Limerick IT 0-16 Waterford IT 0-8: Limerick IT manager Davy Fitzgerald was thrilled as his side easily accounted for 14-man WIT to reach the Fitzgibbon Cup semi-final after a powerful performance at Moylish in Limerick.
The hosts dominated the encounter from start to finish but once Austin Gleeson was shown a straight red card for an off-the-ball clash with Oisin O’Brien just before half-time, LIT were never in trouble.
Referee Cathal McAllister had a brief consultation with his linesman and umpire before he sent off the former All-Star nominee. But even before the red card LIT were the better side and they deserved to lead by 0-8 to 0-5 at half-time. After the break the game opened up, and Peter Duggan and Diarmaid Byrnes contributed five points each as LIT surged home.
“I felt we were well in control even before the red. It made things a bit easier but we were the dominant team even without that,” said a delighted Fitzgerald.
“A win is a win, that’s the most important thing. We are in the weekend and that’s phenomenal. For a small college like us that’s phenomenal. We have nine or 10 got to in the last 13 and 14 years, that’s fantastic.”
LIT are two-time winners of the Fitzgibbon Cup, having won it last in 2007, and they move into the finals weekend in Cork IT at the end of February, full of confidence. This win was their fourth in a row, having beaten Maynooth, UCD, and UCC along the way, and Duggan hit five points in the first half as they led by three at the break.
Last year’s runners-up had no answer when Gleeson saw red, and retreated into their shell in the second half. Byrnes hit four points after the break, and WIT only hit three points in the entire second half. Their boss Colm Bonnar was disappointed that his side didn’t grind it out better in the end.
“We knew we were up against it. We were probably in a poor group in terms of having DCU, St Pat’s, and Carlow.
“In the law of averages, we were going to come out of the group. But we knew that the likes of UL, Mary I, and LIT and CIT, they are all serious contenders for this Fitzgibbon.
“With Austin going off after 28 minutes it was a real uphill battle. Limerick were well deserving winners in the end, but the scoreline could have been a bit closer,” said Bonnar.
Scorers for Limerick IT:
P Duggan 0-5 (0-3f), D Byrnes 0-5 (0-5f), D Dempsey 0-3, C Barrett, D Reidy, M O’Malley 0-1 each.
Scorers for Waterford IT:
J Hayes (0-2f), J Dwyer (0-1f), S McNulty 0-2 each, T Fox (0-1f), O McGrath 0-1 each.
E Quilligan (Clare); N O’Connor (Clare), K Bennett (Waterford), C Nolan (Clare); W Ryan (Tipperary), C Barrett (Tipperary), O O’Brien (Clare); D Byrnes (Limerick), D Reidy (Clare); P Killeen (Galway), P Duggan (Clare), D Dempsey (Limerick); J Shanahan (Clare), N Maher (Limerick), M O’Malley (Clare).
Subs for LIT:
W Connors for Nolan (30 mins), A Dempsey for Shanahan (31), S Gleeson (Clare) for Killeen (27), J Ryan (Tipperary) for Bennett (27), K Sweeney (Kilkenny) for Duggan (59).
M Fanning (Wexford); W Hahessy (Waterford), G Teehan (Kilkenny), J Maher (Waterford); T Fox (Tipperary), S McNulty (Waterford), C Guiry (Waterford); J Langton (Kilkenny), J Dwyer (Tipperary); O McGrath (Kilkenny), A Gleeson (Waterford), J Hayes (Kilkenny); E Ryan (Offaly), Shane Ryan (Waterford), C O’Brien (Cork).
Subs for WIT:
M Lynch (Clare) for Ryan (32 mins), J Doyle (Wexford) for Guiry (43), J Henderson (Kilkenny) for O’Brien (49), J Lane (Cork) for Dwyer (56).
Cathal McAllister (Cork).
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