Chris O’Leary seals dramatic extra-time win for UCC
DCU’s late penalty appeal turned down as Cork students make Fitzgibbon Cup decider
UCC’s David Griffin celebrates the final whistle with Dara Lynch in the Fitzgibbon Cup semi-final at WIT. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
UCC 2-17 DCU 0-22 (aet)
An 82nd-minute penalty from Chris O’Leary gave UCC a dramatic extra-time win over DCU in a tense Fitzgibbon semi-final in Waterford on Tuesday night. Tom Kingston’s side held on, despite a late, late penalty appeal from their opponents, to celebrate a first final appearance in six years.
The Valley Rovers defender struck 1-5 in total, including four long-distance efforts from play, two in extra time. Cork attacker Shane Kingston contributed 1-5 while Kerry forward Shane Conway finished with six points.
The sides were level on nine occasions, with DCU talisman James Bergin, who amassed 0-10, forcing the additional 20 minutes with a free two minutes into stoppage time.
Kingston shot 1-3 in the opening half as the Cork students recovered from a slow start to lead 1-8 to 0-10 at the break. On 24 minutes, O’ Leary’s long-range free fell kindly for the full forward and he blasted to the roof of the net.
DCU earned a two-point lead with 13 minutes left but Shane Conway had other ideas. A wonderful solo point in front of the stand followed by a free made it all square. He then set up Kingston for the lead score on 54 minutes but Bergin brought it to extra time.
When play resumed, Conway registered a disputed free for UCC. The sides were tied on three further occasions before Darren Mullen and Bergin regained a two-point gap for DCU.
O’Leary struck two monster scores but Chris Crummey drove forward to leave it 0-22 to 1-17 on 76 minutes. In added time, UCC sub Seán Hayes was bundled over by Eoghan O’Donnell and O’Leary’s penalty squirmed under Oisín Foley.
UCC: J Barry ; N O’Leary, E Gunning, K Dwyer; C O’Leary (1-5, 1-0 pen, one free), E Murphy, D Griffin; M Coleman (0-1), C Browne; P O’Loughlin, S Kingston (1-5), S Conway (0-6, four frees); M O’Halloran, M Kehoe, C Roche.
Subs: E Sheehan for O’Halloran (3 mins), D Fitzgibbon for Kehoe (25), Kehoe for Sheehan (48), R Donohue for Roche (53), S Hayes for Kehoe (61), D Lynch for Dwyer (63), D Walsh for Donohue (70).
DCU: O Foley; P Smyth, E O’Donnell, A Maddock; P Foley, C Delaney, C Crummey (0-1); D Reck (0-1), R McBride (0-1); D Burke (0-1), R O’Connor (0-3), F Whitely; B Ryan, J Bergin (0-10, eight frees), S Morrissey (0-2).
Subs: J Donnelly for Burke, F McGibb for Morrissey (both 40 mins), K Doyle for Ryan (55), D Mullen (0-1) for Maddock (59), Brian Ryan for Doyle, Billy Ryan (0-2) for McGibb (both 60), C Burke for Billy Ryan (77), D Gray for O’Connor (79).
Referee: Thomas Walsh (Waterford).