Defending champions UCC booked their place in the Fitzgibbon Cup semi-final at the Mardyke tonight. The result was decided long before the final whistle, Charlie McGuckin getting in for a UCD goal in stoppage time.
UCC meet the winners of Waterford IT and Fitzgibbon Cup hosts DCU in the last four on Saturday week.
The opening exchanges were close. But once UCC, who topped Group C, settled into their stride they dictated. UCD not managing to score from play until the end of the third quarter.
UCC led 1-13 to 1-4 at the interval. It was a display that pleased UCC manager Tom Kingston.
“The game was very similar to the CIT game (group). We hurled very well in the first half. We took a big lead at half time but fair play to UCD they came back into it.
But you are not going to dominate a match for the whole hour. If you can dominate for periods and make those periods count, that is what it is all about. Overall, we are delighted.
UCC moved 0-5 to 0-1 in front inside the opening 10 minutes, with both goalkeepers called into action. UCD’s first goal arrived in the 13th minute from a Ronan Hayes penalty. UCC pulled away again to lead 0-9 to 1-2 by the 20th minute and they had six different scorers on the sheet.
Their two-man full-forward line of Shane Kingston and Mark Kehoe landing good points, as well as Darragh Fitzgibbon, Billy Hennessy, and Shane Conway. Free-taker Conway his usual reliable self, totalling eight points overall.
When Kingston flashed a superb shot high to the net, UCC were in a strong position five minutes from the break. They continued to pile on the pressure with Robbie O’Flynn and David Griffin helping them into a nine-point advantage. Their defence, meanwhile, dealt ably with anything that came their way.
Soon after the restart, Shane Hurley saved a penalty from Hayes, as the home side maintained their dominance. Rory Purcell landing UCD’s first score from play midway through the half.
UCC, who emptied their bench, conceded 1-4 late on but they were never in any danger.
It is busy times for players between county and college commitments.
“Every college is in the same position. They all have players playing national league this weekend. You keep your fingers crossed that your own lads come through.
This competition is run off over such a short space of time, it is all about the panel.
S Conway (0-8, 0-6 frees), S Kingston (1-1), R O’Flynn (0-3), M Coleman (0-1 free) and M Kehoe (0-2 each), D Griffin, B Hennessy, M O’Halloran (free) and D Fitzgibbon (0-1 each).
R Hayes (1-8, 1-0 pen, 0-5 frees, 0-3 65s), C McGuckin (1-0), R Purcell (0-3) and P Crummey (0-1).
(Cork unless stated) S Hurley (St Finbarr’s); D Lowney (Clonakilty), R Downey (Glen Rovers), K O’Dwyer (Killenaule, Tipperary); B Hennessy (St Finbarr’s), N O’Leary (Castlelyons), D Griffin (Carrigaline); M Coleman (Blarney), D Fitzgibbon (Charleville); R O’Flynn (Erin’s Own), S Conway (Lixnaw, Kerry), C Boylan (Na Piarsaigh, Limerick); P O’Loughlin (Kilmallock, Limerick, Capt), S Kingston (Douglas), M Kehoe (Kilsheelin-Kilcash, Tipperary).
M O’Halloran (Blackrock) for M Kehoe (45), N Montgomery (Abbeyside, Waterford) for S Kingston (46), P Cadell (JK Brackens, Tipperary) for B Hennessy (50), B Sheehan (Dicksboro, Kilkenny) for S Conway (52), B Turnbull (Douglas) for D Fitzgibbon (55).
C O’Donoghue (Ballyboden St Endas, Dublin); M Kenny (Clara, Kilkenny), I O’Shea (Athenry, Galway), E Carroll (Dicksboro, Kilkenny); H Lalor (O’Loughlin Gaels, Kilkenny), M Purcell (Thurles Sarsfields, Tipperary), C Scallan (Ferns St Aidan’s, Wexford); E Egan (Graigue Ballycallan, Kilkenny), M Cody (Dunamaggin, Kilkenny); E Foley (Naomh Olaf, Dublin), R Purcell (Thurles Sarsfields, Tipperary), R Hayes (Kilmacud Crokes, Dublin); L McDwyer (Ballyboden St Endas, Dublin), C McGuckin (Naomh Eanna, Wexford), P Crummey (Lucan Sarsfields, Dublin, Capt).
N Heffernan (Golden Kilfeacle, Tipperary) for M Kenny (half time), D Ó Floinn (Cuala, Dublin) for L McDwyer (35), K Desmond (Ballyboden St Endas, Dublin) for E Foley (35), D Ryan (Clonakenny, Tipperary) for M Purcell (52), J Bergin (Clara, Kilkenny) for M Cody (55).
Fergal Horgan (Tipperary).