Clara corner forward Chris Bolger emerged as their chief scoring weapon with five points from play, including three in the second half. Captain Kevin Hannafin from Kerry, Laois hitman Stephen Maher, and Kilkenny panellist Kevin Kelly also spurred them on.
The teams were level on seven occasions during the first half before Anthony Spillane nosed the wind-assisted UCC 0-9 to 0-8 up in injury time. Free takers Maher and Barry Lawton landed four points each. Alan Cadogan nailed three from play on the right flank of the UCC attack while Tadhg De Burca dominated at number six.
UCC extended their lead to three through Cadogan and Lawton but paid paid dearly for eight second-half wides. A spirited Carlow outfit retaliated and reeled off four consecutive points, two from Bolger, to surge 0-14 to 0-12 ahead.
UCC introduced Niall McCarthy and Shane O’Donnell and the Cork All-Ireland winner reduced the deficit to one. Substitute Thomas Nolan responded for IT Carlow but they lost Tommy Gallagher to a second yellow after an off the ball tussle. Goalkeeper Enda Rowland belted over an injury-time free to complete the job.
S Maher 0-6 (4fs, 1 65’); C Bolger 0-5; C Dwyer 0-2; M Russell, T Nolan, E Rowland (f) 0-1 each.
B Lawton 0-5 (4fs); A Cadogan 0-4; R O’Shea 0-2 (1f); A Spillane, N McCarthy 0-1 each.
E Rowland (Laois); K Hannafin (Kerry), T Gallagher (Westmeath), R Brown (Waterford); D Healy (Meath), W Young (Laois), D Palmer (Laois); C Dunford (Waterford), M Russell (Tipperary); C Dwyer (Laois), J Fagan (Meath), S Maher (Laois); J Doyle (Carlow), K Kelly (Kilkenny), C Bolger (Kilkenny).
T Nolan (Tipperary) for Doyle (36); M Harney (Waterford) for Healy (55).
K Hogan (Clare); C Gleeson (Waterford), C Spillane (Cork), S Roche (Waterford); M Breen (Tipperary), T De Burca (Waterford), D Morrissey (Limerick); J Barron (Waterford), R O’Shea (Cork); B Lawton (Cork), J Power (Kilkenny), C Walsh (Cork); A Cadogan (Cork), DJ Foran (Waterford), A Spillane (Cork).
E Gough (Kilkenny) for Walsh (H-T); G O’Brien (Waterford) for De Burca (H-T); N McCarthy (Cork) for Foran (41); C Murphy (Cork) for Lawton (52); S O’Donnell (Clare) for A Spillane (57).
F Horgan (Tipperary)