Honan strike teaches Rebels a harsh lesson
UCC staged a fine second-half comeback to get the better of Cork at Páirc Uí Rinn yesterday. Despite trailing by 1-7 to 0-4 at half-time, the students scored an unanswered 1-8 after the restart as Cork's challenge flagged.
But even though they possessed only four players who had played inter-county championship hurling, Cork looked far sharper in the first half and were good value for their interval lead.
The goal came in the ninth minute -- by which stage they already led 0-3 to 0-1 -- when corner-forward Paudie O'Sullivan reacted quickest after a free from halfway by William Egan broke, and he gave Anthony Nash no chance with his shot.
The Rebels' half-forward line was dominant, with Cian McCarthy -- one of three Cork starters who featured on Gerald McCarthy's panel this time last year -- getting four points.
UCC's attacking threat was not as strong as might have been expected, though in the 25th minute Cork goalkeeper Martin Coleman pulled off a good save when Luke O'Farrell got a touch to an Eoghan Murphy free.
However, in the second half all of the fluency was gone and Cork's shooting let them down, while UCC upped their game several notches.
The introduction of Clare star Darach Honan helped in this regard, and it was he who got the goal to put them into a 1-9 to 1-7 lead with 10 minutes remaining, bundling the ball home after a Nash free dropped into the Cork goalmouth.
Paudie O'Sullivan did have a goal chance for Cork when they still led by four in the 43rd minute but shot wide, and other clear-cut chances were very hard to come by for the Rebels.
Midfielder Bryan O'Sullivan and forwards Luke O'Farrell and Shane Burke were others to shine for the college in the second half, and in the end they won at their ease, having five points to spare over Denis Walsh's side at the final whistle.
Scorers -- UCC: S Burke, E Murphy (0-2f) 0-3 each, D Honan 1-0, L O'Farrell, B O'Sullivan 0-2 each, M Wilkinson, S Moylan 0-1 each. Cork: C McCarthy 0-4 (0-3f), P O'Sullivan 1-0, M Harrington, Mark O'Sullivan, W Egan (0-1f) 0-1 each.
UCC -- A Nash; C O'Driscoll, R Foley, C O'Sullivan; J Jordan, E Martin, K Hartnett; B O'Sullivan, M Wilkinson; S Burke, M Grace, R White; L O'Farrell, E Murphy, T Óg Murphy. Subs: D Honan for Grace, S Moylan for T Óg Murphy (both h-t), J Halbert for E Murphy (44), L Sexton for Wilkinson (54).
CORK -- M Coleman; S Murphy, D Cunningham, R Ryan; D Rogers, A Ryan, J Nagle; G Callanan, W Egan; M Harrington, C McCarthy, Mark O'Sullivan; P O'Sullivan, M Cussen, A Walsh. Subs: J Neville for Egan (52), Michael O'Sullivan for Walsh (56), D O'Callaghan for Mark O'Sullivan (58).
Ref -- D O'Driscoll (Limerick).