UCC 4-12 GMIT 1-8
UCC are through to the semi-finals of the Electric Ireland HE GAA Fresher 1 Hurling Championship after they comprehensively defeated GMIT by 13 points at the Mardyke Arena on Monday evening.
A stunning display by full-forward Padraig Power, which saw him score a hat-trick of goals to go with his five well-taken frees, helped inspire the College to this crucial victory. With both sides losing to the University of Limerick and beating Waterford IT in the earlier rounds, this was a winner-takes-all showdown.
The Cork students started like they knew it was win or bust and they raced into an early lead thanks to the clinical Power, who featured for the Cork U20 hurlers in last year's All-Ireland series and is underage again this term.
The Blarney forward spilt the uprights with two excellent frees in the opening five minutes and they came either side of him raising a green flag after he cleverly batted the ball past the keeper from close range.
They were ahead 1-6 to just 0-1 at that juncture. The Galway and Mayo institute hit six wides before the 12th minute and then the hosts got their second goal thanks to a thunderous finish from another Blarney attacker, former Cork minor captain Shane Barrett.
They were a comfortable 3-7 to 0-4 up at the break with Power getting another goal.
Mark Kennedy’s frees and a great goal from Enda Egan ensured GMIT added some respectability to the scoreline in the second half.
There was never the sense though that the College were under pressure.
Power completed his treble when he slotted home from close range and a couple of superb scores from another former Cork underage forward, Inniscarra's Owen McCarthy ensured UCC, who were without Na Piarsaigh's Daire Connery on this occasion, progressed in style.
Scorers for UCC: P Power 3-5 (0-5 f), S Barrett 1-2, O McCarthy 0-2, C Hogan, C Mullane (f), P Leary 0-1 each.
GMIT: M Kennedy 0-7 (0-6 f), E Egan 1-0, D Parr 0-1.
UCC: C O’Mahony (Ballygunner); C O’Brien (Midleton), E Roche (Bride Rovers), F Denny (Ballincollig); J Taylor (Moyne Templetouhy), D Moran (Castlemartyr), E Carey (Kilworth); C Hogan (Mooncoin), C O’Sullivan (Glen Rovers); A Brennan (Graigue Ballycallan), P Leary (Ballygunner), P Cooney (Ballincollig); O McCarthy (Inniscarra), P Power (Blarney), S Barrett (Blarney).
Subs: O Morrissey for P Carey (38), K O’Donovan for C O’Sullivan (38), P O’Leary for P Power (47), C Mullane for P Leary (54 inj), H White for C Hogan (54).
GMIT: S O’Grady; S Duggan, A Shaughnessy, P Scally; D Parr, D Fahy, E Duggan; E Hunt, S Neary; A Clarke, M Glynn, C Folan; C McGrath, E Egan, M Kennedy.
Subs: D Cormican for C McGrath (h-t), N Feehily for D Duggan (h-t).
Referee: Kevin Jordan (Tipperary).