It was another busy week in the Fitzgibbon Cup hurling competition as the Round 2 games were played leaving a number of do or die games up for decision this week in the last round of the group stages.
In Group A, UCC had Michael Breen (Ballina) at centre-back in their 4-18 to 0-10 win over Maynooth. The other game in Group A was much tighter as LIT made it two wins on the trot with a one point victory over previously undefeated UCD. LIT included wing-back Willie Ryan (Clonakenny) and centre-back Cathal Barrett (Holycross-Ballycahill) in their starting line-up, while Willie Connor (Kiladangan) was introduced as a substitute early in the second half.
Group B is more straight-forward as IT Carlow and WIT have qualified for the Quarter-Finals with a game to spare. IT Carlow defeated St Pat’s Drumcondra/Mater Dei by 4-17 to 2-14 where Mark Russell (Lattin Cullen Gaels) lined out at corner-forward for the Carlow side while Tommy Nolan (Drom & Inch) and Dale O’Hanlon (Carrick Swan) were both introduced as subs. Eoin McIntyre (Lorrha) lined out for St. Pat’s, scoring 1-1 from wing-forward. Meanwhile, WIT defeated DCU by 2-21 to 1-12 as Liam McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney) finished as top scorer for WIT with 10 points, 4 from play. Tom Fox (Eire Óg Annacarty) and Joe O’Dywer (Killenaule) lined out in the WIT half-back line
The tie of the round in Group C brought a big crowd to the Mary Immaculate Limerick GAA Grounds on Thursday last as the home side played their city rivals the University of Limerick in what turned out to be an eight goal thriller refereed by Fergal Horgan (Knockavilla Kickhams). UL won the game by 5-15 to 3-14 with Tipperary players contributing 3-10 on the day. UL got off to a great start thanks to two goals by Tommy Heffernan (Nenagh Eire Óg) who scored 2-2 in all from corner-forward while John McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney) scored five points (two from play) at full-forward. Paul Maher (Moyne-Templetuohy) lined out in goal for UL with Brian Stapleton (Templederry Kenyons) and Jason Forde (Silvermines) starting in the half-back line, the latter contributing 1-1 from placed balls. Barry Heffernan (Nenagh Eire Óg) was introduced as a late first half substitute and played in the half-back line. For Mary I, Alan Flynn (Roscrea), John Meagher (Loughmore-Castleiney) and Ronan Maher (Thurles Sarsfields) lined out in defence along with Thomas Stapleton (Templederry Kenyons) at midfield and Stephen Cahill (Thurles Sarsfields) at corner-forward with both Stapleton and Cahill scoring a point each from play. In the other Group C encounter, NUI Galway defeated DIT by 3-18 to 2-7 with Conor Ryan (Nenagh Eire Óg) starting at corner-forward for the Galway side.
Finally, there was one game in Group D as Cork IT defeated Ulster of University Jordanstown by 1-18 to 1-14 to qualify for the Quarter-Finals. Conor Hammersley (Clonoulty-Rossmore, scorer of 0-1) and Andrew Coffey (Nenagh Eire Óg, scorer of 0-2) started for CIT while top scorer John O’Dwyer (Killenaule) contributed eight points, three from play but will miss the Quarter-Final having picked up a red card late in the game.