It came at a stage when Erin’s Own had clawed their way back into the contest after being six points down early in the second-half, and, had they showed a bit more penetration, may well have shocked last year’s beaten finalists.
Making light of the fact six of their players had lined out with their clubs earlier in the day, CIT served notice with a brace of points inside the opening minute. Erin’s Own struggled to contain the lively CIT forwards and with the college defence, superbly led by Mark Ellis and Eamon Finn, on top, the Erin’s Own side found scores hard to come by.
CIT’s hurling was far slicker and, at the end of the opening quarter, they were full value for their 0-6 to 0-3 lead. Erin’s Own were in real danger of being swamped as Tommy Quaid added to the students’ tally, but the East Cork side were thrown a lifeline in the 23rd minute when Kieran Murphy won possession from Shay Bowen’s long range free to set Maurice O’Carroll up for a goal.
However, they failed to build on that score as the classy students, with Quaid and Colm Casey causing endless problems up front for Erin’s Own, hit back with a goal of their own when both players combined for Casey to score from close range and their 1-9 to 1-4 half time lead was fully merited.
Erin’s Own switched Kieran Murphy to centre-forward for the second-half in the hope of adding a bit more bite up front and it certainly worked. Strangely, CIT changed their style of play, opting for the short passing game, and it got them into trouble regularly as the more tenacious Erin’s Own defence began to get on top.
The students were also forced to make a number of substitutions as players began to show the effects of having played earlier and were on the back foot for long periods as Erin’s Own struck five points in a row to eventually draw level after 50 minutes.
With Mark Collins winning great possession from the air, Erin’s Own led for the first time with a Maurice O’Carroll point and were hurling well enough to hint of a surprise result.
However, the introduction of Ciarán Sheehan changed all that. With the sides still locked and a replay looming, Sheehan caught Lorcan McLoughlin’s long range free before billowing the Erin’s Own net and there was no way back for the East Cork side.
CIT now meet Sarsfields next Sunday in the semi-final.
Scorers for Cork IT: C. Casey, C. Sheehan 1-1 each; T. Quaid 0-4 (0-3 frees); L. McLoughlin 0-3; M. O’Sullivan 0-2; S. Corcoran, B. Withers, J. Sheedy 0-1 each.
Erin’s Own: E. Murphy 0-4 (0-3 frees, 0-1 65); M. O’Carroll 1-1; A. Bowen 0-3; M. Collins 0-2; J. Sheehan, Kieran Murphy, P. Kelly 0-1 each.
CORK IT: K. Roche (Banteer); E. Finn (Ballinhassig), M.Ellis (Millstreet), B. Withers (Banteer); S. White (Ballygargvan), M. Ahearne (Ballinhassig), B. O’Sullivan (Fermoy); L. McLoughlin (Kanturk), N. Kelly(Mayfield); J. Cronin (Lisgoold), C. Casey (Inniscarra), M. O’Sullivan (Tracton); S. Corcoran (Carrigaline), A. Walsh (Kanturk), T. Quaid (Effin, Limerick).
Subs: M. Desmond (Ballinhassig) for Finn (25); C. Sheehan (Éire Óg) for Corcoran (half time); D. Drake (Carrigaline) for Kelly (35); N. O’Doherty (Grenagh) for Aherne (50); J. Sheedy (Portroe) for Cronin (55).
ERIN’S OWN: S. Bowen; Killian Murphy, S. Murphy, P. Fitzgerald; S. Cronin , P., Kelly, B. Clifford; Kieran Murphy, M. Murphy; M. Coillins, J. Sheehan, M., O’Carroll; C. Coakley, E. Murphy, A. Bowen.
Sub: R. Coakley for M. Murphy (25).
Referee: K. Healy (Ballymartle).