UCC dug deep to see off stiff opposition from Cork in the annual challenge game at the Mardyke last week.
It was UCC who laid down an early season marker, outplaying the Rebel County with a scoreline of 0-22 to 1-13. While both teams were left stiff & a bit rusty from the Christmas break, both were focused on the near future, with UCC having their eyes set firmly on their upcoming Fitzgibbon Cup campaign, and Cork on their Allianz National League campaign. On the day, however, it was UCC who shone the brightest.
Impressive performances from Alan Cadogan of Douglas and Brian McCarthy of Thurles Town saw the pair rack up an impressive 13 points between them.
Cork were not without their stars too. Conor Lehane, Midleton’s star player of their victorious 2013 Cork Senior Hurling Championship campaign, managed a reasonable six points in a wet and windy night on Leeside.
Despite the star quality of both sides, it was UCC who would dominate the game from start to finish. Early on, UCC ran away with a five point lead, but Lehane’s efforts for the county were in vain, as the College retained their five point cushion at the interval. In the second half UCC were on fire right out of the gate, springing to life and running out 0-17 to 0-9 midway through the second half. A late surge from the Rebels thanks to goals from Thomas O’Connor was not enough, and UCC finished the game with a comfortable score of 0-22 points to 1-13 on the night.
Attention now turns to the Fitzgibbon Cup for the college. With one trophy in the bag, all hands are on deck to bring back the cup to the college for the first time since 2013.
D Desmond (Éire Óg); I Kenny (Ballygunner, Waterford), C Spillane (Castlelyons), S Roche (Shamrocks); N Motherway (Dungourney), C Gleeson (Fourmilewater, Waterford), R Cahalane (Ballymartle); J Barron (Fourmilewater, Waterford), R O’Shea (Carrigaline); M O’Brien (Ferrybank, Waterford), B McCarthy (Thurles Sarsfields, Tipperary), S Hegarty (Dungourney); A Cadogan (Douglas), J O’Flynn (Erin’s Own), A Spillane (Castlelyons).
J Barry (Castlelyons) for Desmond, G O’Brien (Roanmore) for O’Flynn (both half-time), D Hannon (Newmarket) for A Spillane (44), N Cashman (Blackrock) for M O’Brien (50), C Browne (James Stephens, Kilkenny) for O’Shea (55), D O’Brien (St Ita’s) for C Spillane, B O’Sullivan (Ballygunner, Waterford) for Cadogan (60).
P Collins (Ballinhassig); J Sheehan (Erin’s Own), E Gunning (Na Piarsaigh), D Browne (Kanturk); D Dooling (Glen Rovers), A O’Callaghan (Blackrock), C Murphy (Mallow); C O’Leary (Valley Rovers), B Hennessy (St Finbarr’s); C Lehane (Midleton), L Meade (Newcestown), D Kearney (Sarsfields); T O’Mahony (Newtownshandrum), M O’Halloran (Blackrock), D O’Driscoll (Carrigtwohill).
C Walsh (St Finbarr’s) for Walsh, T O’Connor (Inniscarra) for O’Mahony (both half-time), J Cashman (Blackrock) for O’Callaghan (40), D Dalton (Fr O’Neills) for Collins (42), I Cahill (Cloyne) for O’Driscoll (47), E Murphy (Sarsfields) for Sheehan (51).