UCD freewheel to victory

University College Dublin 0-13 Galway/Mayo Institute of Technology 0-9

Brendan Dardis and Emlyn Hughes' side oozed class in their four-point win over GMIT in the Division One final of the Datapac Higher Education League, their first win in the competition since 1980.

But they didn't get it all their own way against the Galway college who started much the brighter, storming into an early 0-4 to 0-1 lead. Galway panellist Alan O'Donovan struck for three of those points and corner-forward colleague Cormac Bane the other.

But, once UCD deployed Dublin U21 player Paul Griffin to marshall O'Donovan, the western threat was curbed as JP Casey and Joe Sheridan clocked up the scores that put UCD in the driving seat.

The winners led by a point (0-5 to 0-4) at the interval, and quickly extended their advantage once the action resumed.

Roscommon inter-county star John Hanly kicked off second-half proceedings with a point after a neat pass from Billy Sheehan, and Casey notched up his fourth seconds later, with Hanly, Sheridan and Stephen Lucey all involved in the build-up.

GMIT needed a quick response and they got just that with two excellent points from Bane, sandwiching a soaring score from Cormac Rowland.

Indeed, they could have gone on to establish a useful lead had UCD keeper Cathal Mullin not foiled O'Donovan's point-blank shot on 37 minutes.

The Dublin college responded quickly to the threat. Imposing full-forward Joe Sheridan pointed two giant kicks from the ground, both 45s, and try as they might, GMIT couldn't penetrate the well-organised UCD defence.

A JP Casey point six minutes from time accelerated their fate and the Dublin boys freewheeled to victory.

Their 2004 assault on the Sigerson Cup will be a potent one.

Scorers: UCD: JP Casey 0-6 (2f), J Sheridan 0-4 (1, 3 '45'), J Hanly, B Sheehan, L O'hEineachain 0-1 each.

GMIT: A O'Donovan 0-4 (3f), C Bane 0-3, C Rowland, D Earley 0-1 each.

UCD: C Mullin, (Westmeath); D Ó hÁnnaidh, (Wicklow), C Evans, (Offaly), B Ó hÁnnaidh, (Wicklow); S Brady, (Cavan), J Donoghue, (Meath), P Griffin, (Dublin); D Magee, (Dublin), S Lucey, (Limerick); B Sheehan, (Kerry), J Hanly, (Roscommon), C Murphy, (Dublin); JP Casey, (Westmeath), J Sheridan, (Meath), Liam Ó hÉineachain, (Dublin). Subs: N McNamee, (Offaly) for D Ó hÁnnaidh (41mins), E Ó Cuiv for S Lucey (53mins), Ray Ronaghan for L Ó hÉineachain (56mins).

GMIT: B O'Donoghue, (Galway); C Neary, (Sligo), D Crushell, (Cavan), K Kennedy, (Leitrim); A Burke, (Galway), B Prior, (Leitrim), J Nolan, (Roscommon); A Raftery, (Galway), D Earley, (Kildare); A Burke, (Mayo), C Rowland, (Mayo), P Doherty, (Mayo); C Bane, (Galway), R McNamara, (Mayo), A O'Donovan, (Galway). Subs: E Curtin, (Clare) for C Rowland (44mins). R Feeney, (Mayo) for C Neary (53mins), J Egan, (Roscommon) for A Burke (54mins).

Referee: Pat Fox, (Westmeath).

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