MCGRATH CUP SEMI-FINAL:
UCC 1-12 CIT 1-10, Cork IT
Kerry Under-21 star John Buckley top-scored with 1-1 as UCC made it through to Sunday week's McGrath Cup final, outlasting their Cork rivals CIT in a competitive semi-final clash.
UCC, conquerors of Clare last weekend, mustered the stronger finish as they set up a glamour cup decider against Tipperary or Kerry. This is a busy period for the Cork students with their Sigerson Cup first round tie against DIT next Wednesday.
Cork ace Daniel Goulding led the charge for CIT in attack, getting on the scoresheet early on as the hosts cantered into a 0-3 to 0-1 lead. Aidan Walsh and Paul Kerrigan also found their scoring range in the opening minutes.
CIT perhaps should have had a goal chalked down by that stage, with UCC requiring an excellent save from goalkeeper Ken O'Halloran to deny Colm O'Neill in the sixth minute.
UCC responded well, hitting five points in a row courtesy of efforts from Sean Kiely, David Goold, Buckley, David Kearney and Michael Shields.
But the IT side countered brilliantly before the break. Kerryman Barry John Walsh linked with Kerrigan before the latter slung a low driven shot to the UCC net, pushing his side into a 1-5 to 0-7 half-time lead.
Things were still looking good for CIT midway through the second half, leading by 1-8 to 0-8 - but Buckley's goal lit the touchpaper for UCC's late show.
Buckley palmed home in the 46th minute, getting in on the end of a long through ball from defender Bart Daly. Points from David O'Callaghan and Paul Honohan moved UCC ahead and despite the best efforts of Goulding (0-7), there was no way back for CIT.
Scorers - UCC: J Buckley 1-1, S Kiely, D Kearney, D Goold (0-2f), D O'Callaghan (0-1f) 0-2 each, M Shields, P Honohan, D Casey 0-1 each
CIT: D Goulding 0-7 (0-2 '45', 0-2f), P Kerrigan 1-1 (0-1f), A Walsh, G Sayers 0-1
UCC: K O’Halloran (Cork); L Jennings (Cork), R Buckley (Cork), E Cotter (Cork); P Crowley (Kerry), A Greaney (Kerry), B Daly (Cork); M Shields (Cork), J Buckley (Kerry); D O’Callaghan (Kerry), D Goold (Cork), S Kiely (Cork); D Kearney (Cork), S Hayes (Cork), P Honohan (Cork).
Subs used: M Collins (Cork) for Hayes (12 mins, inj), D Casey (Kerry) for Goold (47), K O’Driscoll (Cork) for Kiely (56).
CIT: B Kelly (Kerry); N Galvin (Cork), S O'Donoghue (Cork), R Carey (Cork); A Walsh (Cork), P O’Flynn (Cork), C O’Driscoll (Cork); S O’Hare (Waterford), A O’Sullivan (Cork); J Fitzpatrick (Cork), P Kerrigan (Cork), S McCarthy (Cork); C O’Neill (Cork), BJ Walsh (Kerry), D Goulding (Cork).
Subs used: G Sayers (Kerry) for Fitzpatrick (half-time), B McGuire (Kerry) for O’Donoghue (37 mins), R Leahy (Cork) for McCarthy (52), R O’Dwyer (Cork) for O’Hare (51).
Referee: Michael Meade (Limerick)