Fitzgibbon Cup 2nd Round – UCC v UCD

Report By Adrian McGearty


Fitzgibbon Cup 2nd Round  (UCC 0-13 /UCD 1-15)

The first few minutes started at an extended pace as both teams aimed to show dominance. Rickard Cahalane got straight into the mix. He was fouled on the outbreak and it was up to Darragh Fitzgibbon to take the free but the effort drifted wide. A puck out by UCD keeper Hughes was intercepted by UCD’s forwards, who fed half forward DJ Foran to slot over. There were some UCC alumni in UCD’s ranks with one most noticeable being Tahdg De Burca. He was a stalwart in defence for the visitors. DJ Foran was quick into the game as he took on the free taking duties as UCD’s John Murphy had been fouled, slotting over effectively. From the puck out Jack Barry’s effort was robbed by Foran again, who passed out to Murphy to slot into the back of the net. The visitors led early on. UCC made a quick reply with Rickard Cahalane on a notable charge feeding Chris O’ Leary to shoot over the bar. Darragh Fitzgibbon was next up on the radar with a typical long ranger that went narrowly wide. Following the puck out, Matt Kenny made a clear catch but the ball itself then went out of play. UCC got their flow together with John Power winning the ball from a Niall Cashman pass and put over a great point.

UCC’s hardness in the tackle was evident as another UCD free given meant that DJ Foran again slotted over another point to allow UCD to keep their lead. UCC were unfortunate to lose Chris O’ Leary with an injury after an earlier tangle with Foran. Eoghan Murphy was introduced for O’ Leary as Foran put wide the free attempt. From a UCD puck out, Conor Browne stole the ball for UCC but Garry Molloy’s tackling meant the ball went out for a sideline cut. James Maher duly dispatched the effort over the bar. From the puck out, Conor Browne grasped the ball before being fouled. The free from Daragh Fitzgibbon was slotted over. A quick fire score by Sean Hayes reduced the margin for UCC.  The link up play between Rickard Cahalane and Mark O’ Brien was impressive by a wide ball from John Power meant the move was in vain. Robbie O’ Flynn was again hustling and bustling for the ball. UCD’s keeper’s direct puck out to the inside forward line brought in John Joe Ryan. A foul by Ryan himself saw Darragh Fitzgibbon driving his free wide. Eoghan Murphy was also wide with a speculative effort. UCD’s Stephen Quirke and John Murphy linked well only to see Eddie Gunning disposed. A later foul by Matt Kenny on Fitzgibbon saw the Limerick man step up and slot over the free. DJ Foran was unlucky to see a free effort come off the post.

Rickard Cahalane was a real fire starter for UCC, stealing the march from Hughes puck out. Sean Hayes and Fitzgibbon linking only for De Burca to steal possession. A shot by Gunning fell short to the keeper’s hands. Cahalane picked up Purcell’s clearance but ball lost in contact by Niall Cashman. Neither Foran or Flanagan could hold onto ball for UCD but Foran regained his composure after De Burca’s steal to slot over. Fitzgibbon’s effort fell to O’ Flynn to tap over. The game turned scrappy. On the latter stages of the first half as both teams scrambled for ball on a soft surface. A foul by Michael Breen on UCD’s Podge Guinan set up Foran for another chance to extend UCD’s lead which he did successfully. A 65 was awarded soon after Griffin and Seamus Flanagan grappled for ball in UCC’s half. Foran himself dispatched perfectly. UCC regrouped and a sweet ball played by Mark O’Brien to Sean Hayes saw UCD stopper Holohan save the shot but deflected ball over the bar. UCD reacted automatically with a slick one-two through DJ Foran and Seamus Flanagan which saw Flanagan slot over the bar. Flanagan again retained possession for UCD and the half itself ended after a foul by Cahalane on Flanagan led to Foran slotting over the free.  A four-point game.

At the start of the 2nd half, superb defending by UCD’s backs prevented Cork County player Robbie O’ Flynn making inroads in their forward line. Ball was recycled and taken on through Guinan, feeding inform Foran for a straightforward score. While play was stopped momentarily with a bad injury to UCD’s Matt Kenny, Eoghan Murphy over carrying after attempts to clear danger meant Foran increasing UCD’s lead. Foran’s influence and the game was never ending and he duly slotted over a sideline cut. Tremendous play by the Waterford man and UCD were in the ascendancy. UCC’s indiscipline was letting them down as Sean O’ Donaghue’s foul on Tom Phelan saw Foran stepping up to the mantle and slotting over to increase the margin between both sides. A steal by Mark O Brien fed John Power who lined up Fitzgibbon for a point for the home side. Another steal by O’Brien saw Michael Breen get on the ball but a foul by Tahdg De Burca meant Daragh Fitzgibbon reduced the lead. While Foran’s shot went wide, Fitzgibbon’s effort was accurate to reduce UCD’s lead.

Tadhg De Burca stopped Fitzgibbon side puck to relieve the danger on the UCD defence as UCC pushed for equalizing scores. The game was on a knife edge as play began to get scrappy. De Burca was starting to break from the back. Both teams scuppered to wides as a tremendous block by UCD’s Jack Mullaney saw him getting the brunt of the collision. James Maher effort hit the bar as before Cathal Mc Grath cleared. Some great gathering by David Griffin prevented a clear cut UCD attack. De Burca was doing the same job preventing a Mark O’ Brien attack, play remained scrappy with the surface keeping the ball on ground. Foran eventually retained possession long enough to slot over. UCD were soaking up all the pressure being shown at them from UCC. Michael Breen’s effort went wide through relentless pressure from UCD’s defence. De Burca again gathered any loose ball, nullifying the UCC attack at every opportunity. UCD’s John Joe Ryan dispossessed Fitzgibbon and a continuation of wides from both sides saw the game play out on a score line of 0-13 to 1-15 to the visitors.

Scorers – UCD: DJ Foran 0-11 (7 fs, 1 65), T Phelan 1-0, S Flanagan 0-2, J Maher, S Quirke 0-1 each. UCC: D Fitzgibbon 0-7 (4 fs), M O’Brien, M Breen, R O’Flynn, R Cahalane, J Power, S Hayes 0-1 each.

UCD – D Hughes; B Quigley, M Cody, G Molloy; P Guinan, T de Búrca, M Kenny; J Mullaney, J Maher; JJ Ryan, S Quirke, DJ Foran; T Phelan, J Murphy, S Flanagan. Subs: D Codd for Murphy (46), S Kinsella for Mullaney (50, inj).

UCC – J Barry; S O’Donoghue, D Griffin, E Gunning; C O’Leary, C Gleeson, N Cashman; C Browne, R Cahalane; M O’Brien, M Breen, D Fitzgibbon; R O’Flynn, S Hayes, J Power. Subs: E Murphy for O’Leary (8, inj), S Forde for Hayes (h-t), D Walsh for Cashman (45), C McGrath for Gunning (50), M O’Connor for Browne (51).

Ref – S Hynes (Galway)