolan and Christian Bonner on the wing, Michael Langan, and man of the match Peadar Mogan. Their opponents IT Sligo, meanwhile, scored an upset victory against the University of Limerick on a scoreline of 0-8 to 0-5, and Murphy says it isn’t ideal that for the second game in-a-row they have to play away from home.
“Similarly to ourselves, they mightn’t have been favourites going into the last game but they came out with a bit to spare against a very good UL team. It’s another away game for and home advantage counts for a lot in sport. In Sigerson football it tends to count for that extra amount and it’s just something we’re going to have to overcome.”