O’Brien strike the difference as UCC survive war of attrition
UCC 1-8 UCD 1-5
MARK O’Brien’s second-half goal was the crucial score as UCC saw off hosts UCD in dreadful weather conditions to take a firm grip on Group D.
UCC moved to within touching distance of a home quarter-final with a gritty win and while UCD should still advance, they’ll have to play away from home in their last-eight tie.
Driving wind and rain made conditions virtually impossible for both sets of players but it was UCC who coped better to make it two wins out of two.
UCD were held scoreless in the second half as UCC overturned a five-point interval deficit to win by three in Belfield.
This could have been one of the ties of the round on a better day but UCC won’t mind as they travelled home with a precious win.
Instead, it boiled down to a war of attrition but UCC showed composure to come from 1-5 to 0-3 down at half-time.
UCD had got off to a brilliant start when Waterford’s DJ Foran netted in the first minute but UCC, adopting a damage limitation approach against the elements, remained well in touch by the interval.
After the break, UCC took a firm stranglehold on proceedings, Cork’s Munster Senior Hurling League final hero Alan Cadogan kick-starting the second-half scoring, before turning provider for Gavin O’Brien.
With 17 minutes left, Waterford’s O’Brien drilled home a fine goal and UCC were level at 1-5 apiece.
UCC hit the front for the first time when substitute Chris O’Leary pointed with his first touch before scores from Rob O’Shea (free) and goalscorer O’Brien closed the game out efficiently.
Scorers – UCC: M O’Brien 1-1, R O’Shea 0-3 (2fs), A Cadogan, J O’Flynn, G O’Brien, C O’Leary 0-1 each. UCD: DJ Foran 1-3 (0-2fs, 0-1 ‘65’), C Mac Gabhann 0-2.
UCC – D Desmond; I Kenny, C Spillane, S Roche; S Kennedy, C Gleeson, R Cahalane; J Barron, M Breen; M O’Brien, T Devine, G O’Brien; A Cadogan, J O’Flynn, R O’Shea. Subs: C O’Leary for Breen (47), A Spillane for O’Flynn (51), E Gunning for C Spillane (55), C Roche for G O’Brien (56).
UCD – D Holohan; E Hayden, P Hannon, C MacGabhann; H Lawlor, T de Búrca, C Buckley; C O’Callaghan, J O’Connor; J Maher, C Cronin, P Guinan; O O’Rorke, L Scanlon, DJ Foran. Subs: S Quirke for O’Rorke (28), JJ Ryan for Maher (48), B Quigley for Mac Gabhann (53), T Phelan for Guinan (57)..
REF – A Devine (Westmeath)