Waterford 3-12 UCC 1-09
Waterford have claimed their first McGrath Cup title in 34 years, with goals from Maurice O’Gorman, Gavin Nugent and Joey Veale helping them to only their second ever title, at Fraher Field tonight.
2-6 to 1-7 ahead at half-time, with O’Gorman and Veale finding the back of the UCC net, Tom McGlinchey’s charges drove on in the second half.
UCC only managed two points in the closing 35 minutes, with David Harrington and Conor Horgan on target, as Waterford claimed a nine-point win.
With nine changes in personnel from the line-up announced mid-week, UCC manager Billy Morgan may have had one eye on a Sigerson Cup opening round tie against Cork IT midweek, but the Lee-side University still fielded a formidable outfit.
In front of 907 spectators, both sides served up a cracking encounter, and it wasn't until the second half, where Waterford really took total control.
The hosts were eager to build on their good form of recent weeks, which carried them into a first final since 2002, and it took only three minutes for the opening goal.
Veale opening the scoring in classy fashion, after a well-worked move which saw UCC defenders Jamie Davis and Kevin O'Sullivan clash, after Liam Lawlor played the ball into Hurney, who found Veale, and the Kilrossanty clubman finished to the net.
But Waterford struggled to build on this as UCC tagged on four unanswered points, with Horgan, Adrian Spillane, David Harrington and Kevin Davis on target as they took a 0-4 to 1-0 lead after 12 minutes.
Waterford regained the lead with points from Shane Aherne and Michael Curry, but UCC found the back of the Waterford net in the 18th minute, after a Horgan goal helped them to a 1-4 to 1-2 lead at the end of the first quarter.
UCC only managed one point over the next 12 minutes, as Waterford once again got on top.
Curry, Lawlor and Hurney all took points, while Waterford's second goal came from an unlikely source, as half-back Maurice O'Gorman popped up at the end of a move to slot to the net in the 26th minute.
2-6 to 1-5 ahead, Waterford never lost grasp of the lead for the remainder of the contest.
UCC mounted a mini comeback before the interval with late points from Tom Hickey to ensure a 2-6 to 1-7 half-time score-line.
Harrington opened the scoring for the students inside 90 second of the restart to cut the gap to the minimum, but Waterford firmly drove on.
Nugent completed their hat-trick in the 50th minute, to ensure a 3-7 to 1-8 lead, after a pass from Michael Curry.
Waterford proved too hot to handle for UCC in the closing quarter, with the students outscored by four points to one in the closing 17 minutes.
After the game Waterford captain Thomas O'Gorman, received the McGrath Cup from Munster Council Chairman Robert Frost.
Scorers for Waterford: S Aherne (3f) 0-4; M O’Gorman, G Nugent, J Veale 1-0 each; M Curry, P Hurney 0-2 each; C Phelan, L Lawlor 0-1, D Gray each.
Scorers for UCC: C Horgan (2f) 1-2; D Harrington 0-3; T Hickey (1f) 0-2; K Davis, A Spillane 0-1 each.
WATERFORD: S Enright; D Crowley; N Walsh, T O’Gorman; T Ó hUallacháin, M O’Gorman, R Ó Ceallaigh; S Aherne, T Prendergast; M Curry, M O’Halloran, P Hurney; L Lawlor, G Nugent, J Veale. Subs: C Phelan for N Walsh (21); D Gray for Veale (51); J Curry for Hurney (60); B Power for Crowley (65); O Keevers for Prendergast (66); M Ferncombe for M Curry (69);
UCC (Cork unless stated): P McCarthy (Kerry); J Davis, K Fulignati, K Histon; K O’Sullivan (Kerry), S White, E Dennehy; A O’Donovan, A Spillane (Kerry); F O’Connor, K Davis, S Keane (Kerry); T Hickey (Kerry), D Harrington, C Horgan. Subs: F Courtney (Kerry) for Hickey (HT); K Hayes-Curtin for Davis (42); C Hyde for White (43); P Scanlon for O’Donovan (43); P Loram (Tipperary) for Harrington (50); S Power (Tipperary) for Keane (60);
REFEREE: Seamus Mulvihill (Kerry)