Curtin and Cox catch Fitzmaurice’s eye as Kerry advance
By Michael Moynihan for the Irish Examiner newspaper
Kerry 2-12 UCC 0-10
Kerry boss Eamon Fitzmaurice was in the unusual position of enjoying performances of players on both sides yesterday, as his Kingdom side eased past UCC in a McGrath Cup quarter-final at a misty Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney. Two first-half goals from impressive full-forward Patrick Curtin ended the game as a contest but UCC’s top forward, Conor Cox of Listowel Emmets who ended with six points, is also a Kingdom prospect and one of seven in the college’s starting 15. “Conor played well,” said Fitzmaurice after the game. “So did all of the UCC lads who are in with us. I know Conor kicked a share of scores and we know well the quality he possesses. “He is going to have a busy schedule now, between the Sigerson with UCC, he is involved with Darragh [Ó Sé), with the U21s and he is in and out with us as well so I suppose for the next while it’s going to be about balancing commitments, to ensure that he is not over extended at any stage.”
As might be expected of a team with Sigerson commitments looming, UCC were sharper out of the blocks and ran up a three-point lead courtesy of a Cox free, Gavin O’Grady (45) and a fine Brian Coughlan effort from play. Kerry were slow to get into their stride but Darran O’Sullivan’s opener, a free from wide right, sparked his team-mates to action. Michael Geaney and Paddy Curtin levelled matters and Paul Geaney edged Kerry ahead. Kerry struck for the first goal at the end of the first quarter, Kieran O’Leary feeding Curtin, who played a one-two with Paul Geaney before finishing emphatically. The Kingdom radar then let them down, with four consecutive wides and Darran O’Sullivan hitting the woodwork, but Curtin hit his second goal on the half-hour. Cox added two points for UCC but two Geaney points either side of a Johnny Buckley effort left it 2-7 to 0-5 at the half.
The second half fizzled out, with heavy underfoot conditions taking a toll on UCC. Kerry hit some good points to take their total to 2-12, while Cox started and ended UCC’s scoring. But the biggest cheer of the afternoon came when Kieran Donaghy was substituted, the PA announcer wishing him well in his wedding next weekend. In his absence Fitzmaurice will shuffle the deck against Limerick in next Sunday’s semi-final. “Anthony Maher will be back in with us next weekend and the Crokes lads are going back training with Crokes this week, but there will be a few of them available to us for the game next weekend, if we want them.” “It’ll be a more physical test, but in fairness to UCC they were quite physical in the second half and they have a share of pretty senior players around that are well conditioned, the likes of Niall Daly and JB Spillane, and they had a couple of big men like Peter Acheson who have played senior inter-county, and Peter Crowley.”
Scorers for Kerry: P Curtin 2-2, P Geaney 0-3 (1f), J Buckley 0-2, M Geaney, D O’Sullivan (f), K O’Leary, M O’Donoghue and BJ Keane 0-1 each
Scorers for UCC: C Cox 0-6 (3fs), G O’Grady 0-2 (1 45), B Coughlan, P Acheson
KERRY: B Kealy; M Ó Sé, M Moloney, F Fitzgerald; J Lyne, J Sherwood, K Young; K Donaghy, J Buckley; M Geaney, D O’Sullivan, M O’Donoghue; K O’Leary (c), P Curtin, P Geaney.
Subs: BJ Keane for D O’Sullivan (ht), T Ó Sé for Fitzgerald (50), P O’Connor for O’Leary (50), A O’Mahony for O’Donoghue (57), A Garnett for Donaghy (64).
UCC: S Mellett (Carrigaline/Cork); J O’Sullivan (Bishopstown/Cork), P Galvin (Ballymacelligot/Kerry), F McNamara (Austin Stacks/Kerry); P Crowley (Laune Rangers/Kerry), N Daly (Padraig Pearses/Roscommon) T Clancy (Fermoy/Cork); P Acheson (Moyle Rovers/Tipperary), D O’Sullivan (Dingle/Kerry); K O’Driscoll (Tadhg McCarthaigh/Cork), B Coughlan (Kinsale/Cork), JB Spillane (Castlegregory/Kerry); C Cox (Listowel Emmets/Kerry), E Buckley (St Michael’s/Cork), G O’Grady (Glenbeigh-Glencar/Kerry).
Subs: M Reen (Rathmore) for Buckley (53), P Lucey (Legion) for Coughlan (59).
Referee: D O’Mahony (Tipperary)
For the Record
|2012 McGrath Cup Performance||Did not take part||Defeated Limerick by 1-19 to 0-10 before losing to Tipperary in the semi-final by
1-15 to 0-10
|Number of McGrath Cup Senior Football titles||3||0|
|Last McGrath Cup Senior Football Title||2011||N/A|
|McGrath Cup Senior Football Record since 2000||Played – 14
Won – 12
Lost – 2
Drawn – 0
|Played – 15
Won – 7
Lost – 8
Drawn – 0
|Last meeting in the McGrath Cup||2010 Final – January 30th at Austin Stack Park Tralee
Kerry 1-11 UCC 0-9 – Match Report
Fixtures and Results
Saturday January 5th
@ Fitzgerald Stadium Killarney Kerry 4-22 IT Tralee 0-10
Sunday January 6th
@ Miltown-Malbay Clare 1-19 LIT 1-2
@ Cork IT GAA Grounds Cork 1-15 CIT 0-10
Quarter-Finals (Extra time)
Sunday January 13th
@ Foynes Limerick v Clare @ 2:00pm
@ Fitzgerald Stadium Killarney Kerry v UCC @ 2:00pm
@ Pairc Ui Rinn Tipperary v Cork @ 2:00pm
@ WIT GAA Grounds Carriganore Waterford v UL @ 2:00pm
Semi-Finals (Extra time)
Sunday January 20th
Limerick or Clare v Kerry or UCC
Limerick v Kerry – Kerry venue
Clare v Kerry – Clare venue
Limerick v UCC – Limerick venue
Clare v UCC – Clare venue
Cork or Tipperary v Waterford or UL
Cork v Waterford – Waterford venue
Tipperary v Waterford – Tipperary venue
Cork v UL – Cork venue
Tipperary v UL – Tipperary venue
Final (Extra time)
Sunday January 27th
McGrath Cup Senior Football – Odds and Ends
Since 2000, Cork’s McGrath Cup success rate is 89% (best of any county) with 17 wins out of 19 in the competition. In the same period, Kerry have won 12 of their 14 matches (a 86% success rate).
Despite a goal-less final, there was an average of 2.4 goals per match in the 2012 McGrath Cup competition (22 goals scored in total). This contrasts with 16 goals scored in the 2011 competition over 11 matches (an average of 1.4 goals per match).
The record of the Third Level Colleges in the McGrath Cup since entering in 2005 is Won 21, Lost 47 (31% success rate). None of the six colleges have a winning record in the competition during that period. UCC have the best record, winning 7 of their 15 matches (47% success rate) while UL have won 5 of their 12 matches (42% success rate).
Since 2011, the record of Third Level Colleges when playing an Inter-County team in the McGrath Cup is Won 2, Lost 14 (13% success rate)
Kerry have not lost a match in the McGrath Cup since the 2006 final where the Kingdom lost to Cork by 1-9 to 0-6 at Pairc Ui Rinn.
Limerick footballers have won 1 of their last 6 matches in the McGrath Cup. Waterford have won 1 of their last 5 matches.
Tipperary is the only team to have won at least 1 match in the last 3 years of the McGrath Cup with a 66% record during that period, Won 6 Lost 3.
Clare footballers have won 5 of their last 7 matches in the McGrath Cup over the last two seasons. During that span, Clare have scored 4 goals and conceded 4 goals.
McGrath Cup Senior Football Roll Of Honour
Clare (12) – 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2008
Cork (6) – 1998, 1999, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Limerick (5) – 1985, 1987, 2001, 2004, 2005
Tipperary (3) – 1989, 1993, 2003
Kerry (3) – 1996, 2010, 2011
Waterford (1) – 1981
London (1) – 1988
Visit the Munster GAA web site History section to view the complete Roll of Honour since the competition began in 1981 – http://munster.gaa.ie/history/mcgrath-cup-football/
Presented by Joe McGrath on June 21st, 1981 for the promotion of Senior Football in Munster
McGrath Cup – 2013 Scorers
|Paul Geaney (Kerry) 2-4 (0-1 free)
Patrick Curtin (Kerry) 1-5
Shane McGrath (Clare) 0-7
Michael Geaney (Kerry) 1-1
Alan Clohessy (Clare) 0-4 (0-1 45)
Johnny Buckley (Kerry) 0-3
Paul O’Connor (Kerry) 0-3 (0-1 free)
Brian Looney (Kerry) 0-3 (0-1 45)
Gary Brennan (Clare) 1-0
I McInerney (Clare) 0-3 (0-1 free, 0-1 45)
Alan O’Donoghue (IT Tralee) 0-3 (0-3 frees)
|Barry John Keane (Kerry) 0-2
S Carroll (IT Tralee) 0-2 (0-1 free)
Paul Kerrigan (Cork) 0-2
Pearse O’Neill (Cork) 0-2
P McMahon (Clare) 0-2
Enda Coughlan (Clare) 0-2
Brian O’Regan (CIT) 0-2
Darran O’Sullivan (Kerry), Conor O’Driscoll (Cork), Sean Kiely (Cork), Andrew O’Sullivan (Cork), Liam Shorten (Cork), J Dowling (Clare), N Kelly (Clare), Brendan Pott (IT Tralee), Darren Wallace (IT Tralee), Ruairi Deane (IT Tralee), Sean Killeen (IT Tralee), Sean McCarthy (IT Tralee), Colin Lyons (CIT), Jerry O’Connor (CIT), Donagh Leahy (CIT), Micheal Vaughan (CIT), Anthony Sweeney (CIT) (0-1 free), Brian Coleman (LIT) (0-1 free), C Wallace (LIT) 0-1 each.