UCC’s Higher Education Senior Hurling Division One League campaign came to a dramatic end on Tuesday afternoon following a 5-17 to 3-15 defeat against Munster rivals Limerick Institute of Technology in Limerick.
In what where two high scoring halves; both teams fought a physical and intense game, which left both sides much to dwell on ahead of the Fitzgibbon Cup in January.
From the opening both teams were determined, with a well-placed point by Jamie Shannon breaking the deadlock inside a minute for the hosts. UCC responded well when Luke Hackett was fouled, but Conor Morrissey’s effort from the free was well caught by Avor Quinlan in goal. Minutes later Morrissey made amends, with a well drilled free against the breeze and over the bar. A mismatch in the UCC defence saw the ball fall perfectly to Ben O Gorman for LIT, who wasted no time and hammered a shot well passed Brian Donovan in goal. A foul on Cillian O Gorman gave Morrissey an opportunity once again from the halfway line, which he pummelled between the sticks for his second of the game. UCC grabbed a goal back when Luke Hackett broke down the left hand flank and fired the slitor well passed Quinlan in goal. The game slowed into a shooting contest between UCC and LIT’s Jamie Shannon and Conor Morrissey, who scored five points between them in five-ten minutes of play. As the half wound down LIT held the advantage, following a succession of scores by Shannon which gave the hosts a four point cushion at the interval.
From the restart UCC set the pace, as Cillian Morrissey bagged another point, and set up a goal for the visitors when his long range free was frantically turned in by James O Flynn. LIT responded well with Jamie Shannon adding to his tally as the forward drilled his shot well over after finding acres of space in the UCC midfield. LIT pressed on and regained their four point cushion thanks to Shannon once again, but UCC responded well with a stunning goal from Morrissey, who saw his free sail well over the crowded penalty box and into the top corner of the net. With a point in it, LIT broke, and wing forward Paul Clean struck a bullet passed Donovan in goal to restore the hosts four point lead. UCC pushed well in the closing stages, but efforts from Shane Heagarty proved futile as a break away by Jamie Shannon left the Clare man with the keeper to beat, and the forward wasted no time in grabbing another goal for himself and LIT.
Final score was 5-17 to 3-15; a crushing eight point defeat to UCC, whose attention now turns to the 2017 Fitzgibbon Cup Championship.
LIT: A. Quinlan, C. Nolan, K. Bennet, S. Ryan, J. Quaid, B. O Connell, C. Cooney, D. Keeley, W. Comers, B. O Gorman, P. Clean, J. McCarthy, J. Shannon, P. Duggan, D. Dempsey.
Subs: L. Doyle, S. Bennet, A. Mulamby, G. Wheel, B. Flannery, K. Hurley.
UCC: B. Donovan, P. de Burca, D. O Brien, C. O Neil, S. Linehan, E. Murphy, P. Leonard, C. O Gorman, J. Houlihan, S. Horgan, C. Morrissey, J. O Sullivan, L. Hackett, S. O Donovan, E. Kiery.
Subs: E. Lonergan, J. McCarthy on for S. Horgan 60, E. Gaffney, G. Linehan, S. Callinan, A. Stafford for D. O Brien 40, T. O Sullivan on for E Murphy 45, A. Hardiman, C. Cullo, K. Phlean.