UL win sixth Fitzgibbon Cup title against DCU

UL 2-21 DCU 2-15

By Therese O’Callaghan

A sixth Electric Ireland Fitzgibbon Cup title for University of Limerick at Mallow today following victory over first-time finalists Dublin City University.

Justifying their pre-match favourites tag, Gary Kirby’s side were two points ahead at the break and pulled away in a wind-assisted second-half.

This is the fourth successive title for Limerick colleges – Mary I winners of the last two finals – with UL crowned champions in 2015.

There was also brilliant display of free-taking on both sides with Jason Forde top-scoring for UL on 1-10 and DCU’s Donal Burke emerging with nine points.

In the first-half DCU settled with a Peter Hogan point and could have had an early goal only for a well-timed hook by Gearoid Hegarty on Patrick Curran. UL then reeled off the next four points, a brace from Forde.

David Fitzgerald in action. Photo: INPHO/Ken Sutton

Dublin’s Burke drew his side level, 0-5 apiece after 12 minutes, and they showed their intent when Curran netted from a 16th minute penalty after a foul on John Donnelly.

UL fought back and were on level terms with eight minutes to go to the short whistle courtesy of two Forde points and one from Kevin O’Brien. A minute later, Forde propelled his side into the lead when he finished to the net after being set up by Barry Murphy and John McGrath.

Two Burke frees were cancelled out by Ronan Lynch (a late replacement for the injured Paul Maher) and Forde, to give UL an interval advantage of 1-11 to 1-9.

UL upped the ante in the second-half and by the three-quarter mark they had moved 1-17 to 1-12 ahead, some fine scores from Forde, Tony Kelly, John McGrath and David Fitzgerald. When substitute Pat Ryan netted UL’s second major on 53 minutes, they were 2-19 to 1-13 to the good.

UCD, meanwhile, kept in touch through Burke’s frees, and another Burke – substitute Conor Burke bagged a late goal four minutes into injury time.

Scorers for UL: J Forde (1-10, 0-7 frees, 0-1 65m), P Ryan (1-0), R Lynch, J McGrath, K O’Brien and D Fitzgerald (0-2 each), I Galvin, T Kelly and G Hegarty (0-1 each).

Scorers for DCU: D Burke (0-9, 0-7 frees), C Burke and P Curran (pen) (1-0 each), K Doyle, D Mullen, P Hogan, J Donnelly, J O’Connor and C Delaney (0-1 each).

UL: D McCarthy (Limerick); A McGuane (Clare), C Cleary (Clare), S Finn (Limerick); B Heffernan (Tipperary), G Hegarty (Limerick), D Fitzgerald (Clare); T Kelly (Clare), R Lynch (Limerick); I Galvin (Clare), K O’Brien (Limerick), T Morrissey (Limerick); J McGrath (Tipperary, Capt), J Forde (Tipperary), B Murphy (Limerick).

Subs: M Casey (Limerick) for A McGuane (37), P Ryan (Limerick) for K O’Brien (47), D Gleeson (Tipperary) for B Murphy (57), B Troy (Kilkenny) for S Finn (60), J Henley (Waterford) for D Fitzgerald (64).

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

Subs: D Grey (Dublin) for J O’Connor (inj 30 +1), K Doyle (Westmeath) for P Hogan (35), E Conroy (Dublin) for P Foley (47), C Burke (Dublin) for F Whitely (inj 50).

Referee: Fergal Horgan (Tipperary).

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