Garda College 1-13 Cork IT 0-8: Forceful opening spells in both halves propelled the Garda College past the challenge of Cork IT and into the first round proper of the Sigerson Cup.
Last year’s Trench Cup winners were by far the hungrier outfit in yesterday’s rescheduled preliminary round fixture, which also saw a late venue change as CIT’s pitch was deemed unplayable.
It’s debatable whether or not home advantage would have aided CIT for the Cork students were extremely flat-footed when playing into the teeth of a near-gale in the opening half.
Paul Smith had the Garda College on the board inside 15 seconds and their lead was doubled when David Shannon slotted a run of the mill free.
Sean O’Donovan (free) kicked CIT’s opener on five minutes following a foul on full-forward Peter Kelleher, but CIT’s inside line were non-existent for large spells as the Garda trainees overran their opponents around the middle; Paul Smith, Justin Blake and Carlow’s Brendan Murphy hugely influential.
CIT went scoreless in the quarter of an hour that followed O’Donovan’s free, during which the winners kicked 1-4. Gerard Haran (two frees) and Murphy both split the posts before Justin Blake ghosted in behind the Cork defence, collected a perfectly threaded through ball and finished calmly past ‘keeper Sean Barron on 14 minutes.
Roscommon’s Colin Compton kicked his first of the afternoon thereafter to push the Garda College into a 1-6 to 0-2 lead.
A nose injury which forced Brendan Murphy off the field for a short spell dampened their momentum and a fine Paul O’Sullivan minor left six between the sides at the break, by no means an insurmountable target for Ray Keane’s charges.
Indeed, when Clonmel Commercials and Tipperary footballer Jason Lonergan brought it back to five, 1-6 to 0-4, within two minutes of the restart, a CIT comeback looked imminent.
Anything but. The Cork students would fail to add to their tally during the subsequent 15 minutes of action, the Garda College ending this game as a contest in the interim.
Colin Compton, who bristled with intent throughout and had a hand in several of their first-half scores, kicked two beauties, with Haran, Blake (free), Shannon and centre-back Shane O’Malley also on target - the latter two scores straight out of the top drawer.
Trailing 1-12 to 0-5, CIT went hunting green flags in the closing quarter, but their two best chances were both driven wide by Darragh Treacy. Lonergan (0-3) and sub Josh Keane kicked four on the bounce, but ultimately it would make little difference.
Scorers for Garda College:
J Blake (1-2, 0-2 frees); G Haran (0-3, 0-2 frees), C Compton (0-3 each); D Shannon (0-2, 0-1 free); P Smith, S O’Malley, B Murphy (0-1 each).
Scorers for CIT:
J Lonergan (0-4, 0-1 free); S O’Donovan (0-2, 0-2 frees); P O’Sullivan, J Keane (0-1 each).
C Kenerick (Tipperary); G Farren (Donegal), G Petit (Roscommon), BJ Molloy (Carlow); P Smith (Cavan), S O’Malley (Roscommon), B Devlin (Louth); P McGee (Donegal), B Murphy (Carlow); P Morris (Cavan), D Shannon (Cork), C Shields (Longford); G Haran (Mayo), J Blake (Galway), C Compton (Roscommon).
J Kearney (Galway) for Devlin (HT), M Holland (Roscommon) for Smith (41 mins, bc), B O’Hare (Louth) for Shannon (52).
S Barron (Waterford); D Quinn (Cork), S Cahill (Limerick), P O’Sullivan (Kerry); TJ Brosnan (Cork), K Fahey (Tipperary), M Taylor (Cork); D Treacy (Limerick), J Collins (Cork); D O’Connor (Cork), T Sweeney (Tipperary), J Lonergan (Tipperary); C Keating (Kerry), P Kelleher (Cork), S O’Donovan (Cork).
M Collins (Cork) for Taylor (19 mins), J Keane (Tipperary) for Sweeney (HT), C Davies (Kerry) for O’Connor (35), S Fitzmaurice (Kerry) for Quinn (38), D Cahalane (Cork) for Brosnan (47), C Conneally (Tipperary) for Keating (53).
D O’Mahoney (Tipperary).
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