Cox takes UCC one step closer to redemption
BILLY Morgan's classy UCC overpowered hosts Athlone IT to set up a mouthwatering showdown with Dublin IT in today's Sigerson Cup final.
Kerry's Conor Cox scored 0-10, including seven frees, and Tipperary forward Conor Sweeney added 1-5 as the 20-time winners easily progressed to yet another final.
And UCC skipper Kevin O'Driscoll admitted that last year's semi-final defeat to NUI Maynooth has driven the team on.
"It just seemed to happen for us and everything came right," said O'Driscoll. "We really felt after last year that we didn't perform on the day. We carried a lot of hurt on to this year. A lot of that panel are still here and we felt we had to make amends this year."
O'Driscoll is one of six survivors from not only last year's team, but also from the starting 15 that beat UUJ in the 2011 Sigerson final.
Clinical UCC registered just four wides during the game, and although Athlone IT scored a brilliant 10th-minute goal from James McGivney, UCC responded to lead by 0-11 to 1-3 at the break.
UCC outscored AIT by 1-9 to 0-6 – including Sweeney's 53rd-minute goal – in the second half, with AIT grabbing a couple of late scores.
Scorers – UCC: C Cox 0-10 (7f), C Sweeney 1-5 (0-3f), L Connolly 0-2, P Acheson, B Coughlan, G O'Grady 0-1 each. Athlone IT: K Martin 0-4 (1f), J McGivney 1-0, F Burke, A Coffey 0-2 each, C Shine 0-1.
UCC: S Mellet; P Crowley, E O'Mahony, P Galvin; J O'Sullivan, N Daly, T Clancy; P Acheson, JB Spillane; K O'Driscoll, B Coughlan, L Connolly; G O'Grady, C Cox, C Sweeney. Subs: D O'Sullivan for Coughlan (44), E Buckley for O'Grady (53), B Hewitt for Cox (55), F McNamara for Crowley (55), P Murphy for Clancy (55).
Athlone IT: G Connaughton; C O'Brien, K Clarke, E Kerins; L Murphy, T Rahill, J Dolan; C Duggan, G Egan; J McGivney, K Martin, P Masterson; A Stone, F Burke, A Coffey. Subs: D Meleady for Kerins (h-t), C Shine for Duggan (h-t), D Queeney for Masterson (36), A Caul for McGivney (53), C Duggan for O'Brien (57).
Ref – Gary McCormack (Dublin).