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Strong second-half showing sees UCC earn Fitzgibbon Cup bragging rights over CIT

The 2018 Fitzgbibbon Cup got underway this evening.

UCC and CIT players battle for possession during this evening's Round 1 clash
UCC and CIT players battle for possession during this evening's Round 1 clash
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

UCC 1-19

Cork IT 0-12

UCC TOOK A big step towards reaching the Fitzgibbon Cup knockout stages as they dominated in the fourth quarter to see themselves past the challenge of Cork IT at the CIT Sports Stadium tonight.

With three teams in Group A, a win for UCC at home to UCD next Wednesday would ensure top spot in the group, and the competition’s record winners had a lot of positives to take from this.

While they struggled to escape the CIT clutches in the first half and saw their three-point half-time lead eroded to one early in the second half, UCC were well on top thereafter, showing a greater cutting edge in front of goal to run out 10-point winners in the end.

It was a hard-earned win, though. CIT were missing Michael Cahalane and Robbie Hanley but Michael Kearney’s points helped them to lead early on and while UCC did hit the front through John Power, Robbie O’Flynn and Shane Kingston, their 0-11 to 0-8 half-time advantage was not insurmountable.

When CIT began the second half with a point from goalkeeper Patrick Collins and Kearney’s sixth point, it looked as if the teams would continue to trade blows, but UCC responded through two Rickard Cahalane points and a Kingston free to open up the game’s biggest lead to that stage.

Sean O'Donoghue with Ronan Heffernan Sean O'Donoghue with Ronan Heffernan of CIT. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Kearney had a CIT point in reply in the 42nd minute but they wouldn’t score again until injury time as poor shooting proved costly while UCC eased clear.

Mark Coleman landed two long-range frees — he was their third free-taker of the night after Power and Kingston — and the game was made safe when Seán O’Donoghue’s delivery broke and O’Flynn fired a ground shot to the net.

Scorers for UCC: Shane Kingston 0-5 (0-3 frees), Robbie O’Flynn 1-1, Michael Breen 0-3, Mark Coleman (frees), John Power (frees), Rickard Cahalane 0-2 each, David Griffin, Darragh Fitzgibbon, Tom Devine, Shane Kearney 0-1 each.

Scorers for Cork IT: Michael Kearney 0-8 (0-5 frees), Patrick Collins 0-2 (frees), Enda Heffernan, Jerry O’Neill 0-1 each.

UCC (Cork clubs unless stated):

1. Jack Barry (Castlelyons)

2. Seán O’Donoghue (Inniscarra)
3. David Griffin (Carrigaline)
17. Eddie Gunning (Na Piarsaigh)

19. Chris O’Leary (Valley Rovers)
4. Conor Gleeson (Fourmilewater, Waterford)
9. Mark Coleman (Blarney)

28. Rickard Cahalane (Ballymartle)
12. Darragh Fitzgibbon (Charleville)

10. Mark O’Brien (Ferrybank, Waterford)
11. Michael Breen (Ballina, Tipperary)
14. John Power (Carrickshock, Kilkenny)

13. Shane Forde (Na Piarsaigh)
30. Tom Devine (Modeligo, Waterford)
34. Shane Kingston (Douglas)

Subs:

26. Robbie O’Flynn (Erin’s Own) for Devine (20, injured)
8. Conor Browne (James Stephens, Kilkenny) for Forde (43)
25. Mark Dolan (Douglas) for Kingston
31. Seán Hayes (Mallow) for O’Brien
6. Niall Cashman (Blackrock) for Cahalane (all 59)

Enda Heffernan dejected at the end of the game CIT's Enda Heffernan dejected after the game. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

CIT (Cork clubs unless stated)

1. Patrick Collins (Ballinhassig)

2. Eoin Healy Ballymartle)
3. Daragh Fanning (Pallasgreen, Limerick)
4. Kevin Galvin (Clara, Kilkenny)

5. Dave Noonan (Glen Rovers)
6. Enda Heffernan (Clonoulty-Rossmore, Tipperary)
7. Conor Prunty (Abbeyside-Ballinacourty, Waterford)

9. Ronan Heffernan (Clonoulty-Rossmore, Tipperary)
12. Kevin O’Neill (Watergrasshill)

15. Andrew Coffey (Nenagh Éire Óg, Tipperary)
11. Michael Kearney (Ballyduff, Waterford)
10. Jerry O’Neill (Courcey Rovers)

13. Tomás O’Connor (Inniscarra)
21. John Looney (Aghada)
8. Conor Hammersley (Clonoulty-Rossmore, Tipperary)

Subs:

19. John Good (Tracton) for Coffey (half-time)
17. Donnchadh Hartnett (Mountmellick, Laois) for Healy (41)
26. Michael Millerick (Fr O’Neills) for Galvin (45-47, blood)
14. Colm Keane (St Finbarr’s) for O’Neill (48)
20. Michael Ryan (Clonoulty-Rossmore, Tipperary) for Heffernan (51)

Referee: Fergal Horgan (Tipperary)

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Denis Hurley

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