O’Sullivan’s second-half goal brace turns tide for CIT

They were a subdued force in the first-half and trailed by five at the interval yet Cork IT produced a dynamic second-half display to claim a critical victory over Waterford IT in Group A of the Fitzgibbon Cup at their grounds in Bishopstown last night.

O’Sullivan’s second-half goal brace turns tide for CIT

In a high-quality group that also contains UCD, the win places CIT in a highly advantageous position as they seek to reach the quarter-final stages.

At the interval here, their prospects seemed precarious but a series of substitutions had a revitalising effect on them. Michael O’Sullivan was introduced to midfield just before the interval and when he was joined by Jamie Coughlan midway through the second-half, CIT started to assume control in this sector.

Springing Kilkenny All-Ireland senior winner Colin Fennelly from the bench before half-time also had the desired effect. The Ballyhale player was placed at centre-forward, where he managed to stem the influence of Enda Barrett who had been in towering form up until then. Fennelly was also instrumental in creating the chances for Paudie O’Sullivan to crucially raise two green flags in the second-half.

O’Sullivan’s second goal was the centrepiece of a significant scoring spree CIT produced. Having trailed 1-9 to 1-4 in the 39th minute, CIT responded by striking 1-5 without reply. The precise freetaking of Limerick’s Tommy Quaid and a few fine points from play by David Drake assisted CIT in pulling clear.

WIT threw everything at CIT in the closing stages but found a unit fronted by Stephen McDonnell, Lorcan McLoughlin and particularly Stephen White difficult to break down.

It had been a different affair in the first-half as WIT played the better hurling with Barrett and Ciarán Haugh excelling in defence, Bernard Burke busy in midfield and Eoin Murphy magnificent in attack.

Kilkenny senior Murphy pushed WIT into an early 0-3 to 0-1 lead and they were further boosted in the 18th minute when a long ball by Eoin Moore broke for Shane Walsh who finished clinically to the net.

With CIT only registering a solitary point from play in the opening-half, WIT pulled clear thanks to Murphy’s point-taking and they were 1-6 to 0-4 ahead by the break.

However, CIT upped their performance considerably in the second-half and head to UCD next Wednesday in a very healthy state.

Scorers for Cork IT: P O’Sullivan 2-0, T Quaid 0-5 (0-5f), D Drake 0-3, S White, J Coughlan (0-1f) 0-1 each.

Scorers for Waterford IT: E Murphy 0-9 (0-5f, 0-1 ’65), S Walsh 1-0, B O’Meara, B Burke 0-1 each.

CORK IT: K Roche (Cork); S McDonnell (Cork), E Keane (Cork), B Withers (Cork); S White (Cork), L McLoughlin (Cork), S Daniels (Waterford); B O’Sullivan (Cork), N Kelly (Cork); D Drake (Cork), C Casey (Cork), J Cronin (Cork); J Sheedy (Tipperary), P O’Sullivan (Cork), T Quaid (Limerick).

Subs: M O’Sullivan (Cork) for O’Sullivan (26), C Fennelly (Kilkenny) for Sheedy (29), J Coughlan (Cork) for Kelly (42), P Gould (Cork) for Casey (53).

WATERFORD IT: A Power (Waterford); S O’Keeffe (Waterford), K Joyce (Kilkenny), E Moore (Wexford); S Murphy (Wexford), E Barrett (Clare), C Haugh (Tipperary); J O’Dwyer (Tipperary), B Burke (Galway); E Murphy (Kilkenny), L Harney (Kilkenny), E Madigan (Waterford); B O’Meara (Tipperary), S Walsh (Waterford), M Sheedy (Tipperary).

Subs: J Dillon (Waterford) for Madigan (55).

Referee: Johnny Ryan (Tipperary).

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