Independent.ie Higher Level Education GAA Division 1 Hurling League Final
IT Carlow 0-16 UCC 0-13
IT Carlow have retained their title as Independent.ie Higher Level Education GAA Division 1 Hurling League Champions after a three point win over UCC in WIT sports campus in Carriganore Waterford last night.
It was a tip for tap game in the first half with Barry Lawton opening UCC’s scoring account after he was fouled inside the ’45 and he converted the free. IT Carlow’s Picky Maher answered this free with his own free after the when wing forward was fouled and leveled the game with a point. Two ITC scores from Chris Bolger and Cha Dwyer put the 2014 champions ahead but another Lawton free meant that lead was short lived. Cork hurler Alan Cadagon leveled the game once again after the talented forward managed to point from beside the sideline. After a series of short passes from Palmer, Gallagher, Dwyer to Jack Fagan seen the switched full forward half blocked by Colm Spillane for a ’65 which deadly accurate Maher pointed with ease.
Fagan who was causing lots of trouble in the UCC full back line was then what seemed to be fouled but was ignored by referee Fergal Horgan and while ITC were calling for their free Rob O Shea was quick to punish the Carlow mistake. From this point in the game UCC ruled the possession and scores. Lawton pointed again to keep it inseparable in the first half as DJ Foran was pulled down by Tommy Gallagher and the full back was punished with his first yellow of the game. Two points from Maher free’s kept Carlow in the game as Cha Dwyer added another point when he dispossessed a short pass in Tadgh Burke’s direction and pointed to lift Carlow spirits again. ITC almost had a goal chance when Jack Fagan was pulled down for the second time in the small box and was awarded a 21 yard free as Cha Dwyer’s shot was saved on the crowded UCC goal line and cleared. Cadagon, Lawton and Anthony Spillane gave UCC a single point lead at the break as the University cancelled out three Carlow points.
UCC returned to the pitch in fighting form as Cadagon and Lawton gave UCC a three point lead. This was a wake up call for the 2014 league champions as the next 8 points were ITC scores. Bolger and Maher hit two a piece to make it even steven once again as these inspirational scores gave IT Carlow the lift they needed to bring them back into the game. Subsitute Tommy Nolan, Picky, Bolger and keeper Enda Rowland hit Carlow’s final four scores spectators enjoyed a nail biting finish of a number of UCC being a constant threat relying on their poor shooting for scores. Tommy Gallagher recieved his second yellow of the game in the 58 minute of the game from an off the ball incident as keeper and talented free taker Enda Rowland hit the insurance point for a three point victory for IT Carlow in WIT sports grounds.
Institute of Technology Carlow:
Enda Rowland, Kevin Hannafin, Tommy Gallagher, Ross Brown, Damien Healy, William Young, Dwane Palmer, Colin Dunford, Mark Russell, Stephen Maher, Jack Fagan Charles Dwyer, James Doyle, Kevin Kelly, Thomas Nolan
Subs: James Dermody, Chris Bolger, Micheal Ryan, Martin Kavanagh, Micheal Harney, Dale O Hanlon, Michael Redmond, Sam Kelly, Sean Stafford, James Kilmartin, Cathal Madden, Eoin Quinn, Daryl Ryan, Brian Byrne
University College Cork:
Keith Hogan, Conor Gleeson, Colm Spillane, Michael Breen, Gavin O’Brien, Cormac Murphy, Dan Morrisey, Jamie Barron, Cormac Walsh, Alan Cadagon, John Power, Rob O’Shea, Anthony Spillane, DJ Foran, Barry Lawton.
Subs: Jack Barry, Shane Roche, Tadgh Burke, Eoghan Finn, Eoghan Gough, Rickard Cahalane, Philip Kelleher, Mark O’Brien, Niall McCarty, Shane O’Donnell, Cian Walsh.
Player of the match: There were a number of contenders for Man of the Match, On the losing side Cadagon and Lawton did tremendous work to keep their side in the game. On the other hand IT Carlow had a number of leaders throughout the field such as Mark Russell, Captain Kevin Hannafin, Cha Dwyer, Dwane Palmer and Tommy Gallagher but Stephen ‘Picky’ Maher excelled for the Carlow side. The Laois man was up and down the field defending and scoring and was deadly accurate on frees also.
Moment of the match: UCC hit eight wides in the second half while Bolger brought Carlow back from two points down Carlow gained momentum from the wasteful side to punish and put the final nail in the UCC coffin.
Score of the match: Mark Russell hit a massive score for his side when he pointed from 70 yards. The Tipperary native turned to his right and pointed with ease putting Carlow ahead for the first time in the second half and as a result the 2015 champions never looked back.
IT Carlow: S Maher 0-6 (4fs, 1 65’); C Bolger 0-5; C Dwyer 0-2; M Russell, T Nolan, E Rowland (f) 0-1 each.
UCC: B Lawton 0-5 (4fs); A Cadogan 0-4; R O’Shea 0-2 (1f); A Spillane, N McCarthy 0-1 each.