Mary I squeeze into Fitzgibbon Cup quarter-finals

By Eoghan Cormican, MICL grounds

Mary Immaculate College, Limerick 1-20 NUI Galway 2-16

Three injury-time points preserved Mary I’s three-in-a-row Fitzgibbon Cup ambitions.

The back-to-back champions had to win this afternoon’s concluding Group D clash to advance to the quarter-finals but found themselves in serious bother as the clock passed the hour mark, NUI Galway holding a 2-16 to 1-17 lead.

Indeed, the visitors could have sealed the issue just as the watch entered the red, Brian Concannon opting for goal when a point probably wouldn’t have settled the result there and then.

As it was, Mary I ‘keeper Eoghan Cahill repelled the shot and the hosts had the deficit back to the minimum when Aaron Gillane threw over his 10th free of the game.

Mary I forward Gary Cooney levelled proceedings a minute-and-a-half into injury-time and a most remarkable overtaking effort was complete when Cooney split the posts almost three minutes into stoppage.

It was devastation for NUI Galway who only needed a draw to see them through. Having trailed 1-10 to 0-8 at the break, two Conor Whelan goals had them four to the good six minutes from time.

They were unable to keep their noses in front.

Scorers for Mary I: A Gillane (0-12, 0-10 frees, 0-1 ‘65); C Guilfoyle (1-0); G Cooney (0-3); E Cahill (0-1 free), D Prendergast, L Meade, P Ryan, B Corry (0-1 each).

Scorers for NUIG: C Whelan (2-3); D Burke (0-9, 0-8 frees); P Mannion (0-1 free), B Concannon, A Helebert, G Loughnane (0-1 each).

Mary I: E Cahill (Offaly); S Taylor (Clare), S Burke (Cork), C McCullagh (Tipperary); D Peters (Tipperary), T O’Mahony (Cork), D Prendergast (Waterford); J Mackey (Tipperary), P Ryan (Tipperary); L Meade (Cork), C Lynch (Limerick), C Guilfoyle (Clare); G Cooney (Clare), A Gillane (Limerick), B Corry (Clare).


NUIG: S Hennessy (Tipperary); B Fitzpatrick (Clare), C Cosgrove (Galway), C O’Connor (Galway); S Loftus (Galway), C Ryan (Tipperary), P Mannion (Galway); B Concannon (Galway), S Fletcher (Tipperary); C Mannion (Galway), D Burke (Galway), C Whelan (Galway); J Fox (Limerick), M Lynch (Galway), A Helebert (Galway).

Subs: R Elwood (Galway) for Helebert (36); G Loughnane (Galway) for Fox (42).

Referee: A Devine (Westmeath).

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