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Late scoring burst gives UL the edge

Univ of Limerick 2-13 Cork IT 1-11

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University of Limerick's James Naughton (left) and Conor Finucane are all smiles after their victory over Cork Institute of Technology. Photo: Sportsfile

University of Limerick's James Naughton (left) and Conor Finucane are all smiles after their victory over Cork Institute of Technology. Photo: Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

University of Limerick's James Naughton (left) and Conor Finucane are all smiles after their victory over Cork Institute of Technology. Photo: Sportsfile

Favourites University of Limerick justified the odds as they advanced to the quarter-finals.

However, although they had five points to spare at the end of a free-ridden clash, it was an unsteady performance that looked like coming unstuck when they trailed by five coming up to the break. But once they sorted out their midfield and committed more players forward to their attacks, their power game wore down CIT's gutsy challenge.

The visitors' second-half rally, which brought them back to within a point by the three-quarter mark, ran out of steam on the heavy surface and UL were able to make it over the line despite losing skipper Gearóid Hegarty to a second yellow late on.

UL made better use of their early chances to move two ahead but, after Daniel Dineen's frees moved the Cork college ahead, they were rocked by Matthew Bradley poking a goalmouth scramble to the net. The game changed, however, when UL cut out the needless turnovers and Conor Finucane's goal off Eoghan O'Connor's run helped them to a half-time lead of 1-6 to 1-5.

James Naughton's penalty after Keelan Sexton was fouled had the home supporters cheering but Dineen's frees kept CIT in the game before UL's run of five unanswered points gave them enough of a cushion to make it through.

Scorers - UL: J Naughton (1-0pen, 0-2f), C Finucane 1-2 each, N McDermott 0-5 (4f), K Sexton 0-2, G Hegarty, F McDonagh 0-1 each. Cork IT: D Dineen 0-6 (5f), M Bradley 1-1, K Murphy 0-2, S O'Sullivan, K Browne 0-1 each.

UL - B Redmond; S Courtney, L Boland, Daire Quinn; S Okunbar, P Lillis, C O'Dea; F Ó Cuanaigh, G Hegarty; J Naughton, D Daly, E O'Connor; N McDermott, K Sexton, C Finucane. Subs: J Mason for L Boland (49), N Rabbitt for F Ó Cuanaigh (53), D Bohannon for D Daly (54), E Lawless for C Finucane (56), F McDonagh for E O'Connor (59), J Lyons for C O'Dea (64).

CORK IT - A Casey; D Meaney, S Cahill, A McCarthy; K Fahy, P O'Sullivan, E Lavers; K O'Hanlon, C Kingston; K Browne, C O'Shea, K Murphy; M Bradley, D Dineen, S O'Sullivan. Subs: M Collins for C O'Shea(49), C Jordan for E Lavers (52), T Sheehy for M Bradley (54).

REF - J Gilmartin (Sligo)

Irish Independent