UCC: D. McCarthy; S. Maher; J. O’Callaghan; K. Murphy; J. Barry; D. Fives; W. Egan; P. Mahoney; B. Murray (S. Corry); P. O’Mahoney (0-7;0-6f); D. McCormack (0-1; D. Brosnan 0-1); S. Harnedy (0-2, B. O’Sullivan 0-2); S. Bourke (1-6); S. Moylan (0-1); W. Griffin (0-3, 0-2f; B. Hartnett).
UCD: J. Ryan; D. Nash; M. O’Hanlon; J. Dougan; O. Gough; J. Lyng; C. Allis (0-1); S. Norton; J. Gannon (D. O’Sullivan); N. McGrath (0-5f); G. Sinnott (0-1); D. Fox; W. Walsh (1-2); J. Gilligan (0-1; C. Kenny 0-1); L. Rushe (1-1) D. Plunkett (0-1; K. O’Loughlin).
In a high quality Fitzgibbon cup match in the Mardyke UCC pulled away from UCD in the final twenty minutes to book their place in the semi-final next week. Despite the heavy underfoot conditions two star studded teams battled out a fast game that was physical and close until the final third when UCC’s superior bench and power began to bear down on UCD. UCC struggled at times to control the middle third and started both halves slowly, but the calibre of their bench – featuring the likes of Dean Brosnan, Seamus Corry, Brian Hartnett – tells us just how powerful the UCC squad is.
One has to however feel somewhat sorry for UCD, the likes of Liam Rushe, Walter Walsh and Conor Allis showing class throughout and the team as a whole putting up considerable fight, particularly in the opening half. The positioning of man of the match Conor Allis – typically a half forward – at center back was a major reason for UCD’s one point lead at half time, Allis playing huge amounts of ball. Similarly Liam Rushe showed a real touch of genius to win and, with one hand, goal Noel McGrath’s wayward free just before half time. Walter Walsh was the second powerhouse of UCD’s attack, showing excellent touch and pilfering 1-2. However Allis’s infleunce was largely weakened in the second half as he was forced to man mark Shane Bourke and the ball into Rushe and Walsh became lacklustre. Elsewhere Noel McGrath was impressive from dead balls but largely anonymous from play while the likes of Sinnott, Nash and Lyng had solid games.
For UCC, Shane Bourke was undeniably our stand out player, tormenting the UCD defence every time he touched the ball. Elsewhere Pauric O’Mahoney was excellent from the deadball; John O’Callaghan put in a good shift on Liam Rushe although he was caught out in the lead up to Walsh’s goal; Seamus Harnedy was excellent in the opening half, showing lovely touches and scoring a couple of brilliant long distance points. UCC’s entire half-back line was impressive, although in the second half William Egan was instrumental in UCC’s victory. Finally, Dean Brosnan and Brian O’Sullivan came on and contributed three points between them. All in all UCC deserved their win and with such a strong squad could hopefully win it out.