Canning star of the show as lively LIT scuttle UCC
Fitzgibbon Cup (SH)
THE scoring brilliance of full-forward Joe Canning inspired LIT to an emphatic victory over UCC in yesterday afternoon's Group A clash in the Mardyke.
Despite the dreadful weather conditions, Galway senior star Canning gave an attacking masterclass as he fired a whopping 3-8 of his side's overall tally.
By half-time he had essentially sealed the game in his side's favour as they held a commanding 3-7 to 0-3 advantage.
The signs looked ominous for UCC when they conceded two early points, before Canning struck for his first goal in the fifth minute, when he found the net after a great pass by Tipperary senior Seamus Callanan.
Seven minutes later Canning did the damage once more, this time Sean Tobin providing the assist as the LIT full-forward obliged with a low shot into the far corner past UCC goalkeeper Matthew Collins.
That pushed LIT 2-4 to 0-1 in front and left reigning champions UCC shell-shocked.
The Cork team attempted to respond through the efforts of Conor O'Sullivan in defence and Brian O'Sullivan at midfield, but they were rocked by a third Canning goal in the 26th minute, which put the game beyond doubt.
Canning dispossessed full-back Richie Foley on the right flank and cut inside before lashing home to complete his hat-trick and send LIT in at the break with a 13-point lead.
It was always going to be an uphill struggle for the Corkmen in the second-half and Canning made their job even harder when he launched two stunning points over the bar after the restart to underline his dominance.
UCC did finally get some joy when full-forward Eoin Murphy found the net in the 39th minute and wing-forward Shane Burke also registered some neat points, but they were never enough to bring them to within striking range.
By the close of the third quarter UCC trailed 3-11 to 1-5, but not even the introduction of Clare U-21 star Darach Honan at the edge of the square could aid their cause in front of goal as their endeavours were repelled.
LIT's defence, spearheaded by Nicky O'Connell and James McInerney, was excellent all afternoon, and late points by Callanan and Bernard Gaffney sealed their comprehensive win.
However, the day belonged to Canning.
Scorers -- LIT: J Canning 3-8 (0-4f, 0-1 '65), N Quinn, W Hyland, S Tobin, N O'Connell (f), S Callanan, B Gaffney 0-1 each. UCC: E Murphy 1-3 (0-3f), S Burke 0-2, S Moylan 0-1 (0-1f).
LIT -- M Ryan; J Gunning, C Cooney, C Chaplin; N O'Connell, J McInerney, R Sherlock; P O'Brien, S Collins; W Hyland, S Callanan, N Quinn; S Tobin, J Canning, B Gaffney. Subs: J O'Keeffe for Sherlock (55), T Dalton for Cooney (57), P Browne for Canning (60).
UCC -- M Collins; C O'Sullivan, R Foley, C O'Driscoll; A Quilligan, K Hartnett, J Jordan; B O'Sullivan, M Cahill; S Burke, R White, J Halbert; S Moylan, E Murphy, L O'Farrell. Subs: B Beckett for White (half-time), D Honan for Murphy (41), E Martin for Cahill (44), G Mulcahy for Halbert (53), S Corry for Quilligan (60).
Ref -- C McAlister (Cork).