'If you asked me to do it again I wouldn't get it in 100 shots' - UCC's last-gasp hero Coleman

The Cork star nailed an injury time sideline cut to send UCC into the Fitzgibbon Cup final.

Mark Coleman surveying his winning sideline point.
Mark Coleman surveying his winning sideline point.
Image: Tom O'Hanlon/INPHO

COMETH THE HOUR, cometh the man.

Cork star defender Mark Coleman was UCC’s late, late hero as he showed nerves of steel at the death to send the defending champions into the 2020 Fitzgibbon Cup final.

It was a thrilling encounter against DCU with a nail-biting finish despite the sub-par conditions, and Coleman’s incredible sideline cut in the dying seconds was certainly worthy of the win.

“It’s a bit vague, even at the moment,” the Blarney man told Oisin Langan afterwards, when asked to recount the match-winning moment.

“We did very well to get ourselves back into the game. We had a good hold on it in the first half, and they pulled ahead a few points in the second half.

We pulled ourselves back, thank God, just to give me that opportunity at the end. I suppose it was just a bit lucky in the end. If you asked me to do it again I wouldn’t get it in 100 shots

“It’s not something I practice hugely,” Coleman added when praised for his honed craft. “Once you have the technique, it’s just a matter of topping up on it.

“This time of year, I haven’t hit much of them at all so I was surprised it even got off the ground to be honest. I was happy enough, yeah.”

It finished 0-18 to 0-17 at DCU Sportsgrounds, with Kerry’s Shane Conway accounting for eight of UCC’s scores — seven of those were frees — and Wexford ace Rory O’Connor leading the way for DCU with 0-11, 0-10 from placed ball. 

While UCC missed some vital goal chances that could have turned the game on it’s head, Coleman agreed that things didn’t look great for the holders at times, but they showed their worth in a dramatic finish to proceedings.

“I suppose we just tried to stick to our game plan really,” he noted. “When things are going bad for us, it’s something to fall back on and thankfully it pulled us back into the game.

“It was very similar to last year, a tough game that really went down to the wire again so we’re just delighted to come out on top again.”

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UCC now face IT Carlow — who overcame Mary I in today’s other last four battle — in Wednesday’s third-level decider. And Coleman is relishing another fierce battle under the lights,

“We expect more of the same as tonight. It’s just about recovery now and getting right, it’s a quick turnaround. We’ll got at it again and try and retain the title.”

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Emma Duffy

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