Impressive UL march on in Electric Ireland Fitzgibbon Cup
Electric Ireland Fitzgibbon Cup Quarter-Final
UL 4-18 UCC 0-8
By Daragh Small at UL
Limerick forward Barry Murphy scored 2-4 as UL advanced to the semi-finals of the Fitzgibbon Cup with a resounding 22-point win over UCC.
UL will now meet DJ Carey’s IT Carlow in the semi-final, racing into 2-10 to 0-6 half-time lead.
In perfect conditions for hurling on the front pitch at UL the five-time champions were unstoppable. Goals from Murphy and Jason Forde gave them a comfortable lead before they both added goals in the second-half.
UCC didn’t score from play until Rickard Cahalane scored a point in the 52nd minute. And Tom Kingston’s side also had Michael Breen sent-off late on, for a second yellow card.
UL topped Group B with wins over DIT and WIT in the previous rounds, but their opponents lost to UCD after an opening victory over rivals CIT.
And UL played with much more confidence, Murphy’s third minute strike began the onslaught when he collected a Tony Kelly pass and ghosted in behind the defence.
Paul Maher gave them a 1-1 to 0-0 lead before Shane Kingston scored UCC’s first point from a free in the fifth minute. But UL won all the individual battles and Ian Galvin scored three points from centre forward as his side pushed clear.
Cork’s Kingston kept his side in touch – he scored five frees in the first-half – but when Forde controlled Galvin’s pass brilliantly and rifled to the net, it gave UL a 2-4 to 0-3 lead in the 17th minute.
UL were completely dominant and the UCC heads dropped with Tony Kelly on target twice before the interval.
Darragh Fitzgibbon was the only other point scorer for UCC in the first-half, but that was also a free, and when Kevin O’Brien scored all of the UL forwards and midfield had found their range, except for Tipperary ace John McGrath.
UL held a 2-10 to 0-6 lead at half-time and UCC needed to score big at the start of the second-half. But even though Forde missed two frees, and McGrath also went wide from a placed ball, Kelly and Murphy added to UL’s advantage.
Another county player, Fitzgibbon was withdrawn, with the game now beyond UCC. And they ended the game with just 14 men.
Breen got a second yellow following a foul on Barry Heffernan with a quarter of the game remaining. Forde had already scored his second goal, from a penalty, and Murphy added another penalty in the 56th minute.
Scorers for UL: Barry Murphy 2-4 (1-0 pen, 2fs), Jason Forde 2-1 (1-0 pen), Tony Kelly 0-3, Ian Galvin 0-3, Gearoid Hegarty 0-2, Tom Morrissey 0-2, Paul Maher 0-2, Kevin O’Brien 0-1.
Scorers for UCC: Shane Kingston 0-5 (0-5f), Darragh Fitzgibbon 0-1 (f), Rickard Cahalane 0-1, Mark O’Brien 0-1.
UL: David McCarthy (Glenroe, Limerick); Sean Finn (Bruff, Limerick), Brian Troy (Emeralds, Kilkenny), Aidan McGuane (Kilmaley, Clare); David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona, Clare), Conor Cleary (Kilmaley, Clare), Gearoid Hegarty (St Patrick’s, Limerick); Tony Kelly (Ballyea, Clare), Paul Maher (Kilsheelan-Kilcash, Tipperary); Ian Galvin (Clonlara, Clare), Kevin O’Brien (Patrickswell, Limerick), Tom Morrissey (Ahane, Limerick); Barry Murphy (Doon, Limerick), Jason Forde (Silvermines, Tipperary), John McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney, Tipperary).
Subs: Barry Heffernan (Nenagh Eire Og, Tipperary) for Troy (21), David Gleeson (Ballinahinch, Tipperary) for Forde (48), Michael Mullins (Gort, Galway) for McGrath (48), Stephen Roche (Kilnadeema-Leitrim, Galway) for McGuane (52), JP Lucey (Shamrocks, Waterford) for Kelly (53).
UCC: Jack Barry (Castlelyons, Cork); Seán O’Donoghue (Inniscarra, Cork), David Griffin (Carrigalinem, Cork), Conor Gleeson (Fourmilewater, Waterford); Cathal McGrath (John Locke’s, Kilkenny), Conor Browne (James Stephens, Kilkenny), Rickard Cahalane (Ballymartle, Cork); Eoghan Murphy (Sarsfields, Cork), Niall Cashman (Blackrock, Cork), Mark Coleman (Blarney, Cork); Michael Breen (Ballina, Tipperary), Sean Hayes (Mallow, Cork); Mark O’Brien (Ferrybank, Waterford), Darragh Fitzgibbon (Charleville, Cork), John Power (Carrickshock, Kilkenny); Shane Kingston (Douglas, Cork), Tom Devine (Modeligo, Waterford), Robbie O’Flynn (Erin’s Own, Cork).
Subs: Eoghan Murphy (Sarsfields, Cork) for McGrath (20), Billy McCarthy (Thurles Sarsfields, Tipperary) for O’Flynn (half-time), Eoin Gough (Dicksboro, Kilkenny) for Fitzgibbon (38), Niall Cashman (Blackrock, Cork) for Power (46), Eddie Gunning (Na Piarsaigh, Cork) for Kingston (54).
REFEREE: Alan Kelly (Galway).