The game will have added bite as two former CIT players, All-Ireland medal winner Kieran Murphy and Kilkenny’s Jacky Tyrell, played in the 2004 Fitzgibbon with the Cork college.
CIT, who failed to the same opposition last year, could well spoil the party for the Davy Fitzgerald coached Limerick side. They recently just failed to UCC in the league final but indicated they won’t be a pushover on Saturday.
They will have John Gardiner back from holidays, and will also include his brother David, Vincent Hurley, Michael Prout, and outstanding goalkeeper Martin Coleman.
However, with Tipp’s Eoin Kelly, John Reddan (Clare) in their ranks, LIT should shade it.
League champions UCC face the long journey to Dangean tomorrow to take on NUIG.
Playing Cork senior Tom Kenny as a forward worked well for them against CIT in the league final recently, and he’s likely to start there again. UCC will also include three current Kilkenny seniors, Tommy Walsh, John Tennyson and James Fitzpatrick and the stylish Richie Flannery will man the centre-back position.
Add in Rory O’Doherty and Canice Hickey and there is a very solid look about UCC.
NUIG field a very strong side that will include Galway senior Tony Óg Regan, Jerry O’Grady (Clare), Kevin Hayes (Galway), Tony Scroope and Damien O’Brien.
University of Limerick play hosts to Galway IT also tomorrow (2 p.m.).
County seniors David Collins and Shane Kavanagh will spearhead the Galway challenge which will also include Dylan Hayden (Offaly), Barry Loughnane (Clare), who captains the side. and Barry Hanley, who won an All-Ireland minor medal with the westerners last year.
UL will still be very difficult to beat, particularly on home ground. Niall Moran (Limerick), John Devane (Tipperary), Joe Gantley (Galway) and Brian Carroll (Offaly) will all be in their starting line up, and they should reach the semi-final against the winners of the WIT/Northern Combined team.
In tonight’s Datapac Sigerson Cup UUJ take on Dundalk IT under lights at the later’s ground (8 p.m.).
Brendan Toner, Mark Donaghy and Colm Devlin backbone the Jordanstown challenge and they should be well capable of upsetting the Dundalk ambitions.
Sigerson holders Sligo IT face a very difficult opponent in UCD at Belfield on Thursday in defence of their crown. As league champions they’ll fancy their chances, particularly with a team that will include Christy Toye, Michael Moyles, Michael Doherty and David Ward.
UCD defeated NUIG in round one by a goal (1-9 to 0-9) and will look to Marcus Ward, Liam Ó h-Eineacháin, Shane Lennon and Niall McNamee to keep their winning run going.
Garda College travel to the Mardyke on Friday (2 p.m.) to play UCC, confident they can continue on their winning run following last week’s thrilling victory over Maynooth in the previous round.
Their one point win was garnered by a very gritting display particularly from inter county seniors Aidan O’Mahony (Kerry), Kieran Fitzgerald (Galway), Pat Kelly (Mayo) and James Masters (Cork).
UCC too will take heart from their first round win over St. Marys (Belfast) last week and will be hoping that Conor McCarthy and John Hayes who have been very influential for Cork in their unbeaten National League run, maintain their excellent form.