O'Sullivan goal steers UCC to the quarter-finals
UCC 1-13 NUIG 0-14:A couple of pointed frees in injury time helped defending Fitzgibbon Cup champions UCC clinch a home quarter-final and end NUIG’s interest in the competition after a fierce struggle in testing conditions at the Mardyke yesterday.
The Galway side needed to win and when their main player Niall Burke stepped forward to take a free two minutes from the finish they expected to edge in front again with the sides tied at 1-11 to 0-14.
But the otherwise immaculate Burke missed to the left, having already chipped in with 11 points, and UCC made the most of that let-off to secure victory from Séamus Harnedy and substitute Dara Fives frees.
The holders just about deserved to win, though 13 wides almost proved their undoing, as Galway relied too much on Burke for their scores and Limerick’s Kevin Downes to a lesser extent, as he was well marshalled by Cork’s William Egan.
The visitors started promisingly, moving 0-5 to 0-4 in front after 19 minutes, but UCC struck for the only goal, an unusual one at that, in the next attack.
Blood sub Fives fired in a tantalising ball from the left for Brian O’Sullivan to steer the ball home with his palm for a 1-7 to 0-7 interval advantage and his goal was the difference in the end.