DCU hero delighted to bring Sigerson medal to Tipp – Examiner.ie

Steven O’Brien joined a small and exclusive group on Saturday evening.

As the Ballina midfielder put it, you could count on one hand the number of Tipperary footballers to achieve Sigerson Cup glory.

Michael Quinlivan played a key role at full-forward in UCC’s 2014 Sigerson Cup success and O’Brien admits he drew inspiration from the third-level exploits of his Tipperary team-mate.

O’Brien, a second year Business student at the North Dublin University, plied his trade at midfield in Saturday’s thrilling 80-minute decider, etching his name onto the scoresheet with a fine second-half point.

“It is massive and almost indescribable to have a Sigerson medal in my back pocket,” he said.

“Something like this is so hard to come by, especially when you are from Tipperary. There isn’t too many lads from Tipperary that go to college to play football, or, indeed, come away from college with a Sigerson medal. I am delighted to be a part of such a great group of guys.

“My decision to go to DCU was heavily influenced by football. Looking back, they have a good record in this competition and some terrific players have passed through their doors. They have a great tradition in the Sigerson Cup and I am delighted to be part of that history now.

“I saw Michael Quinlivan win a Sigerson last year with UCC. That instilled the belief that footballers from Tipperary could perform and succeed on this stage.

“It is great to play alongside the likes of Colm Begley and Mickey Quinn. They drive you on. When you come into a college such as DCU, you expect these lads to think they are better than everyone else.

“They are the lads, however, bringing you in and encouraging you the whole way. It was like a family.”

Trailing by 1-8 to 1-7 as the clock spilled into time added on, O’Brien, part of Tipperary’s 2011 All-Ireland minor winning team, is adamant when stressing his belief that the game was never gone from Niall Moyna’s side.

“It is the toughest game I ever played in. It was end-to-end stuff. One second we were leading then UCC would come down the field and take the lead back off us. You didn’t know what way the game was going to end or how the result was going to pan out.

“We thought in normal time we had it, then they got the goal. We kicked on again at the start of extra-time, they then got another goal, we got a point and they got a point. It was tit-for-tat the whole way through. Thankfully we came out the right end at the finish.”

He added: “I’ll go back in with Tipperary now and hopefully we can build on our good start to Division three. I’ll be going back in a positive frame of mind after this.”