IT Carlow made a winning start to their Fitzgibbon Cup campaign as they defeated UCD by seven points in their Group D clash at Billings Park.
The visitors looked to be struggling as they trailed by three points at the interval but they dominated upon the resumption with goals in the third quarter from the excellent Cathal Dunbar and Liam Blanchfield helping to build an unassailable lead.
The hosts played with the benefit of the breeze in the first half with Dublin duo Ronan Hayes and Paul Crummey posting two points apiece in the early stages.
However, IT Carlow looked the more fluent outfit and landed a body blow in the 13th minute as Chris Nolan netted from close range after Conor O’Donoghue had repelled a Dunbar shot.
UCD’s response to that setback was admirable with Hayes landing three scores in succession prior to a Charlie McGuckin goal in the 28th minute that pushed UCD 1-11 to 1-8 ahead by half-time.
Any momentum they enjoyed was lost instantly as their opponents took control of affairs through those Dunbar and Blanchfield strikes in the 33rd and 39th minute respectively.
The hosts battled gamely from that point but were limited in terms of their scoring options and while McGuckin fired home a second goal in the 46th minute, it failed to prompt an unlikely comeback as IT Carlow eased home with a fair degree of comfort.
Scorers for IT Carlow: C Dunbar (1-4); C Nolan (1-3, 2 frees); L Blanchfield (1-2); E Rowland (0-5 frees); R Leahy (0-2); M Harney, L Scanlon, N Brassil, R Higgins (0-1 each).
Scorers for UCD: R Hayes (0-11, 9 frees); C McGuckin (2-0); P Crummey (0-3); M Purcell, R Purcell (0-1 each).
IT CARLOW: E Rowland; S Reck, S Downey, F Hayes; N Brassil, J Cleere, P Delaney; M Harney, L Scanlon; E Gaughan, C Dunbar, R Leahy; S Bergin, L Blanchfield, C Nolan.
Subs: T Nolan for Gaughan (50), D Wall for Cleere (54), S Casey for Reck (58), R Higgins for Bergin (58).
UCD: C O’Donoghue; C O’Donovan, I O’Shea, E Carroll; N Heffernan, H Lawlor, M Cody; E Egan, M Purcell; D Ó Floinn, R Purcell; R Hayes; L McDwyer, C McGuckin, P Crummey.
Subs: C Scallan for Heffernan (half-time), E Foley for Ó Floinn (43), F Ó Ceallaigh for R Purcell (46), S Carey for McDwyer (52), D Ryan for Egan (58).
Ref: John Keenan (Wicklow)