Denis Hurley reports from the Mardyke
GOALS, ONE in each half, ultimately were the deciding factor as UCD put themselves in a commanding position in Group A of the Fitzgibbon Cup at the Mardyke in Cork today.
Having trailed by 0-4 to 0-2 and then 0-7 to 0-5 as half-time approached, despite having the slight benefit of the crosswind, UCD finished the first period excellently.
Oisín O’Rorke’s third converted free cut the gap to a point and then the full-forward finished well to the net after Ross King’s lovely handpass gave him space.
Another free in injury time from O’Rourke left the visitors – managed by UCC and Tipperary legend Nicky English – 1-7 to 0-7 in front at the interval and King’s second point of the game opened up a four-point lead.
UCC, who have won the competition more than anyone else, looked like they were launching a powerful fightback as their best forward, Alan Cadogan, got two points in quick succession before DJ Foran sent a fine effort over the bar.
While another O’Rorke free was answered by Michael Breen for UCC, they wouldn’t be able to draw level at any stage and UCD struck a definitive blow just before the three-quarter mark.
Wing-forward James Maher was the architect, stealing possession before embarking on a mazy run to give himself sight of goal.
While UCC goalkeeper Keith Hogan saved his effort, Colm Cronin was following up to strike to the roof of the net.
When James Maher added another point for UCD, there were five points between the teams.
Rob O’Shea got his fourth free for UCC and Cadogan his fifth from play, but a goal was needed and the best chance, which fell to Foran, hit the side-netting in injury time before O’Rorke scored two more late frees to make sure of the win for UCD.
Another win, against Limerick IT next week will secure them a quarter-final place while UCC must beat Maynooth University to keep their hopes of qualification alive.
Scorers for UCD: Oisín O’Rorke 1-7 (0-7 frees), Colm Cronin 1-0, Ross King, James Maher 0-2 each, Cian O’Callaghan 0-1.
Scorers for UCC: Alan Cadogan 0-5, Rob O’Shea (0-3 frees) 0-4, Michael Breen 0-2, DJ Foran, John Power 0-1 each.
1. Darragh Holohan (Dicksboro, Kilkenny)
2. Pat Hannon (St Mary’s Athenry, Galway)
3. Sean Murphy (Buffers Alley, Wexford)
5. James Madden (Ballyboden St Enda’s, Dublin)
8. Huw Lawlor (O’Loughlin Gaels, Kilkenny)
7. Conor O’Shea (Clara, Kilkenny)
9. Seán Moran (Cuala, Dublin)
4. Eoin Conroy (Naomh Éanna, Wexford)
6. Cian O’Callaghan (Cuala, Dublin)
10. James Maher (St Lachtain’s, Kilkenny)
12. Colm Cronin (Cuala, Dublin)
15. Jack O’Connor (St Martin’s, Wexford)
13. Ross King (Rathdowney-Errill, Laois)
14. Oisín O’Rorke (Kilmacud Crokes, Dublin)
11. Ciarán Prendergast (Clara, Kilkenny)
19. Pádraic Guinan (Drumcullen, Offaly) for Moran (40)
25. Tom Phelan (Conahy Shamrocks, Kilkenny) for Prendergast (54, injured)
1. Keith Hogan (Clooney/Quin, Clare)
2. Conor Gleeson (Fourmilewater, Waterford)
3. Dan Morrissey (Ahane, Limerick)
4. Shane Roche (Shamrocks, Waterford)
7. Rickard Cahalane (Ballymartle, Cork)
6. Colm Spillane (Castlelyons, Cork)
5. Gavin O’Brien (Roanmore, Waterford)
8. Jamie Barron (Fourmilewater, Waterford)
9. Mark O’Brien (Ferrybank, Waterford)
12. Rob O’Shea (Carrigaline, Cork)
11. Michael Breen (Ballina, Tipperary)
10. Niall McCarthy (Carrigtwohill, Cork)
13. Alan Cadogan (Douglas, Cork)
14. DJ Foran (Portlaw, Waterford)
15. John Power (Carrickshock, Kilkenny)
17. Cormac Murphy (Mallow, Cork) for Spillane (7, injured)
19. Tom Devine (Modeligo, Waterford) for Mark O’Brien (30)
21. Niall Cashman (Blackrock, Cork) for Gavin O’Brien (37)
25. Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg Ennis, Clare) for McCarthy (45)
18. Barry Lawton (Castlemartyr, Cork) for Power (53)
Referee: Gavin Quilty (Clare).