Goal-hungry UL see off St Pat's
UNIVERSITY LIMERICK 3-9
St Pat's Drumcondra 0-10
After losing in last year's final, University of Limerick registered an opening-round win following a mud-soaked battle with St Patrick's, Drumcondra, at Plassey yesterday.
The home side's ability to find the net was to ultimately prove the difference between the sides in a game where scores were by and large hard to come by.
UL's three goals -- courtesy of Thomas Connors and Shane Dooley in the first-half, and Matt Ruth nine minutes from time -- offset the marvellous scoring contribution made by St Pat's centre-forward Marcus O hAitrigin. The big centre-forward finished with seven points of his team's total.
Connors' goal gave UL a 1-3 to 0-5 lead after 15 minutes, but the momentum was quickly snatched back through a rousing point from Pat's JJ Farrell. Paidi MacEochaidh's subsequent score was answered by UL in the form of Dooley's goal which left the hosts 2-3 to 0-7 up at the break.
UL came out strong in the second half and Ruth's three-pointer fired them into a five-point lead heading into the final quarter, and the Limerick side were not troubled from then on.
Scorers -- UL: T Connors 1-2, R O'Dwyer 0-3, S Dooley, M Ruth 1-0 each, D Burke 0-2 (1f), S Hickey, A Quinn 0-1 each. St Patrick's: M O hAitrigin 0-7 (3f, 1 '65), P MacEochaidh 0-2, JJ Farrell 0-1.
UL -- J Dempsey; P Stapleton, C Fogarty, M Verney; K Joyce, J Devane, M Walsh; S Hickey, B Carroll; N O Murchu, R O'Dwyer, T Connors; S Dooley, A Quinn, M Ruth. Subs: M Gleeson for S Dooley, M Heffernan for A Quinn, D Burke for B Carroll, P Murphy for M Ruth, K Fox for M Walsh.
St Patrick's -- E O'Reilly; E Kerins, D Mac an Fhiadóir, A Murphy; R Nolan, P Brennan, S Campion; JJ Farrell, E O Duill; A Cummins, M O hAitrigin, P MacEochaidh; T O'Brien, I Duggan, C Maher. Subs: K Moloney for D Mac an Fhiadoir, D O Diarmada for A Cummins.
Ref -- Michael O'Connor (Limerick).