UCC opened their FAI Intermediate Cup campaign this weekend in dramatic style in Fermoy, completing a five goal comeback to knock out Fermoy FC, finishing 5-2 at Carrig Park.
UCC started well, and their early possession was rewarded when Darragh Lucey’s pass was found by Timmy Murphy inside the Fermoy penalty area, only for the Glanmire man to be brought down by Josh Hurley, with the referee signalling for a penalty. Up stepped Timmy Murphy, who drilled the ball low into the left-hand side of the post, only for Fermoy keeper Gavin Dawson to pull off on excellent save.
Against the run of play, a long ball forward by Kevin Dolan split the UCC defence, allowing Gavin Quirke to run through 1-on-1 with keeper Cathal O’Hanlon. Fearing the worst, O’Hanlon ran off his line and, with a cool head, Quirke lobbed the ball soft & over O’Hanlon into goal, giving Fermoy an early lead inside ten minutes. UCC responded well to this early setback, pressing well. A clever link up between Timmy Murphy, Rob Lynch and Josh Henry in midfield gave UCC a good spell of possession, but the college could not create a chance. Despite this period of ball retention, Fermoy doubled their lead with Gavin Quirk bagging his second of the afternoon, when the striker found Fermoy keeper Dawson’s long ball, outwitting Ben McAuliffe and Sean Laughlin in defence to lob keeper O Hanlon. With the scoreline at 2-0, UCC headed into the changing rooms at half time fearing the worst.
The College began with a second-half substitution of Jason Cullinane for Josh Henry on the left flank. From the restart UCC pressed on with an early corner being headed in by Daniel Pender, only for Jonathan McCarthy to head the ball off the line. Fermoy defended deep, holding their lines in a tight unit. Timmy Murphy connected well with Shane Daly Butz to set up Rob Lynch, but his cross was gathered up safely by Gavin Dawson.
A foul on Timmy Murphy by Taran Kelly gifted UCC a free kick just outside the penalty box, which was turned in and fumbled into the net awkwardly by Waterford man Daniel Pender. With their lead halved, Fermoy gathered their line to lick their wounds, as UCC put on the pressure. Daniel Pender soon found space on the left side, but his square ball couldn’t connect with Mark Murphy. Moments later the equaliser came, when Shane Daly Butz set up Pender to slot it low and into the right hand side of the goal. Moments later, a tired Fermoy defence was again punished, with Mark Murphy running wide to tee off Timmy Murphy for a pass to set Daniel Pender up once again. Despite the now-one goal deficit Fermoy held their lines well, with Josh Hurley producing a crucial block to deny David Dalton seconds later.
In the stand out moment of the afternoon, Daniel Pender captured the imagination of spectators by back-heeling it low and into the bottom right hand side of the goal following a McAuliffe corner. With the scoreline at 4-2, UCC were now very much in control. Fermoy pressed on in the closing moments, hoping to claw one back, but it was UCC who would finish the strongest when Daniel Pender broke through and found himself one-on-one with Gavin Dawson, the keeper saving the striker’s effort, but Shane Daly Butz was there to hammer in the rebound.
Full time score in Fermoy was 5-2 to the college, a result that manager Noel Healy was delighted with heading into the 2016/17 league season: “I’m happy the way we played at times. We only played for 45 minutes so there was a lot more we can do”
Fermoy: Gavin Dawson, Thomas Clancy, John Hurley, Ian Snee, Jonathan McCarthy, Taran Kelly, Wayne Galvin, Kevin Dolan (John Barry 15’), Gavin Quirke, Matthew Quish, Eric Roche.
UCC: Cathal O’Hanlon, Brian Barry, Ben McAuliffe, Sean Mcloughlin, Sean O Mahony, Rob Lynch (Mark Murphy 80’), Timmy Murphy, Josh Henry (Josh Cullinane 45), Darragh Lucey, Daniel Pender, Shane Daly Butz.