The game was played on a heavy sod and with heavy showers, both teams coped admirably with the conditions. But it was UCC’s all-round strength, particularly their all-Kerry full-forward line of Thomas Hickey, Conor Cox and Paul Geaney who did most damage, kicking some excellent points.
In fact IT Tralee only scored one point from play and that came from centre- forward Conor Keane in the 63rd minute with the rest of their tally coming from converted frees by Jack Savage.
UCC, thanks to their midfield dominance, raced 0-10 to 0-2 clear at half-time with Conor Cox, Luke Connolly, Sean Kiely with two and Brian O’Driscoll with two points their top marksmen.
Tralee could not handle the attacking surges of Brian O’Driscoll, who kicked two superb points, while Luke Connolly was a handful on the 40, though he was guilty of missing an open goal in the 11th minute.
Tralee’s ploy of playing extra men behind the ball meant they left only Pádraig O’Shea up front so their chances of troubling the UCC defence were remote. Conor Keane was being well shackled by his Legion teammate Podge O’Connor, while young Jack Savage had to forage too deep for possession.
Tralee were always playing second fiddle at midfield where the Cork-Kerry pairing of Ian Maguire and Gary O’Sullivan ruled the roost and set up a platform for their dangerous attackers to amass a haul of 0-18 but UCC boss Billy Morgan will not be happy at some of his side’s poor shooting, and throughout the 70 minutes they created only a single goal chance.
Two early second-half Conor Cox points made the game safe and though Tralee had spirited performers in Peter Nash, Cillian Cromwell and Cian Horan, UCC were just too good, and Morgan introduced six second-half subs as the Cork side coasted to victory.
Scorers for UCC: C. Cox 0-6 (0-1 free) T. Hickey 0-3 (0-1 free) B. O Driscoll, P. Geaney, S. Kiely (0-2 each), G O Sullivan, L. Connolly and D. Harrington (0-1 each)
IT Tralee scorers: J. Savage (0-5 frees) and C Keane (0-1)
UCC (Cork unless stated): M Martin (Nemo Rangers); P O’Connor (Legion), D Culhane (Ballylongford); J McGuire (Listowel Emmets); C Dorman (Bishopstown), B O Driscoll (Tadhg Mac Cathraigh), T Clancy (Fermoy); I Maguire, (St Finbarr’s) G O’Sullivan (Listry); S Kiely (Ballincollig); L Connolly (Nemo Rangers) ; A O Donovan (Nemo Rangers) T Hickey (Castleisland Desmonds), C Cox (Listowel Emmets) P Geaney (Dingle)
Subs: E O Conchuir (An Ghaeltacht) for A O Donovan (40) D Harrington (Adrigole) for T Hickey (42) R Murphy (Beaufort) for B O Driscoll (55) S Keane (Legion) for I Maguire (55) A Spillane (Templenoe) for P Geaney (60) K O Sullivan (Kenmare) for C Dorman (62)
IT TRALEE: S Kenny (Castlegregory); M Egan (Dr Crokes), G Crowley (Templenoe), J Lyne (Dr Crokes) C O’Connell (Austin Stacks), C Horan (Glenflesk), C Cromwell (Monaghan); A Duggan (Austin Stacks), G Bastible (John Mitchells), P O’Shea (Currow), C Keane (Legion), P Quille (St Senans) ; G O’Shea (Dr Crokes), P Nash (Limerick), J Savage (Kerins O Rahillys).
Subs: A Moriarty (Legion) for P Quille, C O Brien (Clare) for C O Connell, J Brennan (Sligo for P O Shea (65) S Flynn (Buttevant) for P Nash (65)
Referee: R Moloney (Limerick).