Con O’Callaghan was a shock starter for University College Dublin in their Sigerson semi-final victory over Ulster University tonight.

The Dublin star kicked two frees as his college won a 100-minute epic clash to set up a final meeting with NUI Galway.

The 21-year-old had yet to feature for John Divilly's side this year as he has been focused on club Cuala’s hurling campaign

However, he carried water on the sideline for UCD’s semi-final game against DCU last week and lined out in the corner-forward position in Inniskeen this evening.

On Saturday, O’Callaghan hit four points from play as Cuala secured their spot in the the All-Ireland hurling final after they easily accounted for Galway’s Liam Mellows in Thurles.

Cuala will meet 2016 winners Na Piarsaigh of Limerick in the final on St Patrick’s Day as they bid for back-to-back titles.

Con O'Callaghan in action for Cuala

The five-week break means the All-Ireland winner has time to chase Sigerson silverware - one of the few medals he has not already hoovered up in a glittering early career.

In 2017 he won a senior football All-Ireland and Leinster title with the Dublin footballers, Leinster and All-Ireland Under-21 medals, his second successive Dublin and Leinster club hurling titles with Cuala, along with the All-Ireland club title on St Patrick's Day.

Dublin manager Jim Gavin recently came out in support of third-level football after Dublin star Brian Howard opted not play the Sigerson Cup quarter-final with DIT so he could focus on his inter-county career. 

However, Howard did line out for DIT in their semi-final defeat to NUIG tonight.

Gavin believes the competitions should have a place in the GAA calendar and that young players should be given the space to enjoy the experience that comes with playing college football.