Thursday 22 March 2018

O'Sullivan holds nerve to set up extra-time triumph

UCC 1-19 Monaleen 2-15

(After extra-time)

UCC recovered from a poor start to overcome Limerick champions Monaleen after extra-time in their quarter-final clash at Cloughduv, Co Cork, yesterday.

Trailing by 1-3 to 0-1 after 15 minutes, the college side began to find their momentum in the second quarter and eventually got on top, without ever fully shaking off their opponents.

A two-point lead as the game reached its 60th minute was wiped out as Monaleen corner-back Darren Burke scored a scrambled goal. An impressive long-range free from Jamie O'Sullivan took the game to extra-time, however, and in the additional 20 minutes UCC were the better side.

Monaleen may feel that they would have done better had they been able to call upon Muiris Gavin for the whole game rather than only introducing him at half-time, while the loss of midfielder Paul Kinnerk in extra-time was also a blow.

Early on, though, the Limerick side looked as if they would overpower the students. Luke Kavanagh's goal, when he converted a good Gerard Collins ball across, put them five clear, Mick Crowley having scored two good points.


They would not score again for the remainder of the half, however, as UCC asserted themselves, and four points in a row, from Stephen O'Brien, Gavin O'Grady and Paul Geaney (two) got the Cork champions back to within a point by half-time.

From there on it was nip and tuck, the sides level twice as points were traded before that dramatic late goal overturned UCC's slender lead-- after Kinnerk's attempt from 20 metres was blocked, and with the ball bouncing about the goalmouth, Burke nipped in to poke home from close range and give his side a one-point lead.

O'Sullivan was on hand to send the game to extra-time, though, and they were the better side in the first period, Geaney kicking two fine points and O'Grady profiting from Adrian Greaney's good work, but Monaleen stayed in touch thanks to Gavin and Jason O'Brien.

At the turnaround, UCC led by two, 1-19 to 2-14, and while a Gavin free did cut the gap in the second period, the students retained possession impressively in the closing stages to ensure that they progressed to a semi-final meeting with Moyle Rovers in two weeks.

Scorers -- UCC: G O'Grady 1-4 (0-2f), P Geaney 0-7 (3f), J O'Sullivan 0-3 (1 '45', 1f), S O'Brien 0-2, JB Spillane, M Hickey, D O'Sullivan 0-1 each. Monaleen: M Gavin 0-5 (2f), L Kavanagh 1-1, M Crowley 0-3 (1f), D Burke 1-0, J O'Brien (1f), G Collins 0-2 each, S Hickey, P Russell 0-1 each.

UCC -- S Mellett; P Crowley, M Hickey, M Galvin; T Clancy, N Daly, S Kiely; W Kennedy, J O'Sullivan; JB Spillane, S Beston, B Coughlan; S O'Brien, G O'Grady, P Geaney. Subs: D Culhane for Kennedy (43), S Hannifin for Coughlan (52), D O'Sullivan for Beston (55), A Greaney for O'Brien (start of extra-time), Coughlan for O'Grady (63), Kennedy for Hannifin (70).

MONALEEN -- D O'Sullivan; D Burke, B Fitzpatrick, F Nash; P Quinn, R Murray, S Hickey; B Geary, P Kinnerk; P Russell, C Walsh, M Crowley; J O'Brien, L Kavanagh, G Collins. Subs: M Gavin for Walsh (h-t), J Hoare for Geary (38), E Keating for Quinn (63), S Leonard for Kinnerk (70).

Ref -- M Condon (Waterford)

Irish Independent

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