Dreams of retaining Fitzgibbon Cup still alive for Mary I with NUIG win

Kevin McHugo is stopped by Colm Galvin & Eoin Quirke. Pic: Brian Arthur

Current Fitzgibbon Cup holders, Mary Immaculate College advanced to this year’s semi-finals with an eleven point win over NUIG.

Mary Immaculate College, Limerick 4-18
NUI Galway 1-16

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Aaron Gillane amassed a total of 2-10 for the winners whose lineup included Colm Galvin, Eoin Quirke and Michael O’Neill. Jamie Wall’s side now progress to the weekend tournament which NUIG are hosting.

Both sides were captained by Clare men, Whitegate’s Eoin Quirke is still in line to lead his side glory while for Conor Cleary the dream of lifting the Fitzgibbon Cup will not become a reality in 2017.

Six points was the difference at half-time as goals from Tadhg Gallagher and Luke Meade left it 2-11 0-11 at the break. They could have a third goal but Colm Galvin was denied by the crossbar much to the relief of NUIG goalkeeper Cathal Tuohy.

An All-Ireland intermediate club semi-final with Ahascragh-Fohenagh deprived Tony Ward’s NUIG of the talented Mannion brothers, Cathal and Padraic. Had they been in action it would have been a much tighter contest and campaign for the Galway university.

In the second half, Mary I continued to dictate with Gillane bagging two green flags. Their opponents added points via Gerry Hennelly but never looked like bridging the gap. Kilmaley’s Michael O’Neill hit three points from play over the hour for the winners.

It means that the champions are the first team in the last four where they will face either LIT or UCD on Friday February 24th. A late Michael Breen goal saw UCC edge past DCU and they await the winners of UL and IT Carlow.

MIC: Ciaran Barrett (Clonmel Óg, Tipperary); David Sweeney (Kiladangan, Tipperary), Richie English (Doon, Limerick), Eoin Quirke (captain) (Whitegate, Clare); Conor Twomey (Newtownshandrum, Cork), Ronan Maher (Thurles Sarsfields, Tipperary), Alan Flynn (Kiladangan, Tipperary); Colm Galvin (Clonlara, Clare), Stephen Cahill (Thurles Sarsfields, Tipperary); Darragh O’Donovan (Doon, Limerick) (0-02), Michael O’Neill (Kilmaley, Clare) (0-03), Aaron Gillane (Patrickswell, Limerick) (2-10 4f 2’65); Tadhg Gallagher (Kiladangan, Tipperary) (1-00), Cian Lynch (Patrickswell, Limerick), Luke Meade (Newcestown, Cork) (1-02).
Subs: Thomas Monaghan (Craughwell, Galway) (0-01) for Gallagher (39), Thomas Grimes (Na Piarsaigh, Limerick) for Gillane (45), Colm Stapleton (Borris-in-Ossory Kilcotton, Laois) for Twomey (49), Tim O’Mahony (Newtownshandrum, Cork) for Lynch (51), Paul O’Connell (Broadford, Clare) for O’Donovan (55)

NUIG: Cathal Tuohy (Tommy Larkins, Galway); Conor Ryan (Nenagh Éire Óg, Tipperary), Ger Fennelly (Ballingarry, Tipperary), Ger Forde (Ardrahan, Galway); Shane Moloney (Rahoon-Newcastle, Galway), Conor Cleary (captain) (Kilmaley, Clare) (0-01 f), Mike Connelly (Liam Mellowes, Galway); Ian Fox (Sarsfields, Galway) (0-01), Oisin Donnellan (Feakle, Clare) (0-01); Gearoid Loughnane (Loughrea, Galway) (1-00), Kevin McHugo (Tommie Larkins, Galway), Conor Whelan (Kinvara, Galway) (0-03 1f 1SC), Gerry Hennelly (Ardrahan, Galway) (0-09 6f 1’65), Sam Conlon (Roscrea, Tipperary) (0-01), Aiden Helebert (Gort, Galway)
Subs: Niall Mitchell (Clonkill, Westmeath) for Helebert (39), Jack Commins (Gort, Galway) for McHugo (44), Conor Cosgrove (Galway) for Connelly (54), Stephen Barrett (Galway) for Loughnane (57),

Referee: Fergal Horgan (Tipperary)

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