The student’s from the banks of the Shannon had to show all their grit, determination and skill to take the spoils after UCC fought back from nine points down to level the tie at the end of normal time.
UL dominated the opening 30 minutes with their talisman Alan Murphy showing unerring accuracy from placed balls and open play. The Kilkenny student punished the Rebel side over and over again with points from either wing as well as a brace from the 65m line. Murphy also bagged his side’s only goal after being put through by Clare’s Ian Galvin on 17 minutes.
Galvin chipped in with three magnificent first-half points to add to the Cork side’s early pain as UL headed for the tunnel leading 1-9 to 0-5.
UL opened the second half in the same style as they completed the first — with two quick points from Galvin and Cian Moloney. Just as UCC looked to be beaten, they rattled off 1-6 without reply to level the tie on the three-quarter mark.
Patrick Curran was the main threat for UCC, scoring 1-3 of the comeback tally and 1-7 overall. Curran’s goal on 45 minutes had a large slice of luck attached after a free he struck looked to be dropping well short, only for the ball to bounce off a UL defender and nestle in the bottom corner of the net.
UL responded with three points only for UCC to hit back once more with three points of their own (two superb scores from Dara Walsh) to level the game for only the third time. 1-15 to 1-15 (60 minutes).
Despite UCC’s impressive comeback it was the Limerick side who dominated the extra 20 minutes, outscoring UCC by 0-8 to 0-3 to deservedly take the title. Murphy was again the tormentor slotting over six of the eight scores to bring his personal tally to 1-14.
It was a tough day overall for UCC after another side from the college also fell short in the B final, this time to WIT.
Scorers for UL: A Murphy 1-14 (0-8 frees, 0-2 sixty five); I Galvin 0-4; M Shanahan; J Keane 0-2 each, C Moloney 0-1, P Ryan 0-1
Scorers for UCC: P Curran 1-7 (1-4 frees 0-1 pen), D Walsh, K Kenny 0-3 each; C Cormack, C Galvin, C Gleeson, M Dolan, D Hannon 0-1 each.
UL: G Ryan (Tipperary); S Finn (Limerick), D Fitzgerald (Clare), M Casey (Limerick); W Brennan (Kilkenny), B Heffernan (Tipperary), S Dalton (Waterford); L Bergin (Laois), J Keane (Tipperary); C Crehan (Clare), T Morrissey (Limerick), I Galvin (Clare); A Murphy (Kilkenny), M Shanahan (Waterford), C Moloney (Clare).
Subs: D Quinn (Tipperary) for C Crehan (40), C Floyd (Tipperary) for S Dalton (50), P Ryan (Tipperary) for C Moloney (50).
UCC: J Barry (Cork); S O’Donoghue (Cork), J Byrne (Kilkenny), G Murphy (Cork); S Flanagan (Limerick), N Cashman (Cork), E Gough (Kilkenny); D Walsh (Clare), C Cormack (Cork); P Curran (Waterford), M Dolan (Cork), C Galvin (Clare); K Kenny (Kilkenny), D Hannon (Cork), M O’Connor (Cork).
Subs: C Walsh (Cork) for J Byrne (21), C Gleeson (Waterford) for C Galvin (half time), C O’Connor (Cork) for M Dolan (54), J Logue (Cork) for M O’Connor (54), J O’Sullivan (Cork) for C Cormack (74).
Referee: A Kelly (Galway).