Fitzgibbon Cup previews: Cork veteran Niall McCarthy adds fire to UCC

Group A: UCC v UCD, Mardyke, 2.45pm

UCC had a decent workout in the Canon O’Brien Cup fixture, compensating somewhat for their non-involvement in this month’s Munster Senior Hurling League.

The addition to their squad of two-time All-Ireland medal winner Niall McCarthy significantly bolsters an attack which already contains Alan Cadogan, Shane O’Donnell, and John Power.

UCD, led by Cian O’Callaghan, Oisin, O’Rourke and Colm O’Cronin, lost all three of their Walsh Cup games.

Verdict:

UCC

Maynooth v LIT, Maynooth University (J Owens, Wexford), 7pm.

Tipperary’s Cathal Barrett and Limerick’s AlI-Ireland U21 winning captain Diarmaid Byrnes are among the big names to join Davy Fitzgerald’s squad for the campaign ahead. Their opponents struggled badly last year and the likes of Galway’s Brian Molloy and Dublin’s Paul Winters will have their hands full in attempting to tie down the Limerick students.

Verdict:

LIT

Group B: IT Carlow v DCU, IT Carlow (J McGrath, Westmeath), 7pm.

DJ Carey’s IT Carlow annexed the Division 1 league crown before Christmas, but face a tricky opening assignment here - Danny Sutcliffe has taken up study at DCU, while 2015 Sigerson Cup winner Steven O’Brien will also line out for the University’s hurling outfit.

Verdict:

IT Carlow

St Pat’s v WIT, DCU Sportsgrounds (C Browne, Galway), 2pm.

Ciarán Kilkenny is listed on the St Pat’s squad, but it remains to be seen if the Dublin footballer will tog this afternoon. Austin Gleeson, Kilkenny’s Jack Langton and Tipperary’s Liam McGrath lead WIT as they bid to go one step further than last year.

Verdict:

WIT

Group C NUIG v Mary I, Dangan (F Horgan, Tipperary), 2pm.

Under the guidance of 2013 All-Ireland winning camogie manager Tony Ward, NUIG are being viewed as the dark horses for this year’s crown; Galway quartet John Hanbury, Conor Whelan, and the Mannion brothers, Padraic and Cathal, along with Clare’s Bobby Duggan, backbone their side. Mind you, Mary I are similarly strong. Colm Galvin, Declan Hannon, Cian Lynch and Tipperary’s Niall O Meara and Ronan Maher is but a snapshot of the talent flowing through their ranks.

Verdict:

Mary I

DIT v UL, Parnells (A Kelly, Galway), 2pm.

Mixed bag for DIT in the Walsh Cup. Hammered Kilkenny (4-14 to 0-16), hammered by Offaly (4-28 to 0-9). Wexford pair Lee Chin and Jack Guiney, along with Dublin’s Mark Schutte, represent their standout names. Tony Kelly, Cathal McInerney, Jason Forde (Tipperary) and Conor Martin from Kilkenny are among the more notable survivors from last year’s all-conquering UL side.

Verdict:

UL

Group D CIT v GMIT, CIT GAA grounds (J Murphy, Limerick), 7pm.

Mark Ellis, Bill Cooper, and Bubbles O’Dwyer are retained from last year’s CIT side which lost out at the semi-final stage and the Cork students should have too much for their visitors here.

Verdict:

CIT


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