Fluent UCC stake Sigerson claims

UCC 0-14 Garda College 0-7

Apart from the opening 15 minutes, when the sides were level twice, the visitors had no answer to the free-flowing football of UCC, who, on this display, will prove more than a match for holders Sligo IT in next Friday's semi-final at Dundalk IT Grounds (1pm).

UCC's passing game was a treat to watch, particularly in the first half when playing against the wind. They regularly carved open a very hesitant Garda backline and the signs looked ominous for the men in blue when they found themselves 0-8 to 0-4 adrift at half-time.

The winners had many stars. Defenders Fergal Griffin, Noel O'Donovan and John Wycherley gave nothing away, the latter scoring arguably the best point of the game, starting a great move in his own half and finishing superbly.

Dylan Mehigan was majestic at midfield in the first-half but drifted out of the game on the change over. However it was in attack that UCC really sparkled. All six forwards got on the scoresheet, with John Hayes, Ronan Hussey and Donncha Walsh posing endless problems for an overworked Garda defence.

Galway senior Kieran Fitzgerald struggled alarmingly at full-back while Darren Rooney outside him could never come to grips with Cork senior John Hayes. Kerry senior Aidan O'Mahony, hero of the win over Maynooth, struggled all through. He was clearly hampered by a heavily bandaged knee.

Goalkeeper Joe Hayes kept a clear sheet with a couple of excellent saves, and James Masters was the only Garda forward to pose any real threat.

To compound Garda's problems, they were forced to play the last 10 minutes with 14 players after Patrick Mulvihill received a second yellow card for dissent.

James Masters gave Garda the perfect start with two points inside the opening three minutes. However once the home side settled, they stormed into an 0-8 to 0-4 half time lead.

UCC remained firmly in control for most of the second half to book their place for the Sigerson weekend.

Scorers: UCC: R. Hussey (0-2 frees), J. Hayes (0-1 free) 0-4 each; L. O Lonnain 0-2; D. Walsh, F. Gould, C. McCarthy, J. Wycherley 0-1 each. Garda: J. Masters 0-4 (0-2 frees); A. Marshall (free), P. Mulvihill, D. Dineen 0-1 each.

UCC: D. McInerney (Clare); D. Og O'Donovan (Cork), F. Griffin (Kerry), N. O'Donovan (Cork); G. Burke (Tipperary), C. O'Connell (Cork), J. Wycherley (do.); D. Mehigan (do.), P. Kelly (do.); F. Gould (do.), J. Hayes (do.), C. McCarthy (do.); R. Hussey (Kerry), D. Walsh (do.), L. O Lonnain (Waterford).

GARDA: J. Hayes (Clare); T. Brosnan (Kerry), K. Fitzgerald (Galway), A. O'Connor (Longford); A. O'Mahony (Kerry), D. Rooney (Laois), P. Kelly (Kildare); D. Fenton (Kerry), P. Mullarkey (Kildare); D. Marshall (Dublin), D. Dineen (do.), A. Marshall (do.); J. Masters (Cork), P. Mulvihill (Westmeath), P. Casey (May).

Subs: D. Donoghue (Kildare) for Fenton; H. Coughlan (Tipperary) for D. Marshall; N. Stack (Offaly) for Dineen.

Referee: M. Walsh (Limerick).

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