Sunday 21 January 2018

Clancy impresses as Rebels easily dispose of UL

IT took Cork under 15 minutes to settle the issue in a lop-sided McGrath Cup semi-final at Mallow last Sunday.

They had notched 2-5 without reply from UL at that stage, with a goal from wing forward Colm O'Driscoll inside two minutes giving them the boost they required to turn on the style during the opening exchanges.

O'Driscoll was on hand to apply the finish following a slick build-up involving Mark Sugrue, John McLoughlin and Daniel Goulding, and another snappy raid enabled midfielder Micheal O'Laoire to push them eleven points ahead, with Donncha O'Connor and Tomas Clancy doing the spadework for their second goal.

Fermoy's Clancy was entrusted with the task of keeping tabs on UL's roaming corner forward John O'Rourke, and he accomplished it admirably, although the Carbery Rangers clubman did have the satisfaction of the getting the Shannonside students off the mark with a well-taken point in the 17th minute.

Shortly afterwards, Kerry senior James O'Donoghue – the chief architect of UL's victory over a highly rated UCC side the previous weekend – rattled the crossbar with a cracking drive, and it seemed as if was destined to enjoy another productive outing when he tacked on two points to make it 2-5 to 0-3 with 19 minutes gone.

O'Donoghue failed to build on his early promise, however, due in part to the lack of a decent service, and even more so perhaps to the tenacity of Cork full back Noel Galvin. With inter-county players O'Rourke and O'Donoghue kept in check, UL were never going to replicate the scoring feats that had paved the way for their unexpected win over UCC.

But it was primarily UL's failure to come to terms with the defensive frailties that saw them concede 4-16 in the quarter final which ensured they were unable to provide the Rebels with any sort of a fight.

Simply put, UL's rearguard was woefully inept, with the result that Cork had the facility to carve out the openings with consummate ease. They led by 3-8 to 0-5 at the break, with Paul Kerrigan bagging their third goal in stoppage time after being set up by John Hayes.

Tomas Clancy had brought the best out of UL keeper Rory Byrne earlier, and the latter produced a few more excellent saves over the course of the second half. But Byrne was powerless to prevent Daniel Goulding from grabbing goal No 4 for Cork within three minutes of the resumption after Mark Sugrue and Donncha O'Connor had combined to put the Éire Óg clubman clean through.

That was sandwiched by a brace of converted frees by James O'Donoghue, which amounted to UL's return for the entire second half. In truth, it was virtually a case of one-way traffic after the interval, as Cork established complete control in all sectors.

Fintan Goold really imposed himself at centre back in the second half when Kevin O'Driscoll was another to regularly catch the eye on the left wing, and Tomás Clancy continued to make a significant impact.

Micheal O'Laoire and the ubiquitous Andrew O'Sullivan were always to the fore at midfield, while Colm O'Driscoll and Paul Kerrigan got through a share of effective work up front where Daniel Goulding inflicted the bulk of the damage to finish with a personal tally of 2-5

Substitute Barry O'Driscoll was Cork's other goal-scorer in the second half.


Cork: D Goulding 2-5, 0-4 frees, P Kerrigan 1-2, M O'Laoire 1-1, C O'Driscoll and B O'Driscoll 1-0 each, A O'Sullivan and F Goold 0-2 each, D O'Connor 0-2, 0-1 free, K O'Driscoll and M Collins 0-1 each

UL: J O'Donoghue 0-4, 0-3 frees, J O'Rourke, P White and B O'Shea 0-1 each

Cork: K O'Halloran (Bishopstown), J McLoughlin (Kanturk), N Galvin (Ballincollig), T Clancy (Fermoy), K O'Driscoll (Tadgh MacCarthaigh), F Goold (Macroom), J Loughrey (Mallow), M O'Laoire (Naomh Aban), A O'Sullivan (Castletownbere), P Kerrigan (Nemo Rangers), M Sugrue (Bandon), C O'Driscoll (Tadgh MacCarthaigh), D Goulding (Eire Og), D O'Connor (Ballydesmond), J Hayes (Carbery Rangers). Subs: B O'Driscoll (Nemo Rangers) for O'Connor (42), M Collins (Castlehaven) for Hayes (42), K Crowley (Millstreet) for McLoughlin (48), C Lyons (St Finbarr's) for Sugrue (55), S Murphy (Ballydesmond) for C O'Driscoll (63), K O'Connor (Mallow) for Kerrigan (67)

UL: R Byrne, E Kiely, M Tierney, C Lowry, D Dolan, T Clancy (Clonakilty), L Mulligan, P McHugh, E Hogan, P White, D Daly, J Spillane, B O'Shea, J O'Donoghue, J O'Rourke (Carbery Rangers) Subs: G Farrell for Mulligan (black card), M Galvin for Tierney, C O'Brien for Lowry, TJ Ryan for O'Shea, A Barry for Spillane, B Sheehan for Dolan

Referee R Hickey (Clare)


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