Wexford star wants to graduate with honours

RORY JACOB has been shooting the lights out for county and college recently - and he's hoping his eye stays keen for this weekend at least.

A goal and four points for Waterford IT in their Fitzgibbon Cup quarter-final win over Cork IT last week was quickly followed by 1-8 for Wexford in last Sunday's NHL win over Clare. The man from Oulart-The-Ballagh is hoping the scores continue to flow when WIT face NUI Galway in Friday's Datapac Fitzgibbon Cup semi-final at the Mardyke (2.30pm).

Already the winner of two Fitzgibbon Cup medals, along with his brother Michael, this is Rory's last year in college and he is keen to go out on a winning note, but he accepts the Galway students will pose a lot of problems for himself and his team-mates.

"Nothing would give me more satisfaction, apart of course, from winning an All-Ireland senior medal with Wexford, than to pick up a third Fitzgibbon title", said Rory.

"Among third level students, Fitzgibbon rates very highly. The cream of the country's young hurlers take part, and, if a player can perform at that level he has a great chance of making it onto the county team.

"Practically all the intercounty hurling managers are at the games and that in itself shows just how much they value the competition. A player's years in college are among the very best, particularly if you are good at sport. You make friendships that last a lifetime.

"There is a great bond among players who have been together for a number of years and even though you may run up against a former team-mate at inter-county level later on, there is no animosity between you, and that's a good thing.

"I've enjoyed my time in Waterford, studying Business Recreation and Leisure and have been very fortunate to win two Fitzgibbon Cup medals. Fitzgibbon hurling is like nothing else. It's tough, extremely competitive and this coming weekend should be no different.

"Waterford IT have made a huge impression since first taking part in the early 1990s. We've won the title six times and Saturday will be our seventh semi-final appearance in a row.

"Compared to the universities, we are very small but there is a tremendous bond between the students, which has worked extremely well in the college's favour. The hurling club has certainly benefited from that.

"I know very little about our opponents but any team coming out of Galway at the moment has to be respected.

"Hurling is at an all-time high in the county and there are a lot of very good players on the NUIG team.

"Because we carry a couple of high profile inter-county players, we will probably start favourites, but it will count for nothing at this level."

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