Billy Morgan's UCC are back in the Sigerson final with a goal-den touch

Billy Morgan's UCC are back in the Sigerson final with a goal-den touch
UCC 's Eimhin Courtney celebrates his goal against NUIG during the Sigerson Cup semi-final in Mallow. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

UCC 4-9 NUIG 1-15

UCC increased their goal tally to 15 from three games as they reached the Electric Ireland Sigerson Cup final following a hard-fought win over NUIG at wind-swept Mallow.

And the quartet on this occasion all came at significant stages, a pair in either half helping to quell the strong Galway challenge.

The Cork students couldn’t have wished for a better start, when playing into the teeth of the howling wind.

After just two minutes captain Cian Kiely ran powerfully at the Galway defence before passing to Conor Geaney, who found Sean O’Shea isolated in front of the posts.

And the Kerry star duly made the most of the opportunity to finish coolly for the opening goal, 1-0 to 0-1.

The visitors were struggling to take advantage of the elements and their cause suffered another blow with UCC’s second goal after 15 minutes.

Once again O’Shea displayed a calm disposition after Killian Spillane’s shot broke kindly. He created enough room and time to slip the ball past keeper Aaron Brady for 2-0 to 0-3.

Galway eventually started finding the range to restore parity at 0-8 to 2-2 approaching the break, but Geaney flashed over a superb point to hand College a slender, but critical advantage.

Yet, the westerners laid down their challenge with a John Maher goal immediately on the resumption though College’s Eimhin Courtney side-footed home for 3-4 to 1-8 by the 34th minute.

Four unanswered points shoved College five ahead only for Galway to hit three of their own, 3-8 to1-12 entering the closing quarter.

And when Martin Daly’s free made it a one-point game, 10 minutes from the end, College needed a response and it came via Geaney’s far-post goal from a Padraig Clifford pass.

Galway never gave up and battled to the finish, laying siege to the home goal, but the College defence stood resolute to the final whistle, three minutes into added-on time.

Scorers for UCC: S O’Shea 2-3 (0-2 f), C Geaney 1-4 (0-1 f), E Courtney 1-1, P Clifford 0-1.

NUIG: M Daly 0-7 (0-6 f), J Maher 1-0, J Robinson 0-3, P Cooke, N Mullen, R Finnerty, O Gallagher, J Daly 0-1 each

UCC: M White (Clonakilty); M Flood (St Bridget’s, Meath), K Flahive (Douglas), G O’Sullivan (Dromid Pearse); J McEntee (Curraha, Meath), B Begley (An Gaeltacht), C Kiely (Ballincollig), captain, P Lucey (Legion), J Kennedy (Clonmel Commercials); P Clifford (Fossa), S O’Shea (Kenmare Shamrocks), C Horgan (Nemo Rangers); C Geaney (Dingle), E Courtney (Eire Og, Ennis), K Spillane (Templenoe). 

Subs: D O’Brien (Glenflesk) for McEntee injured 11, R Buckley (Listry) for Horgan 40, C Ó hAinifin (Eire Óg Ennis) for Kiely 54, G Murphy (Castletownbere) for Spillane 56, R Forde (Annaghdown, Galway) for O’Sullivan 60+1.

NUIG: A Brady (Roscommon); S Brennan (Mayo), S Mulkerrin (Galway), K McDonnell (Sligo), captain; K Molloy (Galway), R Greene (do), P O’Donnell (do); P Cooke (do), C Darcy (do); N Mullen (Sligo), E Tierney (Galway), J Maher (do); R Finnerty (do), J Robinson (Kildare), W Finnerty (Galway). 

Subs: O Gallagher (Antrim) for Cooke 22, J Daly (Galway) for Finnerty 40, F O Laoi (Galway) for Maher and G Canavan (Mayo) for Robinson black card 45, E McGrath (Roscommon) for Brennan 56.

Referee: D O’Mahony (Tipperary).

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