UCC had no answer to an extremely slick looking UCD outfit in their Sigerson Cup clash at Belfield on Wednesday evening.
The UCD attack was running rings around the UCC defence early on with Roscommon corner forward Daire Clegg looking particularly lively, kicking points in the 3rd, 6th and 12th minutes, as the hosts raced into an early five-point lead.
Conor Geaney could have had an early goal for UCC, only to see his effort blocked on the line, but he did register UCC’s first score from a free in the 13th minute.
UCD’s towering midfielder Peadar Ó’Cofaigh-Byrne then made a huge run straight through down the middle in the 15th minute, with goalkeeper Dylan Foley being harshly penalised for a perceived foot block, and Ray Connellan made no mistake from the spot to give UCD a commanding lead.
Ruairi McCormack and Brian McLaughlin added further scores before UCC got a lifeline through a sublime Conor Geaney goal in the 19th minute, after being fed by a brilliant pass by Brian Hartnett.
However, McCormack, Connellan and Clegg all knocked over points before a brilliant Ó’Cofaigh-Byrne goal once again put daylight between the sides.
Mark Cronin and Ronan Dalton landed late first half scores, but UCD looked out the gate with their 2-12 to 1-3 interval lead.
UCC managed to give themselves hope when Geaney soared into the air in the 36th minute to take a high ball, with him being fouled upon his return to earth. Diarmuid O’Connor placed the penalty expertly, and when the duo kicked two further points soon after they were back to within six.
It was not to be, however, as Clegg finished to an empty net in the 45th minute after UCC were disposed while attempting to play out from the back, and just two minutes later they bagged another goal with Ó’Cofaigh-Byrne once again the instigator as he fed McLaughlin inside for an easy finish.
Brian Hartnett did manage a consolation goal for UCC in the 49th minute, with a wonderful soccer style finish, but a pair of points from Ethan Devine made sure UCC were kept at bay.
Scorers for UCD: D Clegg 1-5 (0-1f), R Connellan, B McLaughlin (1-0 pen) 1-1 each, P Ó’Cofaigh-Byrne 1-0, R McCormack, E Devine 0-3 each, D Ryan, K Kennedy 0-1 each.
UCC: C Geaney 1-3 (0-2f), D O’Connor 1-1 (1-0 pen), B Hartnett (1-0), M Cronin, R Dalton 0-1f, D Geaney 0-1f, R Quigley, S Merritt (45) 0-1 each.
UCD: E Comerford (Dublin); R O’Toole (Monaghan), E Harkin (Meath), J McKelvey (Donegal); K Kennedy (Dublin), M O’Connor (Wexford), D Ryan (Kildare); P Ó’Cofaigh-Byrne (Dublin), A McClements (Down); E Devine (Meath, D Kennedy (Cavan), R McCormack (Down); D Cregg (Roscommon), R Connellan (Westmeath), B McLaughlin (Kildare).
Subs: C Crowley (Carlow) for D Kennedy and F Lennon (Roscommon) for D Ryan (43), C O’Reilly (Dublin) for McCormack (50), C Mangan (Offaly) for McClements (52) UCC: D Foley (Éire Óg); B Murphy (Nemo Rangers), D Casey (Austin Stacks), C Gammell (Killarney Legion), N Geaney (Dingle), S Merritt (Mallow); D O'Brien (Glenfesk); B Hartnett (Douglas), D O’Connor (Na Gaeil); C O'Callaghan (Éire Óg), R Dalton (Nemo Rangers), M. O’Gara (Austin Stacks); M Cronin (Nemo Rangers), C Geaney (Dingle), R Quigley (Moyle Rovers).
Subs: D Phelan (Aghada) for Dalton, L Wall (Kilmurray) for Casey (35), J Harney (Clonmel Commercials) for O’Brien (40), N Hartnett (Douglas) for Phelan (47), K Falvey for N Geaney (52)
Referee: Anthony Nolan.