The final four teams have been confirmed for the Ulster Bank Fitzgibbon Cup weekend after all quarter-finals were completed earlier this week.
The two day event, which will showpiece third-level Hurling in its finest form, will be played over February 25 & 26 in Waterford IT’s fantastic new Sports Complex.
There is no doubting which province has won the bragging rights to GAA Higher Education Hurling in 2011 as all four teams who have qualified for the semi-finals come from Munster. With UCC, Cork IT, LIT and UL all safely through to the final four it promises to be a competition to remember.
Interestingly both semi-finals, which will be played on Friday February 25, have turned into a Cork v Limerick affairs as University of Limerick go head-to-head with Cork IT (12.30pm) before UCC will clash with Limerick IT (2.30pm) for a place in the final.
Speaking at the launch of the Ulster Bank Fitzgibbon Cup in Waterford IT, Ulster Bank’s Senior Manager in Waterford Brian O’Sullivan said: “Ulster Bank has been a proud sponsor of the GAA Higher Education Championships since 2007. The Ulster Bank Fitzgibbon Cup is one of the most sought after prizes in GAA and each year, we see the emergence of some exceptionally talented players. I would like to thank WIT for hosting this year’s finals and I wish UCC, LIT, CIT and UL the very best of luck in the battle ahead.”
Limerick IT will fancy their chances after thrashing last year’s champions NUIG earlier this week in their quarter-final on a scoreline of 6-16 to 0-9 but UCC shouldn’t be underestimated after they cruised past GMIT with eight points to spare.
On the opposite side of the draw UL also have every right to be confident after beating a talented UCD side with three points to spare but Cork IT should provide another stern test for them.
Also over the course of the two days the winners of the Ulster Bank Ryan Cup and Fergal Maher Cup will be decided.
In the Ulster Bank Ryan Cup, IT Tralee will face Trinity College Dublin while Napier, Edinburgh will play IT Carlow at the semi-final stage on Friday 25.
Also in the Ulster Bank Feargal Maher Cup St Patricks College, Thurles and Southern Regional College have made it to the last four which is an outstanding achievement considering it is their first year playing at this level. There they will be joined by last year’s beaten finalists Dundalk IT and Cork Colleges of Further Education
On the same day, the Waterford IT Sports Complex will also be officially opened at 11.15am by Uachtarán Chumann Luthchleas Gael Criostóir Ó Cuana.