UCC 0-22 CIT 0-15
HOLDERS UCC progressed to the quarter-finals of the Fitzgibbon Cup and a home tie following their seven-point win over CIT at the Mardyke.
The result leaves CIT needing to overcome NUIG in their concluding pool game on their own patch on Thursday night to qualify as runners-up.
The Galway students, who lost to the defending champions by two points, will advance if they avoid defeat.
Conditions were ideal after the heavy over-night frost thawed though the strong wintry sun may have caused some difficulty for CIT’s defence in the first-half.
UCC showed the benefit of having played last week as they dominated from the start, surging 0-9 to 0-2 in front inside the opening quarter.
And by the interval, they had the game virtually wrapped up with a commanding 0-15 to 0-6 advantage.
The second-half was a completely different affair as CIT claimed the first four points on the resumption to cut the lead to five points.
That was the closest they got to their rivals, however, as UCC kept CIT at arm’s length with that much-needed goal rarely likely in a game of few, if any, goal-scoring opportunities.
Shane Kingston caught fire from the throw-in as he scored half-a-dozen points from play during that dominant opening half, when UCC’s inter-play regularly opened up CIT’s under-pressure defence.
He availed of a silver-service from Cork colleagues Mark Coleman, Darragh Fitzgibbon and Robbie O’Flynn to keep the scoreboard ticking over at a rapid rate with an array of points from all angles.
Captain Paddy O’Loughlin also got in on the act from distance for 0-6 to 0-1 by the ninth minute as Liam O’Shea’s accuracy from frees yielded CIT’s scores.
Kingston started and completed a five-point sequence to stretch the lead to 0-11 to 0-2 by the 22nd minute as O’Flynn and Michael O’Halloran also hit the target before the interval.
CIT were in a different proposition on the change-of-ends with O’Shea (2), Brian Everard and Sean O’Leary-Hayes boosting their hopes with four unanswered points, 0-15 to 0-10, by the 40th minute.
The defence tightened considerably as College’s highly-rated forwards didn’t enjoy the same regular supply and their scoring rate dropped as a consequence.
CIT’s wide tally crept into double figures though midfielder Michael Ryan chipped in with a couple of long-range points.
The home side also had capable finishers from distance, notably, wing-back David Griffin, who added his second in the 50th minute to make it 0-18 to 0-12.
A Shane Conway free stretched the advantage further before CIT bagged three of the next four points, an O’Shea free starting the run, which also included Ryan’s second and another from Darragh Lyons.
Fittingly, though, UCC closed out the game with the last two scores, a fine effort from Coleman before a Conway free in injury-time wrapped up proceedings.
Before the start, a minute’s silence was observed in memory of the late CIT student Cameron Blair and the flags were also at half-mast.
Scorers for UCC: S Kingston 0-7, S Conway 0-5 (0-4 f), R O’Flynn and D Griffin 0-2 each, D Lowney, M Coleman, P O’Loughlin, C Boylan, M O’Halloran, M Kehoe 0-1 each
CIT: L O’Shea 0-9 (0-6 f), M Ryan 0-2, S O’Leary-Hayes, D Lyons, R Walsh, B Everard 0-1 each.
UCC: S Hurley (St Finbarr’s); D Lowney (Clonakilty), K O’Dwyer (Killenaule), R Downey (Glen Rovers); N O’Leary (Castlelyons), P O’Loughlin (Kilmallock, c), D Griffin (Carrigaline); M Coleman (Blarney), R Connolly (Adare); D Fitzgibbon (Charleville), C Boylan (Na Piarsaigh), R O’Flynn (Erin’s Own); S Kingston (Douglas), M O’Halloran (Blackrock), S Conway (Lixnaw).
Subs: M Kehoe (Kilsheelin-Kilcash) for Boylan and P Cadell (JK Brackens) for O’Loughlin, half-time, B Sheehan (Dicksboro) for O’Halloran 35, B Turnbull (Douglas) for Fitzgibbon 60+1.
CIT: G Collins (Ballinhassig); S O’Leary-Hayes (Midleton), W Hurley (Valley Rovers, c), J Copps (Ballyhea); R Heffernan (Clonoulty-Rossmore), E Heffernan (do), C O’Carroll (Charleville); M Ryan (Clonoulty-Rossmore), J Doyle (Charleville); D Lyons (Dungarvan), R Walsh (Kanturk), B Everard (St Mary’s); L O’Shea (Lisgoold), B Barrett (Causeway), B Twomey (Carrigtwohill).
Subs: J Cooper (Éire Óg) for Twomey injured 25, J Hallahan for Copps, half-time, T Howard (Dromtarriffe) for R Heffernan 55, N Fives (Tourin) for Ryan 60+1.
Referee: T Walsh (Waterford).