UCC defeated Cork by 1-12 to 1-7 in the Preliminary Round of the Waterford Crystal Cup Senior Hurling competition at Pairc Ui Runn on Sunday.
Walsh mystified as Rebels fade away
UCC 1-12 Cork 1-7
By Michael Moynihan for the Irish Examiner newspaper
Monday, January 18, 2010
UNIVERSITY COLLEGE CORK’s second-half scoring spree put Cork out of the Waterford Crystal Hurling Cup at Páirc Uí Rinn yesterday, the students’ 1-8 without replay after the break giving them a well-earned victory in front of 1,652 spectators. Cork coach Denis Walsh was unequivocal about his side’s scoreless second-half. “We died a death,” said Walsh. “I don’t know if you’d put it down to fitness or whatever, but they upped the pace and were able to move the ball. “They knew each other as well, whereas when we lost our way with an experimental team… you saw the fitness levels. We had to take a few fellas off because they were gone, their legs were gone. UCC had the advantage that they could knock the ball around. “But I’d be very happy with the first-half, we dictated the pace of the game and fellas showed up very well.”
Cork began brightly with two pointed frees from Cian McCarthy before a William Egan free was won near the UCC goal by Paudie O’Sullivan, who goaled from close range. The intercounty side were 1-4 to 0-1 ahead at the end of the first quarter and though neither team was clinical in its shooting, Cork added two more frees from McCarthy and a Mark Harrington point from play to lead 1-7 to 0-4 at the break. The students were heavily dependent on former Cork panellist Eoghan Murphy, who contributed three of their points from frees. “Unfortunately the second-half threw up more questions than answers,” said Walsh later.
UCC were far sharper after the break and reeled off three points in as many minutes at the three-quarter stage from Luke O’Farrell (two) and Shane Burke before Clare U21 star Darach Honan goaled from close range. That score put UCC 1-9 to 1-7 clear and they closed the game out with ease, though Cork had a goal chance from Paudie O’Sullivan that went narrowly wide and ended the game with 11 wides. “I’m pleased overall,” said Walsh. “The conditions were good enough given the bad weather we’ve had, and we have our eye on a certain number of players. “Now we’re out of the competition we can go away and think of what we’ll do next. “To be honest, there are probably six or seven players between UCC and CIT that I’d have on the selection if they weren’t tied to the colleges.”
Walsh conceded he and his management team would have liked another outing in the Waterford Crystal League. “I would, but we had games lined up provisionally anyway – the bookies had UCC as slight favourites, so they must know something I didn’t – and we’ll be out again. “We have a game in Fermoy on February 6 to mark the turning on of floodlights there, and we have a game on the 13th as well against Waterford, so they’ll be good matches to lead into the league.” Before the game there was plenty of interest in football convert Michael Cussen, but Walsh pointed out the towering Sarsfields clubman has only just returned from the county footballers’ team holiday.
“He only came off a plane at half one this morning,” said Walsh. “He did well enough inside, he was a threat, but we didn’t have enough of fellas motoring. We died a death really in midfield, we never got going there in the second half. “Paudie O’Sullivan got a good goal and he had a chance of a second after half-time, that would have put us out of sight. His touch was very good. Jamie Nagle played well. William Egan did well in the first half, Aidan Ryan, Ray Ryan, David Cunningham – they were excellent. Luke O’Farrell was enterprising as well, he kept going.” Referee Declan O’Driscoll refereed the game under the new rules sensibly, though the Cork manager suggested there may be headaches over the enforcement of one particular law.
“The handpass was the thing,” said Walsh. “The new square rules didn’t really come into it, but the handpass, I think, will be down to interpretation. “And it’ll probably drive people bananas – ‘is it or isn’t it’. I thought at times during the game when players were under pressure that they were afraid to hand pass.” UCC play Limerick in the next round of the competition.
Scorers for UCC: D Honan 1-0, E Murphy (frees), S Burke 0-3 each, L O’Farrell, B O’Sullivan 0-2 each; M Wilkinson, S Moylan 0-1 each.
Scorers for Cork: C McCarthy 0-4 (frees); P O’Sullivan 1-0; M O’Sullivan 0-1, M Harrington, W Egan (free) 0-1 each.
UCC: A Nash (Cork); C O’Sullivan (Cork), R Foley (c) (Waterford), C O’Driscoll (Cork); K Hartnett (Cork), E Martin (Wexford), J Jordan (Cork), B O’Sullivan (Limerick), M Wilkinson (Limerick); S Burke (Tipperary), M Grace (Kilkenny), R White (Cork); L O’Farrell (Cork), E Murphy (Cork), T Óg Murphy (Cork).
Subs: D Honan for T Og Murphy, S Moylan for Grace, half-time; J Halbert for E Murphy, 45; L Sexton for Wilkinson, 53.
CORK: M Coleman (Ballinhassig), S Murphy (Erins Own) D Cunningham (Glen Rovers), R Ryan (Sarsfields); D Rodgers (Brian Dillons), A Ryan (Midleton), J Nagle (Midleton); G Calnan (Glen Rovers), W Egan (Kilbrin); M Harrington (Douglas), C McCarthy (Sarsfields), M O’Sullivan (Dripsey); P O’Sullivan (Cloyne), M Cussen (Sarsfields), A Walsh (Killeagh).
Subs: J Neville (St Finbarrs) for Egan 52; Michael O’Sullivan (Tracton) for Walsh, 55; D O’Callaghan for Mark O’Sullivan, 57.
Referee: D O’Driscoll (Limerick)