UCC raise the ante to shake off Maynooth

Maynooth University 0-14 UCC 0-22: A superb second-half display by UCC took the steam out of Maynooth University as the Cork side booked a home Fitzgibbon Cup quarter-final at Maynooth yesterday.

However, despite playing a huge part in sealing UCC’s victory with nine pointed frees, corner-forward Rob O’Shea was sent off in the 52nd minute on a straight red which means he’ll miss their quarter-final in the Mardyke.

Level seven times in the opening half, UCC battled against a sticky pitch and a fired-up Maynooth University side to eventually put their opponents, who have not won the competition since 1974, away.

Despite being on level terms at 0-9 apiece at the break, Maynooth stuttered in the second half, unable to repeat their first-half dominance. And much like their last trip up North last week, they failed to score from play.

Such were the conditions, dry but heavy underfoot, the afternoon was set up for a free-taking contest. Tipperary’s Michael Breen was excluded from the UCC starting line-up with an injured hand, while Kilkenny’s John Power is still recovering from a shoulder injury picked up playing with Carrickshock.

Rob O’Shea and Brian Molloy traded scores by the 10th minute, while scores from Ciarán Breen and Mark O’Brien left the game tied at 0-5 apiece after 20 minutes.

And while UCC’s O’Shea edged a three-point lead by the 23rd minute, two Molloy frees and a much needed Daragh Egerton score levelled the game for the sixth time with three minutes to play in the first half.

However, with their late flurry of scores lifting the Maynooth tide seconds before the half was signalled UCC keeper Jack Barry was needed to deny MJ Lawlor with a reflex save and so the half ended at 0-9 apiece.

UCC exploded into the second-half, however. Four consecutive points in eight minutes from O’Shea (2f), Alan Cadagon and Mark O’Brien opened a match winning gap.

Maynooth did respond through Molloy and then sub Paul O’Brien stroked over a sideline with his first touch by the 41st minute. But as the team had only scored two first-half points from play and register none in the second-half, an easily defended Molloy 21’ yard free was their only opportunity on goal.

UCC midfielder Jamie Barron capped off a fine overall display with three points from midfield in the second-half and O’Shea kept his frees ticking over until his dismissal eight minutes from time.

In the end, two Seamus Kennedy frees along with a Colm Roche point eventually set up UCC with a home Mardyke quarter-final with a gritty performance.

UCC:

J Barry (Cork); I Kenny (Waterford), C Spillane (Cork), S Roche (Waterford); S Kennedy 0-2f (Tipperary), C Gleeson (Waterford), R Cahalane (Cork); J Barron 0-3 (Waterford), C O’Leary 0-2 (Cork); M O’Brien 0-2 (Waterford), T Devine 0-1 (Waterford), G O’Brien 0-1 (Waterford); A Cadagon 0-1 (Cork), J Flynn (Cork), R O’Shea 0-9f (Cork)

Subs:

C Roche 0-1 (Waterford) for G O’Brien (49); M O’Halloran (Cork) for Devine (59); M O’Connor (Cork) for O’Leary (62).

MAYNOOTH UNIVERSITY:

B Hogan 0-2f (Tipperary); E Moloney (Tipperary), M Campion (Tipperary), E McLaughlin (Dublin); P Walsh (Kilkenny), P Deegan (Kilkenny), R Donohue 0-1 (Wexford); C Breen 0-1 (Kilkenny), K Sheridan (Wexford); D Egerton 0-1 (Westmeath), N Kenny (Tipperary), E Kenny (Kilkenny); D Burke (Kilkenny), B Molloy 0-9f (Galway), M J Lawlor (Laois).

Subs:

P Kinsella (Offaly) for Lawlor (40).

Referee:

P O’Dwyer (Carlow)



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