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Late goal by Tipp's Breen helps UCC see off DCU in quarter-final battle

0-7 from Patrick Curran almost helped the underdogs triumph at the Mardyke.

UCC 1-18
DCU 0-16

Denis Hurley reports from the Mardyke

UCC WILL COMPETE in the finals weekend of the Fitzgibbon Cup for the first time since 2014 after they emerged from a battle in their quarter-final with DCU at the Mardyke today.

Seamus Kennedy under pressure from Jason Byrne UCC's Seamus Kennedy under pressure from DCU's Jason Byrne. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

The competition’s record winners, last champions in 2013, were tied with their visitors at 0-11 each at half-time and DCU moved into a 0-14 to 0-12 lead thanks to points from Patrick Curran and Rian McBride as UCC’s poor shooting cost them.

However, around the three-quarter mark, Jamie Barron, Mark O’Brien, Séamus Kennedy and Michael O’Halloran reeled off four unanswered points as UCC seemed to set to push on.

UCC players warm up UCC players warming up before the game. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Instead, AJ Murphy pulled one back for DCU and Curran, who finished with seven points, was twice unlucky in the search for an equaliser.

His first effort, a free, flew wide as he slipped and then, in the final minute of normal time, a brilliant sideline cut hit the post.

Patrick Curran Waterford hurler Patrick Curran shot 0-7 for DCU. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

UCC, scoreless for almost ten minutes, settled as the impressive Kennedy and sub Mark O’Connor opened up a goal lead and then Mark O’Brien set up Michael Breen – a half-time sub – who netted after Robbie Gillen saved his initial effort.

Paul Kelly did have a late DCU point, but the game had gone from them.

While DCU led by 0-3 to 0-1 early on, UCC looked to have got on top as Conor Gleeson, Anthony Spillane and Chris O’Leary put them 0-8 to 0-5 in front, but the Dublin college refused to yield.

Chris O'Leary under pressure Chris O'Leary was part of UCC's winning side today. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Curran drew a good save from Jack Barry, with Liam Fahey’s rebound wide and, as half-time approached, Fahey’s point was followed by three from Curran as they moved 0-11 to 0-10 in front.

Kennedy ensured that the teams were tied at the break and UCC got the win, but not without a fight.

Tom Devine under pressure from Paudie Foley UCC's Tom Devine tries to get past DCU's Paudie Foley. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Scorers for UCC: Séamus Kennedy 0-4 (0-2 frees), Anthony Spillane 0-3, Michael Breen 1-0, Jamie Barron (0-1 free), Alan Cadogan (0-1 free), Chris O’Leary (0-2 frees) 0-2 each, Mark O’Brien, Conor Gleeson, Gavin O’Brien, Mark O’Connor, Michael O’Halloran 0-1 each.

Scorers for DCU: Patrick Curran 0-7 (0-6 frees), AJ Murphy 0-3, Rian McBride 0-2, Paul O’Dea, Liam Fahey, Paul Kelly, Killian Doyle 0-1 each.

UCC

(Cork clubs unless stated)

1. Jack Barry (Castlelyons)

4. Shane Roche (Shamrocks, Waterford)
3. Colm Spillane (Castlelyons)
2. Ian Kenny (Ballygunner, Waterford)

5. Séamus Kennedy (St Mary’s Clonmel, Tipperary)
6. Conor Gleeson (Fourmilewater, Waterford)
7. Rickard Cahalane (Ballymartle)

8. Jamie Barron (Fourmilewater, Waterford)
32. Chris O’Leary (Valley Rovers)

28. Gavin O’Brien (Roanmore, Waterford)
11. Tom Devine (Modeligo, Waterford)
10. Mark O’Brien (Ferrybank, Waterford)

13. Alan Cadogan (Douglas)
14. James O’Flynn (Erin’s Own)
34. Anthony Spillane (Castlelyons)

Subs

9. Michael Breen (Ballina, Tipperary) for O’Flynn (half-time)
30. Mark O’Connor (Douglas) for Cahalane (48)
31. Michael O’Halloran (Blackrock) for Gavin O’Brien (48)
20. Eddie Gunning (Na Piarsaigh) for Kenny (56, injured)

DCU

1. Robbie Gillen (Cullion, Westmeath)

2. Seán McCaw (St Vincent’s, Dublin)
4. Conor Delaney (Erin’s Own, Kilkenny)
3. Eoghan O’Donnell (Whitehall Colmcille, Dublin)

20. Tony French (Adamstown, Wexford)
6. Paudie Foley (Crossabeg/Ballymurn, Wexford)
5. Aaron Maddock (St Martin’s, Wexford)

7. Paul O’Dea (Na Fianna, Dublin)
8. Gavin Bailey (Ferns, Wexford)

10. Liam Fahey (Rockwell Rovers, Tipperary)
24. Rian McBride (St Vincent’s, Dublin)
12. Jason Byrne (Clara, Kilkenny)

23. AJ Murphy (Na Fianna, Dublin)
14. Patrick Curran (Dungarvan, Waterford)
15. Eoghan Conroy (St Maur’s, Dublin)

Subs

22. Killian Doyle (Raharney, Westmeath) for McCaw (16, injured)
25. Eoghan McHugh (Na Fianna, Dublin) for French (41)
27. Harry O’Connor (St Martin’s, Wexford) for Bailey (46)
21. Paul Kelly (Croabh Chiaráin, Dublin) for Doyle (59)

Referee: Alan Kelly (Galway)

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Denis Hurley

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