Powerhouse Buckley turns on style to earn UCC last-four berth
KERRY senior panellist John Buckley produced an awesome midfield display to inspire UCC to the semi-finals for the first time since 2006.
Buckley, who kicked two points, established a winning platform alongside Michael Shields at the Mardyke, despite the best efforts of Paul Conroy.
UCC surged into a four-point lead within eight minutes and a 20th-minute point from the excellent Barry O'Driscoll made it 0-6 to 0-2.
GMIT mounted a fine recovery, closing the gap to two points by the interval, thanks to accurate shooting from Stephen Griffin, Justin Burke and Martin Coady.
However, UCC pushed on after the break, with points from Daithí Casey, Buckley and Sean Kiely putting them 0-11 to 0-7 ahead.
GMIT narrowed the gap again, but UCC maintained their composure and late points by Seamus Hayes (two) and O'Driscoll secured a semi-final against Athlone IT.
Scorers -- UCC: D Casey 0-3f, B O'Driscoll 0-3, S Kiely, J Buckley, S Hayes 0-2 each, P Corrigan, K O'Driscoll 0-1 each. GMIT: S Griffin 0-5 (0-4f), A Campbell 0-2 (0-1f), J Burke, M Coady, D McIntyre 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, P Honohan. Subs: D Kearney for Honohan (h/t), P Crowley for Limrick (58).
GMIT -- D Dowd; P McGrath, D Crawford, E O'Sullivan; D Lee, A Thompson, C Hands; P Conroy, M O'Brien; J Burke, P Regan, S Kavanagh; A Campbell, S Griffin, M Coady. Subs: J Walshe for Regan (25), A Deacy for O'Sullivan (35), J Ryan for Burke (38), D McIntyre for O'Brien (53), M Martin for Coady (57).
REF -- Pat Sheehy (Kerry).