Mulrooney states Rebel case as Cork IT find going tough
Cork 1-15 Cork IT 0-11
Holders Cork got their campaign off to a successful start as they beat Cork IT at the CIT Sports Stadium.
After leading 0-8 to 0-5 at half-time, debutant Odhran Mulrooney put them four points ahead soon after the restart and, while CIT's Jeremiah O'Connor answered with a good free, half-time sub Donncha O'Connor scored a quick-fire 1-1 to push Cork seven clear.
Of the lesser-known players, Mulrooney stood out, scoring two points from left half-forward and working hard in defence and attack. Andrew O'Sullivan put in a good shift at midfield and John McLoughlin, brother of county hurler Lorcan, was tidy at the back.
A lack of CIT firepower helped Cork as the college side wasted some good chances, especially in the first half when they were still in contention. While Donal Og Hodnett finished with four points and Brian O'Regan, an All-Ireland medallist with Cork in 2010, got two from centre-forward, in general they found it difficult to pierce holes in the Cork rearguard, where Michael Shields dictated matters.
With Colm O'Neill prominent, Cork began strongly and were 0-4 to 0-1 up before Colin Lyons and Hodnett brought CIT back to within a point but Cork were moving the ball much better.
Pearse O'Neill pushed the Leesiders 0-8 to 0-4 clear in the 28th minute, and while Hodnett had CIT back to within a goal by half-time, Cork's good start to the second half more or less made sure of the outcome.
Conor Counihan's charges almost added a wonderful second goal when Donncha O'Connor attempted to end a flowing move by playing Liam Shorten in only for Pa Kilkenny to make a great interception.
Full-back Mark Griffin also stood out for CIT, but it was Cork's wastefulness which prevented a rout. While CIT got the game's final three points after Paul Kerrigan was sent off for a second yellow card, from Michael Vaughan, Anthony Sweeney and O'Regan, they were merely window-dressing on the scoreboard.
Scorers – Cork: D O'Connor 1-1 (1f), C O'Neill 0-4 (2f, 1 '45), O Mulrooney, P Kerrigan, P O'Neill 0-2 each, C O'Driscoll, A O'Sullivan, L Shorten, S Kiely 0-1 each. Cork IT: D Og Hodnett 0-4 (3f), B O'Regan 0-2, C Lyons, D Leahy, A Sweeney (f), M Vaughan, J O'Connor 0-1 each.
CORK – D Lordan; D Cahalane, M Shields, J McLoughlin; D O'Sullivan, C O'Driscoll, S Kiely; P O'Neill, A O'Sullivan; J Fitzpatrick, P Kerrigan, O Mulrooney; C O'Neill, A O'Connor, L Shorten. Subs: N O'Leary for O'Driscoll, D O'Connor for Fitzpatrick (both h-t), P Kissane for D O'Sullivan (42), K O'Halloran for Lordan (51), C O'Donovan for A O'Sullivan (59).
CORK IT – A O'Donoghue; D O'Sullivan, M Griffin, E Byrne; S O'Donoghue, C Lyons, J Cronin; P Daly, B O'Sullivan; J O'Connor, B O'Regan, D Leahy; P Joy, D Og Hodnett, D Crowley. Subs: M Vaughan for O'Connor (49), P Kilkenny for Cronin (49, inj), S Finn for Byrne (57, inj), A Sweeney for Crowley (58).
Ref – E Walsh (Kerry).