Sigerson holders UCC prove too strong for IT Carlow to set up final with DCU
UCC 2-12 IT Carlow 0-8
UCC, the holders of the Independent.ie Sigerson Cup, are just one game away from back-to-back titles and three wins in six years after they bested IT Carlow at the Mardyke in Cork today.
The Billy Morgan-managed side trailed by 0-6 to 0-5 after a lacklustre first-half performance as Carlow made the most of their opportunities – they didn’t record a wide until the 36th minute – but the second period belonged to the hosts.
Two points soon after the restart from Conor Cox and David Harrington pushed them in front before Luke Connolly’s goal gave them breathing space and there was never going to be any outcome other than a home win after that.
Thomas Hickey popped up with a second goal in the 51st minute to put them 2-12 to 0-7 in front and, while they didn’t score after that, they were never going to be denied.
They now face DCU in the final but while Kerry star Paul Geaney may be fit enough to play some part, Cork midfielder Ian Maguire remains ruled out. The absence of that pair may have contributed to a sloppy first-half performance from UCC as they saw a 0-3 to 0-1 lead turned into a 0-5 to 0-3 deficit.
Cox had got all of the early UCC points but then Carlow hit a purple patch, with Liam Boland getting two points, Kevin Ryan contributing a nice score and goalkeeper Shane Murphy nailing a long-distance free.
While Cox and Harrington did level the game again at 0-5 each, Barry McHugh of Carlow had the final say of the first half as he sent over a free to give his side a slender interval lead.
UCC returned re-focused for the second, however, and Connolly’s goal put them four points ahead. While Brendan Murphy got a Carlow point in response, they would only score once more.
In contrast, Cox continued to fire for UCC – he would finish with eight points – and David Culhane and Shaun Keane also scored before Hickey wrapped things up by ending a lovely team move for the second goal.
Scorers for UCC: C Cox 0-8 (0-4f), L Connolly, T Hickey 1-0 each, D Harrington 0-2, D Culhane, S Keane 0-1 each.
Scorers for IT Carlow: B McHugh 0-2 (0-1f, 0-1 45), L Boland 0-2 (0-1f), S Murphy (0-1f), K Ryan, A Forde, B Murphy 0-1 each.
UCC: M Martin (Cork); F McNamara (Kerry), J McGuire (Kerry), P O’Connor (Kerry); C Dorman (Cork), D Culhane (Kerry), T Clancy (Cork); S Kiely (Cork), G O’Sullivan (Kerry); S Keane (Kerry), L Connolly (Cork), B O’Driscoll (Cork); T Hickey (Kerry), D Harrington (Cork), C Cox (Kerry).
Subs: A O’Donovan (Cork) for Dorman (52), C Horgan (Cork) for Harrington (inj), R Murphy (Kerry) for O’Sullivan, A Spillane for Keane, K Davis for Connolly, É Ó Conchúir for Kiely (all 57).
IT CARLOW: S Murphy (Kerry); T O’Connell (Kildare), C Lawlor (Carlow), D Smyth (Meath); E Lynch (Meath), T Featherston (Roscommon), E Walsh (Galway); W Young (Laois), M Sherry (Kildare); K Ryan (Meath), A Dever (Mayo), A Forde (Meath); L Boland (Tipperary), B Murphy (Carlow), B McHugh (Galway).
Subs: M Mangan (Kerry) for Dever (half-time), C Conroy for McHugh (44), T Shiel (Laois) for Boland (49), K Mulvany (Cavan) for Murphy (53).
Referee: D O’Mahoney (Tipperary).