UCC complete first Sigerson-Fitzgibbon double in 31 years as hurlers enjoy commanding win over Mary I
UCC 2-21 Mary I 0-13
An early goal of the year contender from Tipperary forward Mark Kehoe inspired UCC to their 39th Fitzgibbon Cup triumph at a sunny WIT Arena this afternoon.
The man of the match fired 1-4 from open play as they ran out 14-point winners over Mary I in a one-sided final. A second goal from Conor Browne on 40 minutes sealed a first Sigerson and Fitzgibbon double since 1988.
The sides traded two points each before Kehoe left the Mary I defence for dead in the eighth minute. He weaved around four Mary I backs, withstood a hefty challenge from Philip Hickey and then blasted past Eoghan Cahill. Three of the Mary I full-backs received yellow cards from James Owens before half-time as the UCC inside line called the shots. Loose defender Paddy O’Loughlin and Chris O’Leary were dominant in the half-back division despite the loss of Eoghan Murphy to injury.
Three points in a row from Waterford senior Colm Roche left them seven clear by the 22nd minute (1-8 to 0-4). Mary I got the next three, including two from top scorer Aaron Gillane. UCC finished the half with the last four points, however, as they enjoyed a 1-12 to 0-7 advantage at the break.
Gillane and sub Colin English narrowed the gap to six but that was as close as Mary I got. They couldn’t handle Kehoe in the corner and he tagged on three classy points during the third quarter.
On 40 minutes, Browne collected a Darragh Fitzgibbon pass, sped through the centre and rifled to the bottom corner of the Mary I net.
Tom Kingston’s men could even afford to hit 12 wides.
Corner-back Niall O’Leary got in on act before Cork ace Shane Kingston shot his first point of the day in injury-time.
Scorers — UCC: M Kehoe 1-4; S Conway 0-6 (5fs); C Browne 1-1; C Roche 0-3; C O’Leary 0-2 (2fs); D Griffin, D Fitzgibbon, R O’Flynn, N O’Leary, S Kingston 0-1 each. Mary I: A Gillane 0-8 (8fs); M O’Loughlin, L Meade, T Monaghan, C O’Brien, C English 0-1 each.
UCC: J Barry; N O’Leary, E Gunning, K Dwyer; C O’Leary, E Murphy, D Griffin; M Coleman, P O’Loughlin; C Browne, S Kingston, C Roche; M Kehoe, S Conway, D Fitzgibbon. Subs: R O’Flynn for Murphy (15), D Lowney for Dwyer (53), D Lynch for O’Leary (53), R Donohue for Roche (58), D Walsh for Fitzgibbon (59).
Mary I: E Cahill; S Downey, D Prendergast, E Ryan; T Grimes, D Browne, C Morgan; L Meade, P Hickey; T Monaghan, G Cooney, C O’Brien; A Gillane, C Guilfoyle, M O’Loughlin. Subs: B Buckley for Downey (16), C English for O’Loughlin (h-t), S Burke for Cooney (47), R McCormack for O’Brien (50).
Referee: J Owens (Wexford)