The sides were level a total of six times in normal time so the likelihood of extra-time loomed large throughout a game where the Cork students always looked the likely winners but indulged in far too much keep ball for minutes at a time during the second-half, which provided a poor spectacle for the spectators.
It was very much score for score throughout a pedestrian first-half, with a point from substitute Michael O’Driscoll in injury time giving UCC a 0-5 to 0-4 interval lead. UCC had lost midfielder Ronan O’Toole to a 23rd minute black card.
There was fireworks in the early minutes of the second- half when UCC coach Billy Morgan was sent to the stands by Tipperary referee Derek O’Mahoney when he vehemently disagreed with a decision by the official.
Almost immediately IT Carlow were down to 14 when full-forward Luke Flynn was issued with a straight red card.
But UCC were never able to impose any significant degree of control and were always vulnerable to Carlow counter-attacks, with home centre back Caolan Ward, Kevin Ryan and Chris Healy providing the biggest threat.
A fine point from play by midfielder Jack Kennedy from distance put UCC two points clear but IT Carlow hit back when a 36th minute goal from their outstanding player, right corner-forward Kevin Ryan put the home side in front.
The Meathman was to finish with 1-2 from play.
UCC clawed their way back in front with unanswered points from Ronan Buckley, Killian Spillane (free) and Cathal Bambury. But again Carlow responded and points from Ryan and another from the impressive Chris Healy sent the game to extra-time.
With Brian O’Driscoll’s point being the lone score in that extra-time, UCC edged home but this was far from a vintage display from the Cork students.
O’Driscoll had been introduced as a 54th minute substitute and his overall play made a positive impact for the visitors.
All of Carlow’s scores came from Kevin Ryan and Chris Healy and it proved too much for the corner forwards to fashion victory, particularly when Ryan retired with appeared to be cramp at half time of extra-time.
C Dorgan 0-3, all frees, R Buckley 0-2, M O’Donnell (free), J Kennedy, K Spillane (free), C Bambury, B O’Driscoll 0-1 each.
K Ryan 1-2, C Healy 0-4, 0-2 frees.
M Martin (Cork); J Foley (Kerry), J McGuire (Kerry), L Bastible (Cork); M Flood (Meath), K Crowley (Cork), T O’Sullivan (Kerry); J Kennedy (Tipperary), R O’Toole (Cork); R Buckley (Kerry), A Spillane (Kerry), I Maguire (Cork); R Buckley (Kerry), K Spillane (Kerry), C Bambury (Kerry).
M O’Donnell (Kerry) for O’Toole (black card) (23); A O’Donovan (Cork) for Dorgan (43); B O’Driscoll for Buckley (54); C Kiely (Cork) for Bastible (64); K Flahive (Cork) for Flood (6:; F F Clifford (Kerry) for McGuire (64).
R Samson (Louth); J Mitchell (Leitrim), T O’Connell (Kildare), J Casey (Roscommon); E Buggie (Laois), C Ward (Donegal), N Kane (Meath); R Ryan (Meath), M Russell (Tipperary); R Ryan (Meath), A Dever (Mayo), W Young (Laois); K Ryan (Meath), L Flynn (Kildare), C Healy (Kildare).
M Hurley (Cork) for Russell (25); S Maughan (Kildare) for Dever (44); D O’Sullivan (Kildare) for Mitchell (50); C McCabbe (Longford) for Ryan (injured) (76); R Cahill (Kildare) for Russell (76).
D O’Mahoney (Tipperary).