Christy toys with UCC as Sligo IT romp home

Sligo IT 2-12, UCC 0-11

The Donegal senior had a hand in most of his side’s scores and contributed 1-3 himself as the defending champions remain on course to retain their crown in this afternoon’s final against QUB, a repeat of last year’s decider.

Sligo laid the foundations for their victory at midfield, where the towering figures of Michael Moyles and Paddy Brady gave them a firm grip, and with Toye orchestrating matters in attack, there was never a hint of an upset after Alan Costello kicked Sligo in front in the second minute.

Moyles frustrated UCC around the middle where they were expected to do well by breaking the ball away from Dylan Mehigan, but to be fair to the UCC man, while he did fetch cleanly on a couple of occasions, his attackers couldn’t take advantage.

His job done, Moyles retired with 15 minutes to go as he began to struggle with an injury which threatened to keep him out of the game. However, he is expected to play a key role for his side in today’s final. UCC were hugely disappointing and never reproduced the form of their quarter final win over Garda College. Few players came out of this game with their reputations intact and only Conor McCarthy can look back with any degree of satisfaction. He worked his socks off all over the field, but as he had to forage far from goal, the UCC attack lacked any real penetration.

Fintan Gould had his moments, and played better when brought to midfield in the second half but the usually reliable Ronan Hussey wasted easy frees and John Hayes could make no impression at centre forward.

UCC needed to take every chance that came their way, like the 25th- minute penalty won by Fintan Gould, but Sligo keeper Paul Durcan saved Conor McCarthy’s effort magnificently.

From the kick-out Sligo swept downfield and won a penalty converted by Michael Doherty. That score meant a six-point swing and put the defending champions into an 1-8 to 0-2 half-time lead.

With the elements in their favour for the second half UCC threatened to make a match of it with a string of points, and they might have had a goal, but William Morgan overhit his pass to the unmarked Donncha Walsh and the chance was lost.

By the three-quarter stage, the score was 1-11 to 0-7 in Sligo’s favour, and in their anxiety to get that all-important goal UCC committed too many players forward. The champions exploited the resulting gaps to the full, and in a quick break from their defence the ball was swept into the unmarked Toye, who careered through before stroking home the goal which effectively killed off the UCC challenge.

To their credit UCC, and in particular Conor McCarthy, continued to come forward, but they could find no way through a very solid Sligo defence. UCC’s two late points only served to put a more respectable look on the scoreboard.

Scorers: Sligo: M. Doherty 1-4 (1-0 pen., 0-1 free, 0-1 45); C. Toye 1-3; A. Costello 0-2; A. Moran, D. Ward, D. Gallagher 0-1 each.

UCC: J. Hayes (frees), C. McCarthy, F. Gould 0-2 each; D. Walsh, C. Brosnan, W. Morgan, E. Kavanagh, P. Kelly 0-1 each.

SLIGO IT: P. Durcan; B. McWeeney, K. Higgins, C. Cafferky; J. Murphy, E. Mcgee, S. McDermott; P. Brady, M. Moyles; M. Doherty, R. O’Connor, C. Toye; A. Moran, A. Costello, D. Ward. Subs. P. O’Connor for McGee; J. Clancy for O’Connor; D. Gallagher for Moyles.

UCC: D. McInerney; D. Og O’Donovan, F. Griffin, N. O’Donovan; G. Burke, C. O’Connell, J. Wycherley; D. Mehigan, P. Kelly; F. Gould, J. Hayes, C. McCarthy; R. Hussey, D. Walsh, C. Brosnan. Subs. E. Kavanagh for Burke; W. Morgan for Hussey; E. Nealon for O’Connell.

Referee: P. McEnaney (Monaghan).

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