Holders UL advance as brave Cork IT come up short

Cork IT 3-11 University of Limerick 2-19: UL’s greater balance in front of goal took them past Cork IT last night and into the semi-finals of the Fitzgibbon Cup.

Holders UL advance as brave Cork IT come up short

The reigning champions, despite never being led in this entertaining quarter-final contest, were pushed all the way to the tape by a determined, if slightly limited CIT outfit.

Pat Mulcahy’s charges were far too reliant on corner-forward Jamie Coughlan in the scoring department and while midfielder Bill Cooper (1-1) and wing-back Ray Barry (0-3) chipped in to ease the burden on the Newtownshandrum forward, the home outfit did not possess the same balance across their forward unit as was enjoyed by the visitors.

For UL, centre-forward Conor Martin struck four points over the hour, while fellow half-forward John McGrath went two better. Inside, then, full-forward Tom Morrissey clipped four points, with Kevin O’Brien bagging 2-1. Of their 2-19 tally, an impressive 2-17 arrived from play; said figure contrasting starkly when set against the 3-5 registered by CIT from open play.

That said, on five occasions over the course of the hour did CIT come within one point of UL. Crucially, though, they were never able to regain parity.

Trailing 1-13 to 2-5 at the break, CIT suggested they wouldn’t go down without a fight when outscoring their opponents 1-2 to 0-1 within eight minutes of the restart. Bill Cooper supplied their third goal with a stunning strike from outside the 20-metre line on 38 minutes. Once again within one point of their opponents, the home side searched for an equaliser.

Instead, a controversial decision from referee Johnny Ryan, who certainly didn’t endear himself to the home support over the hour, swung the pendulum back in UL’s favour; the Tipperary referee granted John McGrath a second attempt at a close-range free after the Tipperary senior had sent his first effort wide.

McGrath split the posts at the second time of asking and while Bill Cooper subsequently pared the margin back to the minimum, Kevin O’Brien benefited from a passage of scrappy defending in front of Gary Minihane’s goal to fire home UL’s second major on 45 minutes.

Three of the next four scores went the way of the reigning champions as Morrissey, Kevin Hehir and McGrath stretched their lead out to 2-18 to 3-9. CIT, for whom goalkeeper Minihane and corner-back Stephen Murphy impressed in clearing off the line three UL goal chances, were unable to find a fourth goal in the closing stages.

The 2014 finalists chased the contest from the off as Kevin O’Brien, following a powerful run by David Fitzgerald, rattled the CIT net as early as the third minute. Jamie Coughlan replied with a goal of his own on six minutes after Patrick White’s strike was kept out. Coughlan and Ray Barry swapped minors with Tom Morrissey and Barry Heffernan in the ensuing passages, but then arrived four on the bounce from Morrissey, Martin, McGrath and O’Brien as Lohan’s students raced 1-7 to 1-2 clear.

A further 1-3 contribution from Coughlan between the 16th and 22nd minute had the gap back to the minimum (1-9 to 2-5). CIT, though, just weren’t able to find that equalising score; their own poor shooting was a factor here, but the ease at which UL found the target when the pressure came on was the main difference between the two sides.

Scorers for UL:

K O’Brien (2-1); J McGrath (0-6, 0-2 frees); T Morrissey, C Martin (0-4 each); J Forde (0-1 free), B Heffernan, K Hehir, B Stapleton (0-1 each).

Scorers for CIT:

J Coughlan (2-4, 0-3 frees); B Cooper (1-1); R Barry (0-3, 0-2 frees); M Kearney (0-1 free), A Coffey, R Hanley (0-1 each).

UL:

P Maher (Moyne Templetouhy, Tipperary); M Casey (Na Piarsaigh, Limerick), J Browne (Ballyea, Clare), A McGuane (Kilmaley, Clare); G Hegarty (S Patrick’s, Limerick), J Forde (Silvermines, Tipperary), B Stapleton (Templederry, Tipperary); K Hehir (Inagh-Kilnamona, Clare), B Heffernan (Éire Óg Nenagh, Tipperary); D Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona, Clare), C Martin (Emeralds, Kilkenny), J McGrath (Loughmore Castleiney, Tipperary); Tommy Heffernan (Éire Óg Nenagh, Tipperary), T Morrissey (Ahane, Limerick), K O’Brien (Patrickswell, Limerick).

Subs:

C McInerney (Cratloe, Clare) for T Heffernan (40 mins), P Ryan (Doon, Limerick) for Hegarty (60), B Maher (Kilsheelan, Tipperary) for O’Brien (60)

CIT:

G Minihane (Courcey Rovers, Cork); S Murphy (Blackrock, Cork), M Russell (Aghada, Cork), C Hammersley (Clonoulty Rossmore, Tipperary); R Barry (Lismore, Waterford), M Ellis (Millstreet, Cork), D Noonan (Glen Rovers, Cork); K O’Neill (Watergrasshill, Cork), B Cooper (Youghal, Cork); P White (Midleton, Cork), J Cronin (Lisgoold, Cork), A Coffey (Éire Óg Nenagh, Tipperary); J Coughlan (Newtownshandrum, Cork), N McNamara (Kilworth, Cork), M Kearney (Ballyduff, Waterford).

Subs:

K Kavanagh (Carrigaline, Cork) for Noonan (17 mins), R Hanley (Kilmallock, Limerick) for O’Neill (25), J Cashman (Lisgoold, Cork) for McNamara (44).

Referee:

J Ryan (Tipperary).

More in this section

CourtsGaaHurlingPlace: TipperaryPlace: ClarePlace: KilkennyPlace: Loughmore CastleineyPlace: LimerickPerson: Pat MulcahyPerson: Jamie CoughlanPerson: Bill CooperPerson: Ray BarryPerson: Conor MartinPerson: John McGrathPerson: Tom MorrisseyPerson: Kevin O’BrienPerson: Johnny RyanPerson: McGrathPerson: Gary MinihanePerson: MorrisseyPerson: Kevin HehirPerson: MinihanePerson: Stephen MurphyPerson: David FitzgeraldPerson: Patrick WhitePerson: CoughlanPerson: Barry HeffernanPerson: MartinPerson: O’BrienPerson: LohanPerson: K O’BrienPerson: J McGrathPerson: T MorrisseyPerson: C MartinPerson: J FordePerson: B HeffernanPerson: K HehirPerson: B StapletonPerson: J CoughlanPerson: B CooperPerson: R BarryPerson: M KearneyPerson: A CoffeyPerson: R HanleyPerson: P MaherPerson: Moyne TempletouhyPerson: M CaseyPerson: J BrownePerson: A McGuanePerson: G HegartyPerson: Óg NenaghPerson: D FitzgeraldPerson: Tommy HeffernanPerson: C McInerneyPerson: T HeffernanPerson: P RyanPerson: HegartyPerson: MaherPerson: G MinihanePerson: S MurphyPerson: M RussellPerson: C HammersleyEvent: Fitzgibbon CupOrganisation: ULOrganisation: CorkOrganisation: University of LimerickOrganisation: NewtownshandrumOrganisation: CITOrganisation: TipperaryOrganisation: Na PiarsaighOrganisation: LimerickOrganisation: BallyeaOrganisation: ClareOrganisation: S Patrick’sOrganisation: EmeraldsOrganisation: Éire Óg NenaghOrganisation: AhaneOrganisation: CratloeOrganisation: Courcey RoversOrganisation: BlackrockOrganisation: AghadaOrganisation: Clonoulty Rossmore
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