A POWERFUL combination of inter-county players from Cork, Waterford and Tipperary ensured that UCC might have a major say in the destination of this year’s Cork County hurling title.
The Western Road outfit eliminated one of the title favourites Midleton, 1-22 to 1-20, after firing the last four points through Mark Coleman, Colm Spillane, Jamie Barron and Darragh Fitzgibbon and now they will face another leading contender Sarsfields in the last eight next weekend.
That's part of a bumper weekend of senior hurling ahead, with Bandon taking on Na Piarsaigh, Newcestown against Blackrock and Erin's Own versus Imokilly to complete the quarter-final line-up. The games are down for Saturday and Sunday afternoon in Páirc Uí Rinn.
UCC, who have only two titles to their credit, 1963 and 1970, had two points to spare over the East Cork men with Cork aces Spillane, Fitzgibbon and Coleman contributing handsomely to the victory. Fitzgibbon secured three excellent points for the students while Spillane rifled over a superb equalising point as the game entered stoppage time.
Coleman delivered two fine points from frees and was always to the forefront over the course of the hour.
Waterford’s Jamie Barron had an outstanding game too, contributing a quartet of points while Tom Devine fired home their all-important goal. Conor Gleeson, who missed the All-Ireland final loss to Galway through suspension, lined out at centre-back while Tipperary’s Michael Breen was at centre-forward.
The College also had former Cork senior Rob O'Shea and U21 duo David Lowney and David Griffin in their line-up.
Midleton got 10 points from play between Cork seniors Conor Lehane, Luke O'Farrell and Paul Haughney, as well as 0-4 from Cormac Walsh, but still fell short in an agonising loss.