LIT boss Davy Fitzgerald admits much improvement is needed if his side harbours ambitions of winning the Fitzgibbon Cup, after their one-point win over UCD at LIT.
LIT last won the crown in the 2007, but today’s victory was their second of the campaign and they are now in control of Group A ahead of the mouth-watering clash with UCC.
Peter Duggan’s point four minutes into added-time secured the win after his side had trailed 0-8 to 0-6 at half-time, and James Maher shot a late goal for the visitors.
“We had too many wides in the first-half and then in the second-half we went a goal up. They should never have been allowed through for that goal. In saying that, UCD played very well today. We know we won’t go close to winning Fitzgibbon unless we improve on them things,” said Fitzgerald.
LIT hit 10 wides in the first half but David Reidy’s late free ensured they only trailed by two at the interval. Oisín O’Rourke was on top form for UCD, hitting four points, three from frees, in that opening half.
However, against the wind in the second-half, he was kept scoreless as Diarmaid Byrnes and Reidy took the fight to UCD. LIT were still missing opportunities but Joe Campion tied things up with 13 minutes left.
Then Limerick star Byrnes hit three points in a row, and when substitute Shane Gleeson added a point LIT were three clear with only four minutes of normal time remaining.
But there was still time for Maher to burst through the LIT defence and blast past goalkeeper Eibhear Quilligan. But after Peter Duggan notched the winner, O’Rourke drove his late chance wide.
“We would have been delighted with a draw but that’s just the way it is. I was proud of the lads, they fought very hard. But that’s what Fitzgibbon hurling was about.
“It was a great game in difficult conditions and both sides really fought it out until the end,” said UCD manager Nicky English.
D Reidy 0-6 (0-5f), D Byrnes 0-6 (0-2f, 0-1 ’65), J Campion 0-3, M O’Malley 0-1, P Duggan 0-1, S Gleeson 0-1.
J Maher 1-1, O O’Rourke 0-4 (0-3f), S Moran 0-3, C O’Shea 0-2 (0-1f), C O’Callaghan 0-1, E Conroy 0-1, R King 0-1, T O’Leary 0-1.
E Quilligan (Feakle, Clare); N O’Connor (Newmarket-on-Fergus, Clare), K Bennett (Ballysaggart, Waterford), C Nolan (Smith O’Briens, Clare); W Ryan (Clonakenny, Tipperary), C Barrett (Holycross/Ballycahill, Tipperary), O O’Brien (Clonara, Clare); D Byrnes (Patrickswell, Limerick), D Reidy (Eire Og Ennis, Clare); P Killeen (Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry, Galway), P Duggan (Clooney/Quinn, Clare), J Campion (Borris/Kilcotton, Laois); J Shanahan (Sixmilebridge, Clare), N Maher (Doon, Limerick), M O’Malley (Kilmaley, Clare).
S Gleeson (Cratloe, Clare) for Killeen (28 mins), W Connors (Kildangan, Tipperary) for Nolan (34), S McGrath (Feakle, Clare) for Maher (52).
D Holohan (Dicksboro, Kilkenny); P Hannon (St Mary’s Athenry, Galway), S Murphy (Buffers Alley, Wexford), E Conroy (Naomh Éanna, Wexford); J Madden (Ballyboden St Enda’s, Dublin), C O’Callaghan (Cuala, Dublin), C O’Shea (Clara, Kilkenny); H Lawlor (O’Loughlin’s, Kilkenny), S Moran (Cuala, Dublin); J Maher (St Lachtain’s, Kilkenny), C Prendergast (Clara, Kilkenny), C Cronin (Cuala, Dublin); R King (Rathdowney-Errill, Laois), O O’Rourke (Kilmacud Crokes, Dublin), J O’Connor (St Martin’s, Wexford).
P Guinan (Drumcullen, Offaly) for O’Connor (17 mins), T O’Leary (Buffers Alley, Wexford) for Prendergast (30), T Phelan (Conaghy, Kilkenny) for Cronin (30), C Devitt (Naomh Eanna, Wexford) for Lawlor (47), J Mullaney (Stradbally, Waterford) for Phelan (58, blood).
Diarmaid Kirwan (Cork).