CIT were utterly dominant in the first half. With their half-back line aggressive and winning plenty of ball – Stephen White was particularly impressive – and Lorcan McLoughlin processing a lot of ball in the middle of the field, their forwards had a plentiful supply of ball.
Before the throw-in Cork football star Aidan Walsh was switched from full-forward to the forty, where he picked up former Cork star centre-back Ronan Curran.
It would be unfair to say it was an equal contest, or a fair indication of Walsh’s credentials as a senior intercounty hurler, as his teammates were dominant all over the field, but the Kanturk man showed plenty of class, chipping in with two fine first-half points.
Early on there was a hint of an edge to the game – the Barrs’ Damien Cahalane picked up a first-minute yellow card for a needless flick back with the hurley – but as soon as John Cronin put CIT two ahead on ten minutes, 0-4 to 0-2, the students took over.
They hit five points on the trot (McLoughlin, Walsh, Stephen White from halfway, Tommy Quaid and Michael O’Sullivan) before Ian Lordan responded for the Barrs on 16 minutes.
Quickly, Colm Casey, Quaid (two) and Nicky Kelly (two) hammered over more points for the students, which left the score 0-14 to 0-3 on 26 minutes.
The Barr’s added two more points before the break, leaving the score 0-15 to 0-5 but the game ended as a contest within a minute of the resumption.
Quaid had already hit a point when Aidan Walsh collected a loose ball on the 45-metre line. He powered through before burying the ball in the top corner: 1-16 to 0-5.
From then on it was a matter of the city side reaching for respectability but they got few chances with Lorcan McLoughlin moving back to centre-back to organise the students’ defence.
On 42 minutes John Cronin got a second yellow and departed the scene, leaving CIT with 14 men. It made little difference. Even at a numerical disadvantage they were able to pick off scores at will.
With time almost up a Ronan Curran 65 bounced out of the CIT square, and half-time substitute Cathal McCarthy finished the rebound to the net. However, CIT sub John Corkery had the last word with the students’ 26th point of the day, just before the end.
CIT, who were surprised by Carrigtwohill in last year’s decider, looked yesterday like a team anxious to make amends. Their teamwork and understanding were far superior to their opponents, and augurs well for their clash against Erin’s Own next Saturday.
Scorers for CIT: A. Walsh 1-2, T. Quaid 0-5 (0-2 fs); S. Corcoran, J. Cronin and L. McLoughlin (0-1 f) 0-3 each; C. Casey, M. O’Sullivan, N. Kelly 0-2 each; D. Drake, J. Corkery, B. O’Sullivan and M. O’Sullivan 0-1 each.
Scorers for St Finbarr’s: C. McCarthy 1-1; R. O’Mahony 0-3; E. Finn and I Lordan (0-2 fs) 0-2 each; R. Curran (0-1 65), J. Crowley, G. O’Connor, J. Goggin 0-1 each).
CIT: K. Roche (Banteer), E. Finn (Ballinhassig), M. Ellis (Millstreet), B. Withers (Banteer), S. White (Ballygarvan), M. Aherne (Ballinhassig), B. O’Sullivan (Fermoy), L. McLoughlin (Kanturk) (c), N. Kelly (Mayfield), J. Cronin (Lisgoold), C. Casey (Inniscarra), M. O’Sullivan (Tracton), S. Corcoran (Carrigaline), A. Walsh (Kanturk), T. Quaid (Effin).
Subs: D. Drake (Carrigaline) for M. Aherne, 40; N. O’Doherty (Grenagh) for Quaid, 48; J. Corkery (Aghabullogue) for A. Walsh, 46; T. Lawrence (Brian Dillons) for C. Casey, 55; M. Desmond (Ballinhassig) for B. O’Sullivan, 58.
ST. FINBARR’S: D. O’Gorman, P. O’Brien, D. Cahalane, J. Burns, R. McCarthy, R. Curran, E. Keane, E. Finn, J. Goggin, S. Callinan, G. O’Connor, E. Maher, R. O’Mahony, J. Crowley, I. Lordan.
Subs: C. McCarthy and J. Neville on for S. Callinan and E. Maher, HT; A. Fitzpatrick for I Lordan, 46; C. O’Mahony for Goggin, 53; P. Wiley for E. Finn, 55.
Referee: C. McAllister (Midleton)
*Before the game a minute’s silence was observed in memory of the late John Gildea of St. Finbarr’s.