Cork IT hold off UCC’s second-half comeback
Tipperary’s John O’Dwyer makes a late point to book place in Fitzgibbon Cup final
UCC’s Conor Lehane. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
Cork IT 1-17 UCC 0-19
Tipperary’s John O’Dwyer converted a match-winning free two minutes from time as Cork IT survived a fierce second-half comeback from UCC to book their place in today’s Fitzgibbon Cup final.
Cork IT held a commanding nine-point lead early in the second-half in Belfast yesterday, but they still needed O’Dwyer to convert the winning free after UCC made a charge with ten points without reply.
UCC led briefly 0-17 to 1-13, and again 0-18 to 1-14, but Cork IT stood firm and scored three of the last four points.
Conor Lehane (UCC) and O’Dwyer (Cork IT) each scored 0-11, mostly from frees, at Queen’s University. Cork IT captain John Cronin scored the only goal of the game with a close-range finish after 28 minutes. O’Dwyer landed eight points in the first-half, including four frees and a ‘65’, as Cork IT led by 1-12 to 0-7 at half-time.
They stretched that lead out to nine points in the second minute of the second half but UCC’s Conor Lehane hit seven points, six from frees, in the second period. His side hit ten points without reply between the third and 22nd minutes.
They had all the momentum with Séamus Harnedy, Jamie Barron and Pat Sullivan all on target from play in a dominant second-half display.
Colm Spillane put them briefly in the lead on 52 minutes and Cork IT must have feared a third defeat on the trot to their city rivals.
However they responded brilliantly to going behind for the first time since the 16th minute with substitute Kevin O’Connor levelling the scores again.
Lehane drove through the tackles to score his only point from play to again put UCC noses in front again but O’Dwyer’s free ensured there would be no extra-time.