Thursday 23 November 2017

Harnedy seals title for UCC

UCC 2-17 Mary Immaculate 2-12

JOHN FALLON Fitzgibbon Cup final Ryan Cup final

The dream died for Eamon Cregan's Mary Immaculate College yesterday at Pearse Stadium as UCC, the most prolific winners of the Fitzgibbon Cup, always held an edge in a final which only really came to life in the second half.

The dream died for Eamon Cregan's Mary Immaculate College yesterday at Pearse Stadium as UCC, the most prolific winners of the Fitzgibbon Cup, always held an edge in a final which only really came to life in the second half.

Both sides suffered from the toil of their semi-final victories on Friday, with Mary I looking sluggish after playing most of their semi-final win over Waterford IT with 14 men.

They did get an overnight boost when Limerick star Declan Hannon, red-carded after just nine minutes of the semi-final, was successful in his appeal and was able to line out at centre-back.

But that was the only battle which Mary I, the smallest college in the competition, won as UCC had that bit more balance and craft to see them retain their crown and lift the title for the 41st time.

Cork senior Conor Lehane led the way with a haul of 1-9, and his accuracy from frees, so important all throughout the campaign, ensured the champions punished every indiscretion.

Conor Cooney, released by Galway champions St Thomas' to help a college which Cregan said had only 40 hurlers, hit three points in the opening half but Mary I trailed by 0-9 to 0-7 at the break.

The tempo of the game stepped up hugely in the second half and UCC pulled six points clear after 40 minutes when Lehane blasted home after a good run by Brian Harnett.

But Mary I hit back and John Conlon lashed a 20- metre free to the net, which helped reduce the margin to a point entering the final quarter.

However, the holders pulled away again and they sealed the title when Seamus Harnedy pounced on a mistake to flash home a 53rd-minute goal from a tight angle.

Scorers – UCC: C Lehane 1-9 (7f), S Harnedy 1-1, W Egan 0-2, B O'Sullivan 0-2, D McCormack, P Haughney, A Breen 0-1 each. Mary Immaculate: J Conlon 1-4 (1-3f), C Cooney 1-3 (1-0f), S Curran 0-3, L O'Farrell 0-2.

UCC: D McCarthy; S Maher, D Glynn, K Murphy; J Barry, D Fives, W Egan; P Haughney, B Murray; S Harnedy, D McCormack, Brian Lawton; B O'Sullivan, C Lehane, B Harnett. Subs: Barry Lawton for Murray (46), A Breen for McCormack (51), D Kearns for O'Halloran (58).

Mary Immaculate College: S Nolan; C Fennessy, R O'Donnell, A Ryan; J Wall, D Hannon, Eanna Hogan; C Galvin, N O'Meara; B O'Halloran, W Hickey, C Cooney; S Curran, J Conlon, L O'Farrell. Subs: Eoin Hogan for Hickey (51), L Considine for Eanna Hogan (55).

Referee: B Kelly (Westmeath).

LIT Tipperary 1-25

IT Tralee 2-9

Midfielder Shane McGrath pointed the way as LIT Tipperary triumphed at Pearse Stadium yesterday. The Clare man hit 0-11 as the Thurles college followed up last year's Fergal Maher Cup success.

Scorers – LIT Tipperary: S McGrath 0-11 (8f, 2 '65s), M Gennery 1-2, T Doyle 0-4, D Maher 0-3, P Ivors 0-2, S Smith, B Egan, A McCarthy 0-1 each. IT Tralee: J Egan 0-6, D O'Halloran 1-0, M Deegan 1-0 (f), G O'Grady 0-2 (1f), C Harty 0-1.

LIT Tipperary: J Logue; J McDonnell, I Maher, F Brennan; N O'Sullivan, M Fitzgerald, B Egan; S McGrath, A McCarthy; T Ryan, D Maher, M Gennery; S Smith, P Ivors, T Doyle. Subs: R Bresnan for Ryan (44), T Dorney for Smith (55), J Nelligan for Doyle (57).

IT Tralee: D Delaney; S Lynch, A Fealy, D O'Mahony; J Walsh, M Deegan, J Leahy; J Egan, G O'Grady; F Collins, D Wallace, S Conlon; P O'Connor, C Harty, D O'Halloran. Subs: P Nash for O'Halloran, (39), C Coode for O'Connor (41), N Heffernan for Harty (55), D Ryan for O'Grady (55).

Referee: J McGrath (Westmeath)

Irish Independent

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