UL top Fitzgibbon Cup group and march on with impressive win over TUS Midwest

Second-half goals helped the defending champions to a convincing home win.
UL top Fitzgibbon Cup group and march on with impressive win over TUS Midwest

LOOSE BALL: Seán Twomey, University of Limerick under pressure from Ger Grant of TUS in the Fitzgibbon Cup clash on Thursday night. Picture: Brendan Gleeson

University of Limerick 2-23 

TUS Midwest 1-13

Defending champions, University of Limerick eased into the last eight of the Fitzgibbon Cup with a 13-point victory over cross Limerick City rivals, TUS Midwest. The home side eventually cut TUS adrift, having always looked likely to get their second victory of the campaign.

Second half-goals from Courcey Rovers forward Sean Twomey and Mark Rogers of Scariff, helped Brian Ryan’s side build on their six-point half-time advantage. Played in dry, calm conditions on UL’s superb Maguires grass surface, the winners had eight different scorers in all.

This rubberstamps UL as group winners, with their squad looking as strong as anything else in the competition.

The only blot on their copybook was perhaps the concession of a late goal to Robin Mounsey, which also resulted in a red card for sub Killian McDermott for a dangerous pull on the Clare forward – when attempting to leading light for TUS.

Mounsey accounted for 1-7 of his side's total, who face ATU Galway in Limerick next week, knowing a win will see them through. A draw would leave the sides deadlocked on -13 scoring difference. They’ve also both have the same amount scored, having amassed 16 against UL (2-13 for Galway, 1-13 for MTU).

A large part of the damage, was from fine shooting of Gearoid O’Connor. The Moyne Templetouhy marksman was prolific on a night when many of the UL forwards didn’t need to shine. His long range frees, as well as three 65’s and four from play, meant that the inside line of Rogers, Michael Keily and James Power didn’t have to be at their stunning best.

Three scores on the trot from Mounsey, including two frees, brought TUS level by the 18th minute. But UL were able to close the opening stanza with seven of the final eight points, with Cian Broderick denying Cian Broderick with a point-blank save.

TUS lost at the same venue by 31 points 12 months ago, but were still in this contest until Twomey’s close range finish – after good Kiely build-up, on 33 minutes. UL were able to stretch clear. Limerick duo, Cathal O’Neill and Colin Coughlan teamed up for five points, with the former taken off as a precaution in the dying stages. The second goal, on 44, came from Rogers, who netted 3-1 against the Moylish college last campaign.

Mounsey’s goal was one of real quality, turning his man and dispatching high to the net beyond Dean Mason. McDermott’s eagerness to stop him saw him dismissed just moments after coming in. Mason returning to action just days after securing an All-Ireland title with Ballyhale Shamrocks.

UL are chasing an eighth-ever title and have the firepower to retain their crown. Sterner tests will arrive but for now, they’ve a welcomed break, ahead of round three of these three team groups, next week.

The final two scores went to O’Connor, whose overall quality was the standout for the healthy crowd who were braving the dropping Limerick temperatures.

Scorers for University of Limerick: G O’Connor 0-12 (5f, 3 ’65); S Twomey 1-2; M Rogers 1-1, C O’Neill 0-3; C Coughlan 0-2; C Galvin, B O’Meara, K Sampson 0-1 each Scorers for TUS Midwest: R Mounsey 1-7 (0-4 f); A Shanagher 0-2; D Tynan, K McCarthy, A Tynan, B Óg O’Dwyer 0-1 each.

University of Limerick: D Mason (Kilkenny); P Dunne (Laois), TJ Brennan (Kilkenny), C Flaherty (Galway); C Coughlan (Limerick), B O’Meara (Tipperary), D Corcoran (Kilkenny); R Duff (Limerick), C Galvin (Clare); Cathal O’Neill (Limerick), G O’Connor (Tipperary), S Twomey (Cork); M Rogers (Clare), M Kiely (Waterford), J Power (Waterford).

Subs: C Sampson (Offaly) for Galvin, B O’Sullivan (Cork) for Duffy (43), C Darcy (Tipperary) for Twomey (52), K McDermott (Clare) for Corcoran (55), I Byrne (Kilkenny) for O’Neill (inj – 56).

TUS Midwest: C Broderick (Clare); D Tuohy (Clare), D Casey (Limerick), G Grant (Tipperary); D Tynan (Tipperary), S Long (Limerick), C O’Mahony (Tipperary); E Fitzgerald (Tipperary), P Donnellan (Clare); A Tynan (Tippeary), A Shanagher (Clare), B Óg O’Dwyer (Tipperary); R Mounsey (Clare), E Killeen (Laois), K McCarthy (Tipperary).

Subs: C Doughan (Offaly) for Tuohy (HT), G Ryan (Tipperary) for McCarthy (48), M Ryan (Limerick) for Killeen (48), K Morrissey (Limerick) for O’Dwyer (59).

Referee: J Murphy (Limerick)

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