Thursday 14 December 2017

O'Donoghue shows All Star class to inspire UL in thriller

Ul 5-18 UCC 4-16

Liam Kearns
Liam Kearns

Only about 100 watched this extraordinary McGrath Cup quarter-final at Limerick's Gaelic Grounds, which produced a whopping nine goals and 34 points.

It was all the more remarkable as the final quarter was played in virtual darkness and torrential rain which had briefly delayed the start of the second half.

The Liam Kearns-managed UL proved deserving, if surprise, winners of a game in which they trailed by seven points 10 minutes into the second half.

Those who went along to see the new black-card rule in operation were disappointed as no card of any colour was produced by referee Derek O'Mahoney.

For James O'Donoghue, from the Legion club in Killarney, it was an afternoon to remember. The All Star scored 1-10 for UL (five frees) and Paul Whyte scored 2-2 (1f) in the shock win.

After the sides had been level twice during the opening period, UL led by a point -- 3-7 to 2-9 -- at the interval and might have had another goal from a shot which hit the cross-bar.

They also fluffed another couple of good chances.

Michael Quinlivan 2-4 and Conor Cox 1-6 (3fs) top-scored for UCC, who were rocked by two Limerick goals inside as many minutes by Enda Hogan and Paul Whyte which tied the game after 51 minutes.

Fittingly, O'Donoghue fired over the lead point for UL and they finished the stronger thanks to further points from the Kerry star.

Scorers -- UL: J O'Donoughue 1-10 (5fs), P Whyte 2-2 (1f), P McHugh, B O'Shea 1-1 each, D Daly, J O'Rourke 0-2 each. UCC: M Quinlivan 2-4, C Cox 1-6 (3fs), T Hickey 1-3, B O'Driscoll, S Kiely, M O'Connor 0-1 each.

UL -- R Byrne; E Kiely, M Tierney, C Lowry; D Dolan, T Clancy, L Mulligan; P McHugh, E Hogan; P Whyte, D Daly, J Spillane; B O'Shea, J O'Donoghue, J O'Rourke. Subs: A Barry for McHugh (66), M Eaton for Spillane (70).

UCC -- S Mellett; D Culhane, E O'Mahony, D O'Donovan; B O'Driscoll, C Dorman, D Hazel; S Kiely, E Healy; A Spillane, A Cronin, G O'Sullivan; C Cox, M Quinlivan, T Hickey. Subs: S Keane for O'Sullivan (31), I McGuire for Hazel (34), M O'Connor for Spillane (43).

Ref -- D O'Mahoney (Tipperary)

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