After totally dominating the first-half, UCC led at one stage by 10 points and looked to be on their way to a runaway success. But GMIT came with a late surge which left the Cork students breathing a sigh of relief at the finish.
The home side started in spectacular style with four points, including two splendid strikes from John Mulhall in the opening eight minutes. Although outclassed at this stage in all sectors, GMIT managed to grab a goal back when right half forward Colin Egan finished a long-distance free from team captain Ger Mahon to the College net in the 12th minute.
But, undeterred by this setback, UCC continued to grow in stature. Darragh McSweeney and Kevin Hartnett shone in their central defensive roles. Mike Wilkinson and Michael Cahill controlled midfield and a flurry of points from Mulhall, Pat Barry, Stephen Moylan and full-forward Eoghan Murphy, who was unerring in his free-taking duties, launched College into a0-11 to 1-0 interval lead.
After the resumption UCC continued to rule the roost and increased their advantage to 10-points entering the final quarter. It looked all over for a GMIT side that had made little or no impact up to then. But UCC, failing to score again, came under siege as the Galway/Mayo Institute of Technology representatives kept the best wine until last. Two snap goals in the space of a minute from full-forward Andrew Shaughnessy threw the cat among the pigeons and UCC suddenly found themselves fighting to hold on. Then Shaughnessy pointed a free for GMIT and five minutes from time right corner forward Conor Kavanagh sent over a delightful point from a sideline cut to leave just two points between them.
However, GMIT were never allowed the opportunity to close the gap further and UCC weathered the storm.
Scorers: UCC: E. Murphy 0-5 (0-4 frees); J. Mulhall 0-3; P. Barry 0-2; S. Burke 0-2; M. Wilkinson, S. Moylan, M. Cahill and J. Jordan 0-1 each.
GMIT: A. Shaughnessy 2-3 (0-3 from frees); C. Egan 1-0; C. Kavanagh 0-2.
UCC: A. Nash; T. Geaney, D. McSweeney, C. O’Driscoll; S. O’Neill, K. Hartnett, J. Jordan; M. Wilkinson, M. Cahill; S. Burke, B. Beckett, J. Mulhall; S. Moylan, E. Murphy, P. Barry.
Subs: D. Hanley for Wilkinson; J. Gorman for Beckett; R. Foley for Burke.
GMIT: E. Ward; P. Callanan, C. Flannery, D. Maher; L. Howley, G. Mahon, B. Regan; N. Rogers, D. Barry; C. Egan, K. Greene, O. Cormican; C. Kavanagh, A. Shaughnessy, C. Hynes.
Subs: E. Feeney for Greene; J. Barrett for Rogers; J. O’Gorman for Hynes.
Referee:. D. Kirwan (Éire Óg).