The students were forced to work hard for victory only pulling away in the final quarter scoring eight points without reply. Imokilly contributed enormously to an entertaining hour’s hurling. They went from six points down to lead at the break by two. After that they enjoyed a four-point cushion but eventually had to succumb to the greater finishing power of the college.
UCC selector Dr Paddy Crowley said it was a great win against all the odds. “We are delighted. We rarely have a team on a Saturday night because we don’t have access to any players playing on the Sunday. It was a great, sporting and clean game. We love this championship. I think people love to see us play. We play a brand of hurling that is very refreshing to watch. They (players) think good hurling and they play good hurling.”
Dylan Cahill raised all three Imokilly green flags. There was an element of luck attached to the first but his second in the 20th minute created by Diarmuid O’Sullivan was well taken. Defenders Barra Ó Tuama and Colm Barry were also in fine form and points from play from Brendan Ring, Liam Murphy and Sean O’Callaghan helped them to a 2-7 to 1-8 interval lead.
Seamus Harnedy (who finished with 2-4) smashed the UCC goal to the net following a Rob O’Shea free while William Egan and Darragh Fives were important figures in the half-back line. They were 1-6 to 0-3 to the good midway through the half but were pegged back by the divisional side on the run up to the break.
UCC trailed further when Cahill struck his third goal two minutes after the restart. However, points from Cormac Murphy (2) and Mark Howard (free) made it a three-point match before Harnedy levelled with a sublime goal after cutting in from the left flank along the end line. With 42 minutes on the clock, Imokilly edged it, 3-10 to 2-12. From there to the finish though, it was all UCC, as they went on to outscore their opponents by eight points.
Scorers for UCC: S Harnedy 2-4 (0-1f), M Howard 0-7 (frees), Barry Lawton 0-3, C Murphy and W Egan 0-2 each, A Breen and R O’Shea 0-1 each.
Scorers for Imokilly: D Cahill 3-0, S O’Regan 0-3 (frees), S O’Callaghan and D O’Sullivan (frees) 0-2 each, L Murphy, B Ring and C Fleming 0-1 each.
UCC: P O’Brien (St Ita’s) (Capt); B Cleary (Knockainey), D Glynn (Dicksboro), K Lane (Kilworth); T Curran (Ballinameela), D Fives (Tourin), W Egan (Kilbrin); C Murphy (Mallow), R O’Shea (Carrigaline); Barry Lawton (Castlemartyr), M Sugrue (Bandon), Brian Lawton (Castlemartyr); A Breen (Na Piarsaigh, Limerick), S Harnedy (St Ita’s), M Howard (Passage West, Cork).
Subs: J Cassin (Rower-Inistioge) for M Howard (59 mins), J O’Brien (Charleville) for M Sugrue, K Morrisson (Fermoy) for A Breen, C McSweeeny (Carrigaline) for Barry Lawton (all 60).
IMOKILLY: D Óg Cusack (Cloyne) (Capt); B Ó Tuama (Castlemartry), K Cronin (Cloyne), B Fleming (Cloyne); C Barry (Castlelyons), C McGann (Castlelyons), T Geaney (Carrignavar); C Fleming (Aghada), S O’Regan (Watergrasshill); W Leahy (Aghada), S O’Callaghan (Watergrasshill), D Cahill (Cloyne); B Ring (Youghal), D O’Sullivan (Cloyne), L Murphy (Cobh).
Subs: L Desmond (Youghal) for L Murphy (43), J McCarthy (Dungourney) for W Leahy (48), J Hegarty (Ballinacurra) for S O’Callaghan (56).
Referee: C Lane (Banteer).