CIT 2-10 – UCC 0-13
A determined display from CIT secured home advantage in the knockout stages of the Fresher’s Hurling League after defeating rivals UCC in their final group game at the Mardyke. Both teams were already assured of their place in the final rounds with this game deciding who would have the home advantage in the next round. With both sides containing current inter county stars from counties such as Cork, Tipperary, Kilkenny and Waterford this was always going to be a game full of skill and passion.
This could be seen early on as both sides sought for local bragging rights. Kevin Hallisey, a dual Cork minor, opened the scoring for CIT in the opening minute but it was UCC who took control of the half with Patrick O’Mahony, James Roche and Eoin Healy dominating around the middle. Dara Ring opened UCC’s account with a free before a series of points from Roche, Healy, Stephen Moore and substitute Pauric Mahony, who replaced the injured Brian Murray, gave the college side a 0-7 to 0-2 lead. It would have been easy for this CIT team to fall apart after falling this far behind but, with Sean Carey, David Drake and the inspired Hallisey, this was never going to happen.
The key score of the half came in the 20th when Hallisey flicked the ball to the net after a long delivery. The CIT dominance was furthered when Drake and the influential Darragh Lordan added points of their own. Ger Cunningham’s charges did have the last say of the half though when Mahony slotted over two frees to give his side a 0-9 to 1-4 lead at the short whistle. An exciting second half was ensured due to CIT’s three pointer.
Similar to the first half, a second goal for CIT midway through the second half would prove to be the decisive factor in the outcome of the game. It was of little surprise when Hallisey pounced for his second of the night in the 43th minute to give his side a 2-6 to 0-11 lead. Up to this UCC had maintained their half time lead with scores from Mahony and midfielder Darragh Murray.
Despite the blow of conceding a second goal UCC responded well and regained the lead when Colm Curran pointed. Unfortunately UCC were unable to push on and failed to score for the final 10 minutes of the contest. CIT quickly drew level before John Michael Kelly gave them the lead. UCC tried hard to get the equalising score but were repelled on several occasions by the CIT defence with Ed Finn in outstanding form.
CIT further extended their lead to three in the closing stages thanks to Hallisey and Sean Carey. UCC had one last chance to draw the game when they were awarded a last minute penalty. However Pauric Mahony’s strike was well saved by CIT keeper Darren Curran to ensure his side’s victory and secure home advantage in the knockout stages.
Scorers for CIT: K Hallisey 2-2 (0-1 sideline), S Murray 0-3 frees, D Lordan 0-2, D Drake, JM Kelly, S Carey 0-1 each.
UCC: P Mahony 0-6 (0-4 frees), D Ring 0-2 frees, J Roche, E Healy, S Moore, D Murray, C Curran 0-1 each.
CIT: D Curran; S Lordan, E Finn, J Cronin; T McGuinness, J Cashman, N O’Doherty; P O’Keeffe, D Drake; S Carey, D Lordan, C Buckley; K Hallisey, J O’Connor, JM Kelly.
Subs: S Murray, D Collins
UCC: C Ryan; D O’Mahony, F O’Mahony, F Olden; D Brennan, P O’Mahony, S Mahon; D Murray, J Roche; N Kennedy, E Healy, B Murray; D Ring, S Moore, C Curran.
Subs: P Mahony, P Lupton, O O’Connor
Referee: J Dorgan (Nemo Rangers)
Originally published in the 23/11/2010 edition of the UCC Express