Late points crucial as UCC survive tough Seandún test

UCC 1-17 Seandún 3-10: UCC needed three late unanswered points to get the better of Seandún in the opening game of the county SFC at Ballinlough last night.

When Killian Brosnan gathered Stephen Crowley’s delivery and fired to Darragh O’Shea’s net for the city division’s third goal in the 53rd minute, it put them two points ahead, capping what appeared to be a late surge to take them past the students. Unfortunately, though, it was their last score as UCC found a second wind.

Two Conor Cox frees – his ninth and 10th points – levelled matters again, and in between that Jordan Kiely was unlucky not to get a College goal, his shot hitting the post and rebounding into the hands of full-back Ronan Foley.

They had re-seized the momentum, however, and brothers Killian and Adrian Spillane linked for the winner, kicked over by the latter, though Seandún had felt that there had been an illegal pick-up in the build-up. They did get a chance to force extra-time with a free in injury time, but John Paul Murphy’s effort from out wide was claimed under the crossbar by UCC’s James Walsh and the College prevailed.

“We were lucky,” UCC manager Dr Con Murphy admitted.

“Paddy O’Shea made some great saves early in the second-half and I thought they’d end up costing us. The lads responded well but we’ll have to up it if we’re going to go further.”

Those saves by Seandun goalkeeper O’Shea, from Killian Ryan and Gary O’Sullivan, were vital as they prevented them from falling further behind than the three points by which they trailed at half-time. With Paul Condon and Mark Howard showing up well, they were able to stay with the College, trailing by 1-12 to 1-8 before a surge on the three-quarter mark. A nice point by Murphy, his second, was followed by a levelling goal from wing-back David O’Neill when Brosnan’s pass picked out his surging run.

Roy Downey added another to put them in front for the first time and though UCC responded through Walsh and Ronan Buckley, Brosnan’s goal was another sucker-punch.

They had an answer, but early in the game it appeared they would coast through to a Round 2A clash with the winners of Ballincollig and Bishopstown. Cox got the game’s first four scores inside 11 minutes, goaling on nine when he palmed home after David Harrington had come in along the endline and handpassed across.

Howard’s goal got Seandun off the mark, and the energetic Darren O’Regan, Condon and Howard all had points as they ate into the lead. Two Cox points on 21 and 22 provided breathing space again and had Ryan not been denied by O’Shea coming up to the break, the second period might have been a lot more straightforward.

As it was, they got the win, but Seandún can take heart ahead of their Round 2B tie against the losers of the Nemo Rangers-Duhallow tie.

Scorers for UCC:

C. Cox (1-10, 5 frees); R. Buckley (0-3); A. Spillane, J. Walsh (0-1), J. Kiely (0-2)

Scorers for Seandún:

M. Howard (1-2); D. O’Neill (1-1); C. Brosnan (1-0); P. Condon (0-3, 2 frees); J.P. Murphy (0-2); D. O’Regan, R. Downey (0-1 each).

UCC (Kerry clubs unless stated):

D. O’Shea (Ballydonoghue); J. McGuire (Listowel Emmets), C. Ó Beaglaioch (An Ghaeltacht), C. de hÍde (Naomh Abán, Cork); C. Murphy (Rathmore), M. Walsh (Knocknagoshel), J. Walsh (Knocknagoshel); G. O’Sullivan (Listry), M. O’Donovan (Galbally, Limerick); K. Shanahan (Ardfert), J. Kiely (Dr Crokes), K. Ryan (Mungret St Paul’s); R. Buckley (Listry), C. Cox (Listowel Emmets), D. Harrington (Adrigole, Cork).

Subs:

A. Spillane (Templenoe) for O’Donovan, C. Ó hAiniféin (Éire Óg Ennis, Clare) for Harrington (both half-time), F. Clifford (Waterville) for M. Walsh (37), C. Hughes (Canovee, Cork) for O’Sullivan (48), K. Spillane (Templenoe) for Shanahan (54).

SEANDÚN:

P. O’Shea (St Vincent’s); A. Harte (St Vincent’s), R. Foley (Delanys), G. Gould (Delanys); D. O’Neill (Mayfield), D. O’Regan (St Vincent’s), S. Crowley (Brian Dillons); K. Brosnan (Brian Dillons), S. Buckley (St Vincent’s); W. Long (St Vincent’s), M. Howard (Passage), K. Hosford (Delanys); P. Condon (Mayfield), R. Downey (Delanys), J.P. Murphy (St Vincent’s).

Subs:

R. Carroll (Passage) for Long (53), A. Kidney (Passage) for Howard (60, injured).

Referee:

John O’Leary (Mallow).



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