Talented UL outfit advance in Fitzgibbon Cup
Electric Ireland Fitzgibbon Cup Semi-Final
UL 4-16 IT CARLOW 0-19
By Tomás McCarthy at the WIT Arena
UL's awesome attack blasted them into the Fitzgibbon Cup final at an ice cold WIT Arena. Tipperary pair Jason Forde and John McGrath combined for 3-9.
The Limerick college have now scored 13-82 in four outings and two second half strikes in the space of a minute dispatched a brave IT Carlow. DJ Carey's men, inspired by main marksman Martin Kavanagh and captain Colin Dunford, were only two points adrift at the three quarter stage when McGrath and substitute Pat Ryan floored them.
A last minute Forde penalty confirmed their progression to a third decider in four seasons. Eight players registered from play for Gary Kirby's charges.
The sides were level on six occasions in an entertaining opening half. UL led 5-3 after ten minutes but a hard working Carlow outfit, roared on by their vocal fans, enjoyed a spell of dominance in the second quarter.
Three unanswered points via Colin Dunford, Mark Russell and Cathal Dunbar edged them 0-7 to 0-6 ahead. Wexford forward Dunbar ended the first 30 with three singles.
UL blitzed their opponents with four rapid points. Three minutes before the break, the leaders pounced on a turnover ball. Barry Murphy and McGrath combined to tee up Forde who belted past Enda Rowland.
The Silvermines frontman finished the half on 1-4 as UL entered the changing rooms 1-12 to 0-10 ahead. Their only concern was an injury to Clare defender David Fitzgerald.
McGrath stretched the gap to six on the restart before IT Carlow launched a comeback. A brace from Kavanagh along with Russell and Richie Leahy singles left it 1-14 to 0-15. That double blast from McGrath and Ryan ended their interest in this year's competition.
Scorers for UL: Jason Forde 2-5 (1-0 pen, 2fs, 1 65'), John McGrath 1-4, Pat Ryan 1-0, Tony Kelly, Ian Galvin 0-2 each, Kevin O'Brien, Tom Morrissey, Barry Murphy 0-1 each.
Scorers for IT Carlow: Martin Kavanagh 0-8 (5fs), Mark Russell, Cathal Dunbar 0-3 each, Colin Dunford, Richie Leahy 0-2 each, Jack Fagan 0-1.
UL: David McCarthy (Limerick); Aidan McGuane (Clare), Conor Cleary (Clare), Sean Finn (Limerick); Gearoid Hegarty (Limerick), Barry Heffernan (Tipperary), David Fitzgerald (Clare); Tony Kelly (Clare), Paul Maher (Tipperary); Ian Galvin (Clare), Kevin O'Brien (Limerick), T Morrissey (Limerick); John McGrath (Tipperary), Jason Forde (Tipperary), Barry Murphy (Limerick).
Subs: Ronan Lynch (Limerick) for Fitzgerald (25), Pat Ryan (Limerick) for Murphy (39), Michael Mullins (Galway) for Maher (54), Stephen Roche (Galway) for O'Brien (61).
IT Carlow: Enda Rowland (Laois); Ross Brown (Waterford), Kevin Hannafin (Kerry), Shane Reck (Wexford); Micheal Harney (Waterford), James Doyle (Carlow), Michael Redmond (Wexford); Colin Dunford (Waterford), Richie Leahy (Kilkenny); Charles Dwyer (Laois), Martin Kavanagh (Carlow), Sean Downey (Laois); Jack Fagan (Waterford), Cathal Dunbar (Wexford), Mark Russell (Tipperary).
Sub: Seamus Casey (Wexford) for Downey (50).
REFEREE: Cathal McAllister (Cork)