With a host of inter-county stars on board, Mary Immaculate College cruised to success in the Ryan Cup final on Saturday in the Mardyke.
The side, managed by Limerick great Eamonn Cregan, displayed outstanding form in the run-up to this decider and were never troubled by IT Tralee.
Galway senior Conor Cooney anchored their challenge brilliantly from centre-back, Kerry star Darragh O’Connell impressed at midfield while their attack coped without Clare’s John Conlon as Michael Ryan and David O’Connor both impressed.
Their star turn was Sean Curran, younger brother of Tipperary senior captain Paul, as he notched 0-6 in a sparkling display.
For team captain Shane O’Sullivan it was a special occasion as the Waterford senior returned to win a Ryan Cup medal in the grounds where he previously starred for UCC in the Fitzgibbon Cup.
“I love coming back to the Mardyke, I’ve great memories of playing here with UCC and to win another medal here is fantastic There’s a fine team there, it’s a pity we weren’t involved in the Fitzgibbon this year. I’m not saying we’d have got to the weekend but it was a very strong team. There are some very good county players and club players there. Maybe that opportunity will come in the future.”
First-half goals from David O’Connor from a 15th minute penalty and from Fionn Keane after a fine team move in the 22nd minute helpedpropel Mary Immaculate College to victory. They led 2-7 to 0-5 at the break and with Cooney and Kevin O’Gorman strong in defence, Mary Immaculate College stretched their lead in the second-half as Curran, Ryan and sub Brian O’Halloran took control. IT Tralee battled manfully with Mark Deegan impressing at centre-back while Eamonn Brosnan, an All-Ireland junior club winner with Meelin last year, excelled in attack.
However Mary Immaculate College’s success was never in doubt. The triumph was the start of a successful evening for the O’Sullivan family, as Shane captained the team and then watched his nephews Philip and Pauric help UCC win the Fitzgibbon Cup afterwards.
“It was great to see them lifting the cup here as well for the 100thanniversary. I’ve two nephews involved, Philip and Pauric, and another clubmate from Ballygunner in Brian O’Sullivan. So it’s a good day for the club with UCC winning.”
Scorers for Mary Immaculate College: D O’Connor 1-3 (1-0 pen, 0-2f, 0-1 ’65), S Curran 0-6, M Ryan 0-4, F Keane 1-0, D O’Connell 0-3, B O’Halloran 0-2, C Cooney (0-1f), S O’Sullivan, R O’Donnell 0-1 each.
Scorers for IT Tralee: E Brosnan 0-8 (0-4f), M Lynch, C Goode 0-1 each.
MARY IMMACULATE COLLEGE: S Nolan (Tipperary); S Ó Cuirin (Waterford), K O’Gorman (Tipperary), A Ryan (Tipperary); M Reidy (Limerick), C Cooney (Galway), P Molloy (Tipperary); S O’Sullivan (Waterford), D O’Connell (Kerry); R O’Donnell (Limerick), S Curran (Tipperary), D Collins (Tipperary); M Ryan (Limerick), F Keane (Cork), D O’Connor (Tipperary).
Subs: B O’Halloran (Waterford) for Keane (44), L Considine (Limerick) for O’Donnell (49), W Hickey (Limerick) for Ryan (55), E Kelly (Cork) for Collins (55) PJ Keane (Kerry) for Reidy (58).IT TRALEE: D Delaney (Kerry); B Murphy (Kerry), O Gately (Cork), M Rea (Limerick); J Leahy (Cork), M Deegan (Limerick), M Cleary (Offaly); F Kennedy (Clare), M Kiely (Limerick); C Goode (Cork), P O’Connor (Limerick), M Lynch (Kerry); E Brosnan (Cork), C Harty (Kerry), F Collins (Tipperary).
Subs: P Carey (Tipperary) for Goode (45), G O’Doherty (Clare) for Lynch (49).
Referee:J O’Connell (Cork).
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved