Mark Keane and Conor Lehane score as Cork beat UCC in Canon O'Brien Cup 

Darragh Fitzgibbon hit the goal and Shane Kingston was the Rebels' top-scorer in the Mardyke
Mark Keane and Conor Lehane score as Cork beat UCC in Canon O'Brien Cup 

New recruit Mark Keane in action for Cork against UCC in the Canon O'Brien Cup win. Picture: Larry Cummins

Cork 1-17 UCC 1-15 

CORK won the Canon O'Brien Cup after an entertaining tussle with UCC at the Mardyke.

The sizeable crowd showed the ongoing interest in Cork hurling, with many coming along to see Ballygiblin's Mark Keane who has committed to the Rebels after a stint in Aussie Rules. He was named on the bench but started, as did the returning Conor Lehane, scorer of Cork's first two points.

Cork manager, Kieran Kingston was full of praise for Keane's enthusiasm.

We have had him now for three sessions and already he is a popular figure in the camp. 

"He bring a new dimension and has a bit of work to do on his hurling but it's early days yet for him. He will go back to his club now for their All-Ireland semi-final clash on Sunday week.” 

Newcomer Ciarán Joyce wore the number 10 geansaí but lined out at midfield, while other U20 All-Ireland winners Colin O'Brien, Pádraig Power and Seán Twomey all came on in the second half.

Darragh Fitzgibbon and Shane Kingston impressed for the victors but the pick of both sides was UCC's William Henn. The Limerick man was outstanding all through and will be a key figure in next week's Fitzgibbon Cup.

He matched Lehane and raised him one as the College side led 0-3 to 0-2 early on. Kingston had the sides level before Cork went in front when Fitzgibbon raised a green flag after 15 minutes.

He added a point and Ger Millerick also scored: 1-5 to 0-3 at the water break.

 Robert Downey drives out for UCC against Cork. Picture: Larry Cummins
Robert Downey drives out for UCC against Cork. Picture: Larry Cummins

A goal from Simon Kennefick brought UCC back into contention and two more from Henn saw the sides level, 1-6 apiece with five minutes to half-time. Late points from Kingston and Keane had Cork two up half-time.

UCC started the second half the brighter and four scores from Henn helped to put them back on level terms, 1-10 apiece after 45 minutes.

Kingston and Harnedy raised white flags for Cork, but UCC replied through Conor Bowe and Mark Kehoe to see it 1-14 each with three minutes to go. 

Kingston converted the opportunities in the closing stages in what was ideal preparation ahead of the league early next month.

 The crowd watching the Cork v UCC game from the Shakey Bridge. Picture: Larry Cummins
The crowd watching the Cork v UCC game from the Shakey Bridge. Picture: Larry Cummins

Scorers for Cork: S Kingston 0-8 (0-5 f, 0-2 65), D Fitzgibbon 1-1, C Lehane 0-2, G Millerick, M Keane, L Meade, M Coleman, S Harnedy, R O'Flynn 0-1 each.

UCC: W Henn 0-10 (0-7 f), S Kennefick 1-1, M Kehoe 0-2, C Cahalane, C Bowe 0-1 each.

CORK: G Collins; D Cahalane, G Millerick, S O'Donoghue; J O'Flynn, M Coleman, T O'Mahony; D Fitzgibbon, C Joyce; M Keane, S Harnedy, C Lehane; S Kingston, A Cadogan, L Meade.

Subs: P Power for C Lehane, R O'Flynn for L Meade, C O'Brien for M Keane, S Twomey for A Cadogan (all 42), L Meade for G Millerick (59).

UCC: I Butler (Kildorrery); I Daly (Lismore), N O'Leary (Castlelyons), K O'Dwyer (Killenaule); R Downey (Glen Rovers), T O'Connell (Midleton), C Barry (Ahane); C Cahalane (St Finbarr's), C O'Brien (Newtownshandrum); C Boylan (Na Piarsaigh Limerick), W Henn (do), M Kehoe (Kilsheelin-Kilcash); C Bowe (Boyne-Templetuoghy), S Barrett (Blarney), S Kennefick (Glen Rovers).

Subs: R Connolly (Adare) for C Barry, D Connery for C O'Brien (both h-t), D O'Leary (Watergrasshill) for I Daly, S Condon (Harbour Rovers) for C Boylan (both 46).

Referee: Mark Maher, St Finbarr's.

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