DCU end Mary I’s hopes of Fitzgibbon hat-trick

DCU 0-20 Mary Immaculate College 2-12

Mary Immaculate College’s hopes of a three-in-a-row of Fitzgibbon Cup titles came unstuck in Dublin as DCU finished strongly to advance to the semi-finals, writes John Fallon.

The game seemed destined for extra-time when they were deadlocked for the eighth time in the closing stages but DCU came good when it mattered most.

Killian Doyle and Conor Burke delivered the points which ended Mary Immaculate’s reign and sends them into an all-Dublin semi-final against either UCD or DIT.

An early goal from Michael O’Loughlin for Mary I was cancelled by three frees from Dublin’s Donal Burke and that set the tone for the night, with the sides constantly exchanging points.

They were level four times in the opening half but points from Conor Delaney and Burke saw DCU lead by 0-8 to 1-3 at the break.

Mary I, forced to line out without injured Limerick player Aaron Gillane, hit back after the restart with good points from Gary Cooney and Cian Lynch after Doyle had got an early score for the home side.

The accuracy of Burke was augmented by three great points from Joe O’Connor which left DCU ahead by 0-14 to 1-6 going into the final quarter.

The champions got back into contention when goalkeeper Eoghan Cahill went forward to blast home a penalty before Lynch levelled and Colm Stapleton edged the holders in front.

Burke and Rian McBride put DCU back in front before Luke Meade and Cooney pointed for Mary but with extra-time looming, DCU pushed for home and Doyle and Conor Burke delivered the winning points.

Scorers for DCU: D Burke 0-8 (6f), K Doyle 0-3, J O’Connor 0-3, R McBride 0-2, C Delaney 0-1, D Mullen 0-1, P Curran 0-1, C Burke 0-1

Scorers for Mary Immaculate College: M O’Loughlin 1-5 (0-5f), E Cahill 1-0 (1-0pen), C Lynch 0-2, G Cooney 0-2, B Corry, L Meade 0-1, C Stapleton 0-1.

DCU: O Foley (Wexford); D Brennan (Kilkenny), E O’Donnell (Dublin), C McSweeney (Limerick); A Maddock (Wexford), C Delaney (Kilkenny), P Foley (Wexford); D Mullen (Kilkenny), D Grey (Dublin); R McBride (Dublin), F Whitely (Dublin), J O’Connor (Wexford); J Donnelly (Kilkenny), P Curran (Waterford), D Burke (Dublin).

Subs: K Doyle (Westmeath) for Donnelly (20), C Burke (Dublin) for Whitely (41), P Hogan (Waterford) for Grey (51).

Mary Immaculate College: E Cahill (Offaly); C McCullagh (Tipperary), D Peters (Wexford), D Browne (Cork); S Taylor (Clare), T O’Mahony (Cork), D Prendergast (Waterford); J Mackey (Tipperary), P Ryan (Tipperary); C Guilfoyle (Clare), C Lynch (Limerick), L Meade (Cork); G Cooney (Clare), M O’Loughlin (Clare), B Corry (Clare).

Subs: C Stapleton (Laois) for Mackey (45), M Corry (Clare) for B Corry (58).

Referee: J McGrath (Westmeath).

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