Sunday 20 August 2017

Late goal sees UCC past DCU and into Fitzgibbon Cup semi-final

UCC 1-18 DCU 0-16

Denis Hurley

UCC needed a strong finish to see off an impressive DCU at the Mardyke and reach the Independent.ie Fitzgibbon Cup semi-finals for the first time since 2014.

The sides had been level on seven occasions before four unanswered UCC points, from Jamie Barron, Mark O'Brien, Seamus Kennedy and Michael O'Halloran turned a 0-14 to 0-12 deficit into a 0-16 to 0-14 lead with just under ten minutes left.

DCU didn't wilt and AJ Murphy's third point brought them back to within the minimum but unfortunately for the visitors the equaliser remained elusive.

Patrick Curran, who scored seven points, was unlucky to slip as he took one free and then saw a sideline cut come back off the post before UCC managed to put the game to bed.

Kennedy and sub Mark O'Connor both had points as a goal lead was established as injury time dawned. The goal did arrive, but for UCC as Michael Breen netted after his initial effort was saved by Robbie Gillen.

UCC, for whom the most recent of 38 wins came in 2013, looked to have quelled a positive DCU start as Conor Gleeson, Anthony Spillane and Chris O'Leary pushed them 0-8 to 0-5 in front.

Curran gave notice of DCU's threat as his shot was saved by Jack Barry, and then coming up to half-time they had four on the trot - three by Curran and one from Liam Fahey - as they led by 0-11 to 0-10.

Kennedy ensured that UCC would go in level and they did push on to win, but not without a test.

Scorers – UCC: S Kennedy 0-4 (2f), A Spillane 0-3, M Breen 1-0, J Barron (1f), A Cadogan (1f), C O’Leary (2f) 0-2 each, M O’Brien, C Gleeson, G O’Brien, M O’Connor, M O’Halloran 0-1 each. DCU: P Curran 0-7 (6f), AJ Murphy 0-3, R McBride 0-2, P O’Dea, L Fahey, P Kelly, K Doyle 0-1 each.

UCC: J Barry; S Roche, C Spillane, I Kenny; S Kennedy, C Gleeson, R Cahalane; J Barron, C O’Leary; G O’Brien, T Devine, M O’Brien; A Cadogan, J O’Flynn, A Spillane. Subs: M Breen for O’Flynn (half-time), M O’Connor for Cahalane (48), M O'Halloran for G O’Brien (48), E Gunning for Kenny (56, injured).

DCU: R Gillen; S McCaw, C Delaney, E O’Donnell; T French, P Foley, A Maddock; P O’Dea, G Bailey; L Fahey, R McBride, J Byrne; AJ Murphy, P Curran, E Conroy. Subs: K Doyle for McCaw (16, injured), E McHugh for French (41), H O’Connor for Bailey (46), P Kelly for Doyle (59).

Referee: A Kelly (Galway).

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