UCC Freshers hurlers have enough to see off WIT in championship opener

UCC Freshers hurlers have enough to see off WIT in championship opener
Sarsfields' Cian O'Donovan trying to block down a shot at goal by Blarney's Padraig Power, who got a goal for the UCC Freshers hurlers against WIT. Picture: Denis Minihane.

UCC 2-16 WIT 1-13

UCC opened their Freshers 1 Hurling Championship campaign in impressive style as they defeated WIT by six points at the Mardyke arena on Monday night.

A scintillating display from Daire Moran, which saw the midfielder score 1-6, including five frees, inspired the Cork University to an important victory against spirited opposition.

This was originally set to be the Cork students’ second fixture in group stages but due to the weather, their game against the University of Limerick was moved from last week to this Thursday evening.

Waterford were hoping to bounce back from their disappointing loss to GMIT in their first round clash and they opened the scoring after four minutes through Mark O’Neill.

But the home side soon found their rhythm and got going thanks to Eoin McCarthy and Paddy Leary to lead at the end of an uneventful first quarter, 0-2 to 0-1.

The sides both went on runs of unanswered points and just when it looked like they would head into the half time break at 0-5 apiece, UCC rallied to score two late goals in first-half stoppage time.

First, Moran’s hopeful long ball from the centre of the field dropped into the net before Blarney's Padraig Power followed that with a powerful low drive to the corner.

A strong start to the second period - Moran remaining clinical from frees - had them on course for victory as they were in front 2-13 to 1-8 with less than 10 remaining, Mark O'Neill with a fortunate goal for the visitors.

The College team included Cork underage talent like Power, Shane Barrett, Daire Connery and Eoin Roche.

WIT fought until the end and ensured the losing deficit wasn’t too large though they couldn't stop the College from taking the victory.

Scorers for UCC: D Moran 1-6 (0-5 f), P Power 1-1 (0-1 f), E McCarthy 0-3, S Barrett 0-2, P Leary, C Hogan, D Connery and E Carey 0-1 each.

WIT: E Reilly 0-6 (0-4 f), M O’Neill 1-2, R Maher 0-2 (0-1 f), P Leahy 0-2, E McGrath 0-1.

UCC: C O’Mahony; E Cotter, E Roche, F Denny; C O’Donovan, E Carey, I Daly; D Moran, D Connery; C Hogan, P Leary, C Mullane; E McCarthy, P Power, S Barrett.

Subs: A Brennan for C Hogan (42), J Scally for C Mullane (48), J Taylor for I Daly (56), C O’Brien for E Cotter (56).

WIT: K O’Grady; N O’Connor, N Bowe, S Harney; K Bennett S Crowley, E McGrath, N O’Sullivan, B Ahern; R Tierney, M O’Neill, D Carey; A Kirwan, E Reilly, R Maher.

Subs: A Phelan for D Carey (38), M Gahan for K Bennett (45), P Leahy for E McGrath (51).

Referee: Fergal Hogan (Tipperary).

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