Early goals pave way for UL victory

UL 3-18 UUJ 3-7

The Shannonsiders began well, wing-forward Noel Ó Murchadha clipping over two fine points. And goals from Matt Ruth and Offaly star Shane Dooley propelled them into a comfortable lead.

Jordanstown fought valiantly throughout and had some outstanding performers in half-backs Aaron Graffan and Neil McCauley. But UL’s strength in depth was evidenced by the fact they were able to introduce Offaly sharpshooter Brian Carroll at the break.

The Coolderry man showed a glimpse of his supreme talent with a wonderful point from the middle of the field, while David Burke added 1-5 in the second-half.

It might have been worse for UUJ but for the heroics of goalkeeper Chris O’Connell, who produced two superb saves from Dooley.

In attack though, they were completely reliant on Antrim marksman Neil McManus, who registered all of his side’s scores. He struck for two late goals, including one from a delightful drop-puck to put a deserved better gloss on the scoreline.

UL: T Lowry; P Stapleton, M Malone, M Verney; M Walsh 0-1, J Devane, D Hayden; S Hickey, M Whelan; N Ó Murchadha 0-2, T Connors, D Burke 1-6 (0-3fs); A Quinn 0-1, M Ruth 1-2, S Dooley 1-3.

Subs: R O’Dwyer for Connors (ht); B Carroll 0-1 for Ó Murchadha (ht); L Ryan for Devane (40); M Heffernan 0-1 for Quinn (44); J Brennan 0-1 for Ruth (54)

UUJ: C O’Connell; M Burke, S Henry, K Maxwell; A Graffan, N McCauley, S McRory; S McNicholl, D Hamill; P McGlade, N McManus 3-7 (2-3fs, 0-1 65), B Ennis; P Maguire, K Sheerin, P Henry.

Subs: J Hughes for Burke (42); R Mulqueen for P Henry (47); T McAllister for Maxwell (55).

Referee: C Broome (Offaly)

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