Enright goal puts UCC in control
UCC marched confidently into today's televised final with a resounding victory over Athlone in Maynooth.
With Johnny Buckley and Michael Shields dominating the midfield sector, the Leesiders maintained the upper hand throughout and kicked an array of wonderful scores.
The crucial one arrived from an unlikely source however, with corner-back Shane Enright finishing to the net in the 28th minute after David Kearney had created the opportunity.
UCC led by 1-7 to 0-4 at the interval and they kicked on impressively in the second half. Any lingering hopes held by Athlone were quashed with the dismissal of Paul Doherty in the 46th minute on a straight red card for a rash challenge on Barry O'Driscoll.
It was Buckley who opened the scoring for the winners in the opening minute, but scores from Ray Galligan (free) and David Reilly sandwiched a pointed free by Daithi Casey to put the sides level.
The midlanders couldn't build on their promising start, though, and by the time Egan ended his side's 18-minute scoring drought with a point, O'Driscoll (free), Buckley, Shields, Seamus Hayes and Casey had all hit the target for UCC.
Enright's goal was a further boost for UCC and though Galligan hit back with a '45' before the interval, a comeback always seemed unlikely.
Scorers -- UCC: B O'Driscoll 0-4 (0-3f), S Enright 1-0, S Hayes 0-3, M Shields, J Buckley, D Casey (0-1f) 0-2 each, D Goold, D Kearney (0-1f) 0-1 each. Athlone IT: F Burke 0-3, R Galligan 0-2(0-1f, 1 '45), D Reilly, D Egan 0-1 each.
UCC -- K O'Halloran; E Cotter, E Hegarty, S Enright; D Limrick, A Greaney, P Corrigan; M Shields, J Buckley; K O'Driscoll, S Kiely, D Casey; B O'Driscoll, S Hayes, D Kearney. Subs: D Goold for Kiely (58), M Collins for Casey (58), P Honohan for Hayes (58), D Og O'Donovan for Greaney (60), B Shanahan for Corrigan (60).
Athlone IT -- G Connaughton; S Higgins, D Masterson, J Reynolds; M Mitchell, D Reilly, K Smyth; G Dennigan, B Connor; P Doherty, D Egan, C Blake; F Burke, J Reynolds, R Galligan. Subs: N Judge for Galligan (42), P Bannon for Reynolds (57), F Reilly for Higgins (59), D Cash for Egan (60), D Reynolds for Dennigan (60).
Ref -- G McCormack (Dublin).
Final, UCC v DCU,
Live, TG4, 2.15