The visitors, not surprisingly, didn’t hang about, quickly making for the dressing-room.
No question but this quarter-final annihilation will go down as one of the very worst days in their long and storied association with the Fitzgibbon Cup.
This is not a college au fait with 22-point drubbings.
The decider, on February 24, will pass for the sixth consecutive year without UCC involvement - an unwanted first for the university.
Having been present at their Group A defeat at home to UCD, we let it slide as UCC simply having an off day. They were, after all, minus the services of Mark Coleman, Tom Devine and Shane Kingston.
Coleman was the sole absentee yesterday. Excuses, therefore, were thin on the ground.
The UCC defence, under ferocious pressure all afternoon long, was breached for the first of four goals inside three minutes. The second arrived 17 minutes in.
Tom Kingston’s side managed six points in the opening half an hour, all six were frees. Not one score from play did they manage.
The opening 22 minutes of the second half passed without a single UCC score.
Fifty-two minutes had run on the clock when half-back Rickard Cahalane fired over their first point from play and their first score of the second period.
Mark O’Brien followed this with another, he the sole UCC forward to find the target from play.
By this juncture, the visitors had been reduced to 14 men, Tipperary’s Michael Breen sent to the line for a second bookable offence.
Cork senior trio Robbie O’Flynn, Darragh Fitzgibbon and Shane Kingston were whipped off before the finish, as was Kilkenny’s John Power.
For UL, this was as close to a complete performance as they are likely to get. Of their 18 points, all bar two arrived from play.
Half-back Gearoid Hegarty, playing his fifth game in 12 days, rose two white flags, their midfield pairing of Tony Kelly and Paul Maher supplied five of their total.
Five of the starting front six had found the mark from play before the call for half-time, by which they were 2-10 to 0-6 in front.
Tony Kelly played through Barry Murphy for their opening goal, with Jason Forde, set up by Kevin O’Brien and Ian Galvin, delivering their second.
The latter was making life extremely hard for the UCC half-back line, the Clare senior notching three points inside 19 minutes. At the other end, no UCC forward bar Waterford’s Tom Devine made an impression.
Conor Cleary and Sean Finn superbly marshalled the UL rearguard.
Tony Kelly and Murphy extended their advantage upon the restart before combining to earn Gary Kirby’s side a 40th-minute penalty. Jason Forde duly converted. 3-12 to 0-6 read the scoreboard. Game over.
They were awarded a second penalty before the finish. Murphy, on this occasion, handled responsibility. He also obliged, taking his personal tally to 2-4.
“We didn’t expect that,” said Kirby.
“UCC are a strong outfit with a great tradition. Our guys set the marker from the word go and that set the tone for the game.
“We know we have the talent here, we know we have some super players. That is no good, though, unless you get the work-rate with it. Today, the work-rate was great.”
Next up is a semi-final meeting with IT Carlow, the very side who ended their involvement at the quarter-final juncture this time 12 months ago.
“They have won a couple of leagues on the trot and have been pushing on the last number of years.”
That may be so, but on the basis of this showing, UL are going to take some stopping.
B Murphy (2-4, 1-0 pen, 0-2 frees); J Forde (2-1, 1-0 pen); T Kelly, I Galvin (0-3 each); P Maher, T Morrissey G Hegarty (0-2 each); K O’Brien (0-1).
S Kingston (0-5, 0-5 frees); D Fitzgibbon (0-1 free); M O’Brien, R Cahalane (0-1 each).
D McCarthy (Limerick); S Finn (Limerick), B Troy (Kilkenny), A McGuane (Clare); G Hegarty (Limerick), C Cleary (Clare), D Fitzgerald (Clare); T Kelly (Clare), P Maher (Tipperary); I Galvin (Clare), K O’Brien (Limerick), T Morrissey (Limerick); J McGrath (Tipperary), J Forde (Tipperary), B Murphy (Limerick).
B Heffernan (Tipperary) for Troy (20 mins); D Gleeson (Tipperary) for Forde, M Mullins (Galway) for J McGrath (both 48); S Roche (Galway) for McGuane (52); JP Lucey (Waterford) for Kelly (53).
J Barry (Cork); S O’Donoghue (Cork), D Griffin (Cork), C Gleeson (Waterford); C McGrath (Kilkenny), C Browne (Kilkenny), R Cahalane (Cork); M Breen (Tipperary), D Lowney (Cork); M O’Brien (Waterford), D Fitzgibbon (Cork), J Power (Kilkenny); S Kingston (Cork), T Devine (Waterford), R O’Flynn (Cork).
E Murphy (Cork) for McGrath (20 mins); B McCarthy (Tipperary) for O’Flynn (HT); E Gough (Kilkenny) for Fitzgibbon (38); N Cashman (Cork) for Power (45); E Gunning (Cork) for Kingston (55).
A Kelly (Galway).