UCC fall in Finnegan’s wake

TWO injury-time points by impressive corner-forward Pat Finnegan gave Muskerry a deserved victory over UCC in round three of the Cork SHC at Páirc Uí Rinn last night.

In all, the Aghabullogue clubman contributed five points as the divisional side came with a late surge to garner the honours in a keenly-contested affair.

Two evenly-matched sides were level six times and extra-time beckoned as the game went into four minutes of added time and in that period young Finnegan proved the hero for his side with the match-winning scores.

The college began brightly and led 0-3 to 0-1 after five minutes, due mainly to the accuracy of corner-forward Willie Griffin.

Muskerry were forced to soak up a lot of early pressure from the students but they coped well with Alan O’Mahony and Niall Buckley particularly prominent Both teams were guilty of poor finishing, sharing 12 wides between them in the opening half, at the end of which UCC led 0-10 to 0-8.

The Mid Cork divisional side could well have gone in at half-time in front, had what appeared to be a legitimate goal not been disallowed after the UCC keeper fumbled the ball on his line and the inrushing Mark O’Sullivan forced the sliotar home, only to have the score ruled out.

The second half developed into a tremendous tussle in the greasy underfoot conditions, and Muskerry got the tonic of a goal seconds after the resumption, when Rory O’Doherty finished John Dineen’s good approach work.

That goal gave the Muskerry side the lead for the first time,, but it was short lived as the lively UCC forwards, superbly led by Willie Griffin at corner-forward, hit back strongly to lead 0-14 to 1-9 at the three-quarter stage.

Muskerry weren’t out of this game by any means however and as Niall Buckley and Stephen O’Donoghue began to dominate in their half-back line and Tom Kenny came more into the game at midfield, the pressure on the students’ defence mounted.

UCC were clinging to a two-point lead with five minutes of normal time left but in a welter of excitement, Mark O’Sullivan plucked Donal Corkery’s long delivery out of the sky before kicking home the lead goal.

The students weren’t quite ready to give up the chase and Shane Burke from the JK Brackens club in Tipperary tied the game for the sixth time and it looked odds on 20 minutes of extra time, something neither side wanted.

However in the four minutes of added time, Pat Finnegan struck two excellent points in a row to give his side a rare victory over the students and to ensure his side’s name will be in the hat for the fourth round draw.

Scorers for Muskerry: P. Finnegan (0-1 free) 0-5; C. Murphy (0-2 frees) 0-4; R. Doherty, M. O’Sullivan 1-0 each; J. Dineen,0-2; M. Buckley, D. O’Connell 0-1 each.

UCC: W. Griffin 0-6 (0-5 frees); S. Burke 0-4; S. Harnedy 0-3; K. Keehan, W. Egan (0-1 65) 0-2 each.

MUSKERRY: P. Ryan (Éire Óg); J. Carey (Dripsey), A. O’Mahony (Éire Óg), P. O’Leary (Blarney); N. Buckley (Aghabullogue), S. O’Donoghue (Ballincollig), J. Jordan (Blarney); T. Kenny (Grenagh), D. Corkery (Cloughduv); M. Cremin (Blarney), R. O’Doherty (Ballincollig), J. Crowley (Éire Óg); P. Finnegan (Aghabullogue), M. O’Sullivan (Dripsey), C. Murphy (Blarney).

Subs: D. O’Connell (Inniscarra) for M. Cremin (50); J. Crowley (Éire Óg) for C. Murphy (50).

UCC: P. O’Brien (Cork); T. Geaney (do.), K. Lane (do.), D. Lordan (do.); B. Bergin (Tipperary), K. Hartnett (Cork), W. Egan (do.); D. Murphy (do.), K. Ryan (Clare); J. Cassin (Kilkenny), K. Keehan (Galway), S. Burke (Tipperary); W. Griffin (Limerick), S. Harnedy (Cork), B. Hartnett (do.).

Subs: B. O’Sullivan (Limerick) for Cassin (29); E.Healy (Cork) for Murphy (40); D. Ring (Cork) for K. Ryan (55).

Referee: J. Dorgan (Nemo Rangers).

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