Waterford Crystal / Canon Michael O’Brien Cup – Cork 3-20 UCC 1-16

Cork defeated UCC by 3-20 to 1-16 in the preliminary round of the Waterford Crystal / Canon Michael O’Brien Cup on Saturday at the Mardyke.

Cork captain Pa Cronin accepting the Canon Michael O’Brien Cup from GAA President Liam O’Neill and Dermot O’Brien
Photo courtesy of George Hatchell

Encouraging signs from Rebels

By Diarmuid O’Flynn for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Cork 3-20 UCC 1-16

A winning start for new Rebels’ captain Pa Cronin in this Waterford Crystal SH Tournament preliminary round at the Mardyke on Saturday as his side became the first holders of the Canon O’Brien Cup, named in honour of the man who led both UCC and Cork to so many titles over the decades. On a chilly afternoon, with a heavy pitch, there was little between the sides for most of the opening half — in fact it was the students looking just that little bit sharper at that stage, deservedly with their noses in front after 27 minutes, 0-9 to 0-8. Encouragingly though for Cork manager Jimmy Barry-Murphy, it was Killeagh’s Seamus Harnedy doing much of the damage for UCC, with three fine points. Finally the superior craft and class of the inter-county side began to tell and five crucial minutes before the break turned the tide with two goals from the ever-threatening corner-forwards Patrick Horgan and Paudie O’Sullivan. Centrally involved in both was towering full-forward Michael Cussen.

The Sars star, recalled to the Cork panel for the 2013 season, had already shown well on several occasions but lacked support when scores were there for the taking. But on the half hour mark it all clicked, and Cussen was crucial in the build-up to Horgan and O’Sullivan’s strikes. “We left him (Cussen) out of the panel last year and maybe we were wrong,” admitted Murphy. “He had a very good campaign with Sarsfields and deserved his place (today). We’re giving him every chance and he’s been very good so far, was excellent today, I thought.”

More eye-catching in that half than any, however, was midfielder Daniel Kearney, who established a very promising midfield partnership with Cronin before being replaced at the break after he shipped a big hit. Kearney’s replacement, Rob O’Shea, was immediately up to the pace of the action and his early point in the second half extended Cork’s half-time lead (2-9 to 0-10) to six points. The students did hit back with Harnedy scoring his fourth point of the game followed by 1-2 from deadly free-taker Willie Griffin (Limerick), which left just two points between the teams in the 42nd minute (2-11 to 1-13).

That would be it for the college side, however. With Horgan, O’Sullivan, Cronin and wing-forward Stephen Moylan (fine outing) to the fore in the scoring stakes, half-backs Tom Kenny and Christopher Joyce stepping up their game to match that of the impressive Stephen White, Cork pulled away for a comfortable win. Notable also was the display of the full-back trio of Shane O’Neill/Colm Spillane/Stephen McDonnell who gave Anthony Nash great protection, not a single shot on goal from play during the 70 minutes.

All in all, a satisfying opening to the 2013 season for Jimmy Barry-Murphy. “We’re working hard in training, getting ready for the National League. Tipperary at home (league opener) will be a big game for us. It’s going to be a very difficult league campaign the way it’s set up, with three away games, so we’re aware we have to hit the ground running against Tipperary. We’ve played two games already, played the Galway champions (St Thomas) last week, played CIT also. This was a step up again, we’re very pleased with it.”

Encouraging also was how several of the newer players performed, with both Cork and UCC. “I thought some of them were excellent. We’re trying to build the panel and it’s reviewed on an on-going basis; we’ll keep doing that. We don’t get everything right, it’s obviously a work-in-progress. It’s going to be a hard year. I’ve already said I don’t think we made massive progress last year. We took small steps, that’s how I look at it, we’re not patting ourselves on the back or anything. There’s great morale in the camp, lads are working very well together and training well.”

Scorers for Cork: P Horgan 2-8 (1-4f 0-2 65s); P O’Sullivan 1-3; P Cronin 0-4; S Moylan 0-3; M Cussen and R O’Shea, 0-1 each.

Scorers for UCC: W Griffin 1-7 (1-5f); S Harnedy 0-5; B Hartnett, C Lehane, D McCormack, B Murray, 0-1 each.

CORK: A Nash; S O’Neill, C Spillane, S McDonnell; T Kenny, C Joyce, S White; D Kearney, P Cronin (c); B Corry, C McCarthy, S Moylan; P Horgan, M Cussen, P O’Sullivan.

Subs: R O’Shea (Kearney inj. 35); M O’Sullivan (Cussen 56).

UCC: D McCarthy (Cork); S White (Tipperary), D Glynn (Kilkenny), B Cleary (Limerick); J Barry (Tipperary), K Lane (Cork), W Egan (Cork); B Lawton (Cork), B Murray (Cork); S Harnedy (Cork), D McCormack (Tipperary), B Hartnett (Cork); A Breen (Limerick), C Lehane (Cork), W Griffin (Limerick).

Subs: K Ryan (Clare, Maher 35); B Coughlan (Waterford, Cleary 35); M Sugrue (Cork, McCormack 35); B Lawton (Cork, Breen 56); M Howard (Cork, Murray 62).

Referee: J O’Brien (Tipperary)


Match Preview

On Saturday January 19th UCC Senior Hurlers play the Cork Senior Hurlers in the inaugural Canon Michael O’Brien Cup in a game which will double as a Preliminary Round match in the Waterford Crystal Cup. For the hurlers who lined out in the Fitzgibbon Cup for UCC in the 1980’s and early 90’s, participation in this great competition was synonymous with coming under the influence of the management team of Professor Willie J Smyth, Dan Beechinor and Canon Michael O’Brien.

O’Brien’s record in that period was the winning of 8 in a row Fitzgibbon titles from 1981 to 1988 and a further two in 1990 and 1991. To a man his former student players would quote him as the most important influence on their hurling careers with most taking it further than that. Many of the iconic UCC Fitzgibbon hurlers of that time came under his wing including Nicky English, Pat Hartnett, Paul O’Connor, John Considine, Ian Conroy and Cathal Casey.

Therefore UCC Hurling Club along with the O’Brien family have come together to honour the Canon on the 19th. The game will be played in the Mardyke GAA Grounds at 12pm and we are delighted that the President of the GAA, Liam O’Neill will attend. Afterwards at 2.30pm, a lunch will be held in the Students Centre at which an appropriate tribute will be paid to the Canon on his huge contribution to UCC and Cork.

Should you wish to attend the lunch, tickets are available from Betty Young, Office of Sport and Recreation at 021 4904752 or b.young@ucc.ie. The tickets are priced at 35 euro.

Team News

The Cork Senior Hurling team to play UCC in the Waterford Crystal/Canon O’Brien Cup at 12 noon on Saturday in the Mardyke will line out as follows:

1. Anthony Nash Kanturk

2. Shane O’Neill Bishopstown

3. Stephen McDonnell Glen Rovers

4. Colm Spillane  Castlelyons

5. Tom Kenny Grenagh

6. Christopher Joyce Na Piarsaigh

7. Stephen White  Ballygarvan

8. Daniel Kearney Sars

9. Pa Cronin  Bishopstown

10. Brian Corry Ballymartle

11. Cian McCarthy Sars

12. Stephen Moylan Douglas

13. Patrick Horgan Glen Rovers

14. Michael Cussen Sars

15. Paudie O’Sullivan Cloyne


16. Stephen Nyhan Courcey Rovers

17. James O’Donovan Bandon

18. Brian O’Sullivan Fermoy

19. Lorcan McLoughlin Kanturk

20. Rob O’Shea Carrigaline

21. Pat O’Sullivan Carrigtwohill

22. Daire Holland Courcey Rovers

23. Michael O’Sullivan Tracton

For the Record

Cork UCC
2012 Waterford Crystal Cup Performance Defeated Kerry in the Quarter-Final before losing to Tipperary in the Semi-Final after extra time by 0-26 to 1-19 Lost to Waterford in the Quarter-Final by 3-19 to 1-19
Number of Waterford Crystal Cup Senior Hurling titles 0 0
Last Waterford Crystal Cup Senior Hurling Title N/A N/A
Waterford Crystal Cup Senior Hurling Record since 2006 Played – 10
Won – 5
Lost – 5
Drawn – 0
Played – 10
Won – 3
Lost – 7
Drawn – 0

Waterford Crystal Cup Senior Hurling 2013

Preliminary Round (Extra Time)

Saturday January 19th

@ Kilmallock     Limerick v Mary Immaculate College                      @ 11:30am

@ The Mardyke                                 Cork v UCC                                                               @ 12:00pm

Sunday January 20th

@ Abbeydorney                                Kerry v IT Tralee                                                        @ 1:00pm

@ WIT GAA Grounds                       Waterford v University of Limerick                         @ 2:00pm

Quarter-Finals (Extra Time)

Sunday January 27th

@ Waterford or Clare venue            Clare v Waterford or UL

@ Cork venue or TBC                      WIT v Cork or UCC

@ Tipperary venue                           Tipperary v Limerick or Mary I

@ Kerry venue or TBC                     LIT v Kerry or IT Tralee


Semi-Finals (Extra Time)

Sunday February 3rd

Final (Extra Time)

Sunday February 10th

Contact Munster GAA PRO Ed Donnelly at pro.munster@gaa.ie for more information

Waterford Crystal Cup Senior Hurling – Odds and Ends

35 goals were scored in the 2012 Waterford Crystal Cup competition over 11 matches (an average of 3.2 goals per match). This contrasts with 23 goals in the 2011 competition over 10 matches (an average of 2.3 goals per match).

Since the Waterford Crystal Cup began in 2006, Clare (15 wins), Tipperary (13 wins) and Waterford (13 wins) have accounted for 41 of the 71 victories in the competition (58%).

Tipperary hold the record for the longest winning streak in the Waterford Crystal Cup since the competition began under that guise in 2006 when they won 10 consecutive matches between 2007 and 2009.

None of the five teams who take part in the Munster Senior Hurling Championship have a losing record in the Waterford Crystal Cup since 2006.

Since the Waterford Crystal Cup began in 2006, 66 games have been played with just 1 draw – the 2012 Limerick v Clare Quarter-Final after two periods of extra time.

The record of the Third Level Colleges in the Waterford Crystal Cup since 2006 is Won 19, Lost 39, a 33% success rate.

Waterford have won 8 of the last 9 matches in the Waterford Crystal Cup.

Limerick have failed to win a Waterford Crystal Cup match since winning the competition in 2006, a run of 5 matches without success.

Clare are the only team who have won at least one game each year since the Waterford Crystal Cup competition began in 2006.

IT Tralee is the only team not to win a game in the Waterford Crystal Cup since 2006, losing their first match in the last 5 seasons.

Waterford Crystal Cup Senior Hurling Roll Of Honour

Tipperary (3) – 2007, 2008, 2012

Waterford (2) – 2010, 2011

Clare (1) – 2009

Limerick (1) – 2006

University College Cork

The University College Cork for the Waterford Crystal Cup is as follows –


Darren McCarthy                   Ballymartle                              Cork

David Glynn                             Dicksboro                                Kilkenny

Killian Ryan                             Ruan                                       Clare

Barry Coughlan                       Ballygunnar                             Waterford

Cormac Murphy                      Mallow                                     Cork

Padraig Prendergast               Lismore                                   Waterford

Conor Lehane                         Midleton                                   Cork

Mark Sugrue                            Bandon                                    Cork

Padraig O’Brien                      St Ita’s                                     Cork

Stephen Maher                        Thurles Sarsfields                   Tipperary

Killian Murphy              Erins Own                               Cork

James Barry                           Upperchurch/Drombane         Tipperary

Dara Fives                              Toureen                                   Waterford

William Egan                           Kilbrin                                      Cork

James Nagle                           Midleton                                   Cork

Kieran Lane                             Kilworth                                   Cork

Brian Murray                            Bishopstown                           Cork

Seamus Harnedy                    St Itas                                      Cork

Dan McCormack                     Borris-Ileigh                             Tipperary

William Griffin                          Adare                                       Limerick

Brian Hartnett                          Midleton                                   Cork

Paul Haughney                        Midleton                                   Cork

Brian O’Sullivan                      Ballygunnar                             Waterford

Diarmuid Lester                      Bishopstown                           Cork