DCU were always in control of this all-Dublin clash between two colleges hoping to reach their first Fitzgibbon Cup final and they will now hope to bring the trophy back to the capital for the first time since 2001.
Waterford forward Patrick Curran said that getting to their first ever Fitzgibbon Cup final against UL in Mallow on Saturday week is a huge boost to the college.
“We will give it our best shot now coming up in the final,” said Curran, who had a fine game as DCU bossed matters from the start.
“We found it hard at times in the first half and really got going in the second half. The lads stood up in the first ten minutes and pushed on.
“It’s massive, it’s the first time ever we’ve been there. We have been competitive in Freshers in the last few years. It’s hard to build a bond when the tradition wasn’t there originally.
“But we are doing well and we have a great bunch in the backroom team. We are listening to every word they say. We gel well as a team too which is the important thing,” said the Waterford forward.
Dublin manager Pat Gilroy will be impressed with the showing by Donal Burke and the Na Fianna clubman set the tone for the evening when he soloed through to blast home a goal after less than two minutes for the opening score of the game.
Niall O’Brien, the key attacker for DIT in this campaign, was their only scorer in the opening half but the accuracy of the Westmeath native from frees kept them in touch and they turned around trailing by 1-7 to 0-7.
DCU enjoyed a big start to the second-half and posted three points on the board in just over two-and-a-half minutes as Donnelly, Fergal Whitely, and Burke hit the target.
DIT needed to respond but it was DCU who pushed on and two more frees from Burke and another effort from play from Donnelly made it 1-13 to 0-7 after 38 minutes.
Derek McNicholas became the first player other than his Westmeath colleague O’Brien to score when he landed a good effort from distance after 39 minutes, However, DCU were determined to avoid a tight finish and they sealed the win when Peter Hogan got through for their second goal.
Points quickly followed from Paul Kelly and Fergal Whitely as they opened up a 2-15 to 0-8 lead going into the final quarter.
There was no way back for DIT but they were determined to see out a memorable campaign on a high.
They battled to the end and were rewarded with a late goal from O’Brien and a couple of long-range points from McNicholas.
However, it was DCU who deservedly booked their place in the final and will now try to bring the Fitzgibbon Cup back to the capital for the first time since UCD were successful 17 years ago.
Scorers for DCU: D Burke 1-10 (7f, 0-2 65), P Hogan 1-0, J Donnelly 0-3, J O’Connor 0-2, P Curran 0-2, F Whitely 0-2, P Kelly 0-1.
Scorers for DIT: N O’Brien 1-9 (7f), D McNicholas 0-3 (f).
DCU: O Foley (Wexford); P O’Dea (Dublin), E O’Donnell (Dublin), C McSweeney (Limerick); A Maddock (Wexford), C Delaney (Kilkenny), P Foley (Wexford); D Mullen (Kilkenny), J O’Connor (Wexford); C Burke (Dublin),K Doyle (Westmeath), D Burke (Dublin); J Donnelly (Kilkenny), R McBride (Dublin), P Curran (Waterford).
Subs: F Whitely (Dublin) for O’Dea (16), P Hogan (Waterford) for C Burke (30), D Grey (Dublin) for Doyle (40), P Kelly (Dublin) for McBride (43).
DIT: S Brennan (Dublin); W Kavanagh (Wicklow), T Doyle (Westmeath), P Cass (Kilkenny); L Blanchfield (Kilkenny), D McNicholas (Westmeath), L Kelly (Dublin); J Cahill (Tipperary), E Dunne (Wexford); F McGibb (Dublin), P Maher (Tipperary), N Mitchell (Westmeath); N O’Brien (Westmeath), R Greville (Westmeath), C Ryan (Dublin).
Subs: N Walsh (Kilkenny) for Greville (36), J Kelly (Kilkenny) for Cass (46), C O’Donoghue (Kilkenny) for Ryan (53), J McGurk for Cahill (57).
Referee: Alan Kelly (Galway).
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved