CORK IT SURVIVED a huge scare from UCC to book their place in Saturday’s Fitzgibbon Cup final against WIT.
UCC beat Cork IT in the competition in each of the last two years, including the 2012 final after extra-time, but Cork IT clung on to victory today at Queen’s playing fields in Belfast.
Cork IT led by 1-12 to 0-7 at half-time with skipper John Cronin getting the only goal of the game after 28 minutes.
They stretched that lead out to nine points in the second minute of the second-half but UCC came roaring back into the game with Conor Lehane hitting seven points, six from frees, in the second period.
UCC hit ten points without reply between the third and 22nd minutes. Colm Spillane put them briefly in the lead with 52 minutes gone and Cork IT must have feared a third defeat on the trot to their city rivals.
However they responded brilliantly to going behind for the first time since the 16th minute of the match with substitute Kevin O’Connor levelling the scores again.
Lehane drove through the tackles to score his only point from play to again put UCC noses in front again but Cork IT scored three of the last four points to squeeze through.
Alan Cadogan levelled the scores with his second point of the match after 57 minutes and O’Dwyer, who was joint top-scorer with Lehane with eleven points, hit the winning free two minutes from the end to set up a final against WIT.
Scorers for Cork IT: John O’Dwyer 0-11 (0-7f, one ‘65’), John Cronin 1-2, David Drake 0-2, Kevin O’Connor, Kevin Hallissey 0-1 each.Scorers for UCC: Conor Lehane 0-11 (0-9f), Alan Cadogan, Seamus Harnedy 0-2 each, Pat Sullivan, Paudie Prendergast, Colm Spillane, Jamie Barron 0-1 each.
CORK IT (Cork unless stated): Stephen Nyhan; Stephen Murphy, Alan Dennehy, Tomás Lawrence; Eoin Keane, Mark Ellis, Pádraig Butler; Jamie Coughlan, Michael O’Sullivan; John O’Dwyer (Tipperary), John Cronin, Conor Hammersley (Tipperary); Bill Cooper, Daniel Dooley, David Drake.
Subs: Kevin O’Connor for Dooley (46), William Murphy for O’Sullivan (51), Kevin Hallissey for Coughlan (56)
UCC (Cork unless stated): Darren McCarthy; Stephen Maher (Tipperary), David Glynn (Kilkenny), Patrick O’Sullivan; James Barry (Tipperary), Paudie Prendergast (Waterford), Cormac Murphy; Brian Murray, Alan Cadogan; Seamus Harnedy, Dan McCormack (Tipperary), Rob O’Shea; Willie Griffin (Limerick), Conor Lehane, Jamie Barron (Waterford).
Subs: Colm Spillane for Maher (37), Shane O’Donnell (Clare) for Griffin (46), Brian Lawton for McCormack (53).