UL 1-24 UCC 1-18
UL claimed the Fresher 1 Hurling title for the first time ever with a six point win over Cork rivals, UCC, after extra-time. In a repeat fixture of the League final, it was the Limerick side who displayed determination and composure to withstand a UCC onslaught in the second half and dominate extra-time.
It was former Kilkenny minor star, Alan Murphy, who finished the game as overwhelming top-scorer with 1-14, who first got UL off the mark with accuracy from frees. UCC, through Dara Walsh and Kevin Kenny, kept the sides within one point of each other until a brilliantly taken Murphy goal sparked a UL rampage where they scored 1-6 without reply to leave them seven points ahead at half-time.
UL looked to dominate the second half with Cian Moloney and Ian Galvin scoring magnificent points while Barry Heffernan and Michael Casey were stopping any chance of a UCC attack despite the best attempts of UCC’s star forward, Patrick Curran. Then, as another Murphy point left nine between the sides, the Cork team revived their chances. They entered a purple patch which saw them score 1-6 of their own, to level the match. A free from Curran tricked the UL goalkeeper and was batted into the net by a UL defender.
Mark Shanahan and Murphy added points to give UL some breathing space but Dara Walsh scored a magnificent long range point for UCC, before Niall Cashman added another, to send the game to extra-time.
The Limerick side were not going to let a repeat of the League final occur and they utterly dominated extra-time. Paul Ryan broke through the tired UCC defence and saw his shot brilliantly saved by the Cork goalkeeper, Jack Barry. Kilkenny star, Murphy added another four points to stretch the UL lead. UCC were awarded a penalty in the final ten minutes but Murphy and goalkeeper, Gavin Ryan, combined to block the goal attempt from Patrick Curran, hitting the ball over the bar instead.
A final Alan Murphy point signalled the full-time whistle and a first Fresher title for the Limerick college. Leigh Bergin proudly lifted the cup on behalf of a skilful and determined UL side.
Scorers for UL: Alan Murphy 1-14 (0-8 frees, 0-2 65’), Ian Galvin 0-4, Mark Shanahan, Josh Keane 0-2 each, Cian Moloney, Paul Ryan 0-1 each.
Scorers for UCC: Patrick Curran 1-7 (1-4 frees 0-1 pen), Dara Walsh, Kevin Kenny 0-3 each, Cathal Cormack, Conor Galvin, Conor Gleeson, , Mark Dolan, Donal Hannon 0-1 each.
By Marisa Kennedy