On a foggy evening in the University of Limerick, the UL fresher’s hurling team booked their spot in this year’s League final with a comprehensive 17 point win over UCD. It was a high-scoring, high-intensity clash that UL dominated from start to finish though a fight back from UCD looked to put a damper on their evening.
It looked like it was to be a close encounter as the team’s traded points early into the match, neither team able to put much past the other’s defence, instead opting for long range efforts. Both sets of midfielders were dominant, UL’s Josh Keane, the stand out performer.
The home side gradually began to wear down UCD and a point from Alan Murphy put UL five points ahead. However, the UCD defence worked tirelessly and cleared a substantial amount of ball to their fierce half-forward line, with Colin O’Riordan marshalling the Dublin side’s forwards.
A terrific catch and point from the centre forward reducing the deficit. The physicality levels rose as both sides picked up yellow cards in their back line.
It was much the same until a well taken UCD goal left just one point between the sides. However, moments later Morrissey smashed home UL’s first goal before the magnificent Josh Keane added the second. A combination of brilliant defensive work and clinical forwards saw UL lead by nine points at half-time, UCD saving an Alan Murphy penalty as the whistle blew.
UL started the second half with high intensity, showing no sign of relieving the pressure on UCD. Morrissey saw another effort sail over as UCD’s wide count rose. A wonderful goal from Kevin Bergin stretched UL further into the lead.
Both teams made a number of substitutions who had a significant impact on the match. UCD looked to fight back after clearing a goal chance from a Murphy free before scoring two unanswered points, but their heavy wide count cost them. Jason Stanley summed up the UL work-rate with a fine point after dispossessing UCD at the halfway line.
UCD began to tire and UL took advantage, Paul Ryan running through the defence before adding another point. The corner forward popped up again moments later and after another terrific solo effort, saw his shot fly across goal, only to be collected and redistributed back to Ian Galvin who made no mistake and rattled the UCD goal for the fourth time.
A final Bergin point sealed a comfortable win for UL and sent them to the League final where they await the winners of UCC and DCU.