Strolling away from the DCU Sportsground pitch, a member of UCC’s backroom team modestly suggested their dominant victory over DCU-St Patrick’s should not be talked up. However, it is quite difficult to put a different spin on a 23-point win.
In truth, a clinical UCC performance combined with what was, at times, terribly loose St Pat’s defending to produce the one-sided affair but Billy Morgan’s side impressed in nearly all areas.
The Spillane brothers Adrian and Killian, sons of Kerry legend Tom, kicked 3-5 between them, while Dingle’s Cathal Bambury, Ballincollig’s Cian Dorgan and St Finbarr’s sub Stephen Sherlock also made their mark on the scoreboard. The likes of Clonmel’s Jack Kennedy, Éire Óg’s Ronan O’Toole and Dingle’s Tom O’Sullivan also impressed, but the collective UCC effort was commendable.
In contrast, a St Pat’s team containing Dublin stars Ciarán Kilkenny and Cormac Costello struggled to put any respectability on the scoreline, despite the best efforts of Galway’s Adrian Varley, mainly due to the fact their frailties in defence meant that few attacking efforts could be launched.
Just 10 minutes had elapsed when Adrian Spillane — via a Bambury pass — found the net to give the visitors a 1-7 to 0-0 lead after Kennedy, Dorgan, Killian Spillane and Bambury kicked points.
Varley, who put in a valiant effort throughout, finally opened St Pat’s account in the 11th minute, but Spillane bagged a second goal just one minute later to kill off any hopes of a miraculous comeback before UCC had an Ian Maguire goal effort ruled out for a square ball, while Killian Spillane hit the bar.
Kilkenny attempted to marshal Pat’s, while Costello was at times lively in attack, helping the home side reduce the massive deficit to 14 points at the break, 2-14 to 0-6, thanks to a run of three points in the final 10 minutes of the half.
A second-half fightback never materialised as Adrian Spillane, Ronan Buckley and Kevin Crowley kicked points within the first five minutes before Killian Spillane finally found the net for UCC’s third goal. Morgan opted to run off his bench, introducing six second-half substitutes, including the impressive Sherlock, who made an impact by kicking three points in the final quarter. A quarter-final clash with IT Carlow now awaits UCC following the former’s victory over Tralee.
A Spillane 2-3, K Spillane 1-2, C Bambury 0-5, C Dorgan 0-4 (2f), S Sherlock 0-3 (1f), J Kennedy 0-2, T O’Sullivan 0-1, R Buckley 0-1, K Crowley 0-1, M O’Donnell 0-1, R O’Toole 0-1.
A Varley 0-4, C Costello 0-2 (1f), C Kilkenny 0-1, J Stewart 0-1, R Daly 0-1, G McDermottrow 0-1.
M Martin (Cork); L Bastible (Kerry), J McGuire (Kerry), J Foley (Kerry); K Crowley (Cork), S Cronin (Cork), T O’Sullivan (Dingle/Kerry); I Maguire (Cork), R O’Toole (Cork); R Buckley (Kerry), A Spillane (Kerry), J Kennedy (Tipperary); C Dorgan (Cork), K Spillane (Kerry), C Bambury (Kerry).
K Flahive (Cork) for K Crowley 36, C Kiely (Cork) for I Maguire 36, S Sherlock(Cork) for K Spillane 39, K Ryan (Limerick) for C Dorgan 45, M O’Donnell (Kerry) for J Kennedy 45, B Looby (Waterford) for T O’Sullivan 45.
P Byrne (Donegal); N O’Donnell (Dublin), K Loughran (Monaghan), P Ó Gallochoir (Donegal); J Stewart (Louth), E Sommerville (Cavan), R Daly (Roscommon); A Elliot (Dublin), N Loughman (Monaghan); A Fitzgerald (Dublin), C Kilkenny (Dublin), J McGarvey (Donegal); C Costello (Dublin), H Davey (Roscommon), A Varley (Galway).
S Treanor (Monaghan) for N O’Donnell 31, B Kelly (Roscommon) for J McGarvey 40, R Gillespie (Donegal) for A Fitzgerald 45, N Lowry (Offaly) for K Loughran 45, G McDermottrow for H Darcy 45.
N McKenna (Monaghan).