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Ryan points way for in-form DCU

DCU's Sigerson Cup defence got off to a routine start with a 1-14 to 0-8 win over University of Limerick in the only preliminary round match of the day, although there is still no indication on whether Aidan Walsh or Michael Boyle will be eligible to play for them this year.

"We contemplated yesterday on whether to play the game or not," DCU manager Niall Moyna said afterwards, no white smoke in sight from their DRA case into both's bid to line out with the college this year. "We felt it was very unfair on two of our students."

A goal from Dublin senior Dean Rock, five points (0-3f) from Donegal's All-Ireland hero Michael Murphy and four from Dublin under-21 Philly Ryan put the champions in a commanding position and they go on to meet Queen's University Belfast in the first round proper.

Similarly, UCD had little cause for concern in their 2-11 to 1-5 win over Trinity College in Belfield last night, with Laois pair Donie Kingston and Paul Cahillane scoring 2-4 between them in a cakewalk 2-11 to 1-5 victory and they now await the winners of the DCU/Queen's match in a potentially mouth-watering quarter-final tie.

The sides were level at the break, 0-6 to 1-3, after Trinity had played with the strong wind at their backs. Giant full-forward Darragh Daly grabbed the Trinity goal just before the midpoint of the opening half.

Last year's beaten finalists NUI Maynooth, meanwhile, had just a single point to spare over IT Sligo in Maynooth, squeezing through on the right side of a 1-9 to 1-8 scoreline.

Full-forward Seán Hurley, a Kildare U21 and senior panellist, hit an early goal to put the hosts into a four-point lead amid near gael-force conditions but Gary Whyte replied for IT Sligo and it took a late save from Maynooth 'keeper Mark Donnellan from Joe Rodgers to ensure their safe passage.

There were also wins yesterday for St Mary's, Belfast, UCC and Athlone IT.