Going into this game, both CIT and UCD were sure of quarter-final spots but the winners knew they would face NUIG at home while a trip to UL was the prize for the defeated side.
CIT scored the first five points and then added a goal after UCD got off the mark. While their half-time lead was four points, 1-7 to 0-6, they pushed clear impressively and were eight to the good before UCD threatened to mount a fightback.
For manager Pat Mulcahy, there was the double-boost of securing a home quarter-final and continuing the momentum. “We started well and maybe took our foot off the pedal, which was a slight worry,” he said, “but we’re happy to have a home quarter-final.”
Noel McNamara scored the CIT goal on the quarter-hour, finishing well after John O’Dwyer found him with an arrowed pass. That made it 1-5 to 0-2 after two Ross King points had been UCD’s response to five in a row from UCD.
The visitors did mount a challenge, with King and Colm Cronin scoring as the lead was cut to 1-6 to 0-6 as half-time approached, though Aidan Walsh ensured CIT were still relatively comfortable at the break.
O’Dwyer, Jack Herlihy, Walsh and the impressive John Cronin all pointed for CIT early in the second half and Tomás Lawrence and Mark Ellis led a solid defensive effort as UCD struggled to make headway.
They were 1-12 to 0-9 clear after the three-quarter mark and could have been out of sight had sub Patrick White’s mazy run through the UCD defence not been illegally halted by Matthew O’Hanlon. O’Dwyer converted the resultant close-range free and then Walsh got his third of the game to leave eight points in it.
While Oisín Ó Ruairc got a nice point from a tight angle for UCD and then goaled after a superb catch, it never looked as if the Dublin college would fully overturn their hosts.
Cork star Jamie Coughlan may not make that game, Mulcahy is hopeful that he will play some part in the competition. “He got the pins out of his hand last week,” he said. “He’s against time to try to be fit but we’re all hoping he’ll be involved.”
J O’Dwyer 0-4 (frees), N McNamara 1-1, A Walsh 0-3, B Cooper, J Cronin 0-2 each, J Herlihy, C Hammersley 0-1 each.
R King 0-8 (six frees), O Ó Ruairc 1-1, C Cronin 0-1.
G Minihane; S Murphy, A Dennehy, T Lawrence; J Herlihy, M Ellis, C Buckley; W Murphy, C Hammersley (Tipperary); B Cooper, J Cronin, A Walsh; K Kavanagh, J O’Dwyer (Tipperary), N McNamara.
M Russell for S Murphy (19-ht, blood), Russell for W Murphy, P White for Kavanagh (both 42), J Cashman for McNamara (56), S O’Mahony for Hammersley (58).
B Leydon (Kilkenny); S Murphy (Wexford), C O’Shea (Kilkenny), E Conroy (Wexford); C Mac Gabhann (Dublin), M O’Hanlon (Wexford), C Buckley (Kilkenny); C O’Callaghan (Dublin), P Purcell (Laois); C Cronin (Dublin), C Devitt (Wexford), J O’Connor (Wexford); R King (Laois), C Conway (Dublin), O Ó Ruairc (Dublin).
J Lyng (Kilkenny) for O’Callaghan (32), G Sinnott (Wexford) for Devitt (37), D Mulligan (Dublin) for Mac Gabhann (42), M Brennan (Kilkenny) for Conway, C McDonagh (Galway) for Murphy (both 50).
G Quilty (Kilkenny).