UCC dig deep for extra-time victory

UCC's Jim Roche lifts the Fitzgibbon Cup. Picture: INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

UCC 2-15 CORK IT 2-14, the Mardyke (after extra-time)

UCC dug deep to carve out an extra-time victory and take their 41st Fitzgibbon Cup title in the centenary of their inaugural win at the Mardyke this afternoon.

In mixed weather conditions, an 81st minute point from Seamus Corry earned centenary competition weekend hosts UCC their first Fitzgibbon success since 2009.

Three points in arrears with six minutes of normal time remaining, UCC bagged late goals from second half substitutes Brian Hartnett and Dean Brosnan, but CIT forced extra-time through a Jamie Coughlan goal.

The rivalry between these two famed Cork institutions was certainly evident in the opening half.

Neither side was eager to give the other an inch and they were tied on four occasions during this spell, including at the interval at 0-5 apiece.

John Cronin and Seamus Harnedy traded points in the opening four-and-a-half minutes, but CIT should have been ahead at this stage, with Coughlan and Paudie O’Sullivan missing shots in front of the posts.

UCC raced 0-4 to 0-2 ahead after 12 minutes following a Paraic Mahony score, but the Waterford senior player had a mixed afternoon on frees for UCC.

The Ballygunner clubman missed two in quick succession late in the opening half, with points from Padraig Gould and Michael O’Sullivan for CIT tying the game at 0-5 apiece at the break.

CIT moved 0-11 to 0-8 clear inside 16 minutes of the restart, with substitute Aidan Walsh impressive, while Coughlan and Stephen White claimed the other scores for the IT side.

However, UCC upped their game in the final quarter as goals from substitutes Hartnett and Brosnan spurred the weekend hosts into a three-point lead.

Glen Rovers clubman Brosnan latched onto a sideline cut from Stephen Moylan to crash the ball into the CIT net on the stroke of 60 minutes.

Yet, the the drama failed to end there with Coughlan cutting loose in a crowded UCC goalmouth to collect a 63rd minute goal which forced extra-time.

UCC looked strongest in the first period of extra-time, with the hosts leading by 2-13 to 1-12 at the break.

However, CIT failed to lie down with Colm Casey netting a goal two minutes after the restart, while a fourth Coughlan point tied the game at 2-13 apiece.

Coughlan and Walsh traded points late on as it looked like further extra-time would be required, but Corry delivered the vital score to send the UCC players, management and supporters into raptures.

After the game Stephen White received the man-of-the-match award, while Tipperary senior player Shane Bourke accepted the Fitzgibbon Cup on his team's behalf.

Scorers - UCC: Paraic Mahony 0-6 (0-6f), S Bourke 0-3, B Hartnett, D Brosnan 1-0 each, S Moylan 0-2, S Harnedy, B O’Sullivan, Philip Mahony, S Corry 0-1 each

Cork IT: J Coughlan 1-4 (0-4f), C Casey 1-0, J Cronin, D Drake, A Walsh 0-2 each, T Quaid (0-1f), P Gould, M O’Sullivan, S White 0-1 each

UCC: D McCarthy; S Maher, J O’Callaghan, K Murphy; J Barry, D Fives, W Egan; Philip Mahony, B Murray; Pauric Mahony, D McCormack, S Harnedy; S Bourke, S Moylan, B O’Sullivan.

Subs used: S Corry for Murray (half-time), R White for Harnedy (47 mins), B Hartnett for B O’Sullivan (47), D Brosnan for McCormack (55), M Grace for Maher (75), B Murray for Brosnan (79).

CORK IT: K Roche; B Weathers, S McDonnell, E Keane; S White, L McLoughlin, P O’Connor; J Coughlan, M O’Sullivan; J Cronin, D Drake, P Gould; C Fennelly, P O’Sullivan, T Quaid.

Subs used: A Walsh for Quaid (28 mins), C Casey for Gould (44), N Kelly for M O’Sullivan (55), S Daniels for Keane (65), P Gould for Drake (66), M O’Sullivan for Cronin (half-time, extra-time).

Referee: Brian Gavin (Offaly)

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