Fitzgibbon Cup Q-Final: UL overpower UCD:

Electric Ireland Fitzgibbon Cup quarter-final
University of Limerick 4-19 University College Dublin 0-10

By Tom Clancy in University of Limerick

University of Limerick secured safe passage to the final four of the 2023 Fitzgibbon Cup, easing to a 21-point victory over UCD in Limerick.

Played on a dry but bitterly cold evening at the University of Limerick, the home side played the much crisper and more efficient hurling, to set up a mouth-watering semi-final clash with SETU Waterford.

The winners had a hat-trick from rising Waterford star Michael Kiely, the inside forward enjoying another good term of third-level hurling.

UL, managed by Limerick’s Brian Ryan, were leaders from start to finish, after Adam English opened the scoring inside the first 30 seconds.

UCD had little in reply and had to wait until a Donal O’Shea free after seven minutes to get on the board. But, they couldn’t build on this and Kiely helped himself to his first goal after 13 minutes.

The half-time score read UL 1-10, UCD 0-5. The Dublin side had only one point from play with Colum Prendiville pointing from distance.

UL pushed further clear with their second green flag. This time it was Mark Rogers who found Kiely who made no mistake.

The winners hit each of the final 10 scores before a decent crowd at the superb Maguires Fields in UL’s ever expanding campus. Among those scores was James Power, who got himself a goal to go with two points.

Kiely raced clear to finish his third in the closing stages with further points from Conor Flaherty, Bryan O’Mara and English.

UCD were simply outclassed but had nice second half scores from Liam Murphy (2) and Prendivlle. Galway’s O’Shea finished with six points in all, with each coming from frees.

The UL management team, which features former Cork goalkeeper Anthony Nash, will be hoping that injuries sustained to goalkeeper Rhys Shelly and midfielder, Colin Coughlan, are eased in time for their semi-final clash. That said, with recent All-Ireland club winner Dean Mason being introduced from the bench, it is clear that UL have strength in depth in their panel.

They are looking to retain their crown secured last year following victory over NUI Galway.

Scorers for University of Limerick: Michael Kiely 3-0; Gearoid O’Connor 0-5 (0-2f), James Power 1-2; Adam English 0-4; Sean Twomey 0-3; Colin Coughlan, Mark Rodgers, Bryan O’Mara, Brian O’Sullivan, Conor Flaherty 0-1 each.

Scorers for University College Dublin: Donal O’Shea 0-6 (6f); Colum Prendiville, Liam Murphy 0-2 each.

University of Limerick: Rhys Shelly (Moycarkey/Borris, Tipperary), TJ Brennan (Clarinbridge, Galway), Mark Fitzgerald (Passage East, Cork), Mike Gough (Smith O’Brien’s, Clare), Killian Sampson (Shinrone, Offaly), Bryan O’Mara (Hollycross/Ballycahill, Tipperary), Darragh Corcoran (Ballyhale Shamrocks, Kilkenny), Colin Coughlan (Ballybrown, Limerick), Brian O’Sullivan (Kanturk, Cork); Adam English (Doon, Limerick), Gearoid O’Connor (Moyne/Templetouhy, Tipperary), Sean Twomey (Courcey Rovers, Cork), Mark Rodgers (Scariff, Clare), Michael Kiely (Abbeyside, Waterford), James Power (Clonea, Waterford). Subs: Dean Mason (Ballyhale Shamrocks, Kilkenny) for Shelly (21 – inj), Conor Flaherty (Claregalway/Carnmore, Galway) for Coughlan (37 – inj), Cian Galvin (Clarecastle, Clare) for Twomey (37), Patrick Crotty (Scariff, Clare) for Rogers (49), Padraic Dunne (The Harps, Laois) for Fitzgerald (51)

University College Dublin: Eddie Hogan (Faughs, Dublin), Iain Ó hEithir (Ballinteer, Dublin), Michael Walsh (Ardrahan, Galway), Eoin Ryan (St. Anne’s – Rathangan, Waterford); David O’Carroll (Lisdowney, Kilkenny), Cian O Cathasaigh (Kilmacud Crokes, Dublin), Eoin Geraghty (Oranmore/Maree, Galway); Mark Twomey (Abbeyside, Waterford), Eoin Guilfoyle (James Stephens, Kilkenny); Colm Prendiville (Graigue-Ballycallan, Kilkenny), Liam O’Brien (Ballinamella, Waterford), Donal O’Shea (Salthill Knocknacarra, Galway); James Duggan (The Harps, Laois), Dara Purcell (Kilmacud Crokes, Dublin), Liam Murphy (Cuala, Dublin).Subs: Cian Rogers (Ratoath, Meath) for O’Brien (37), Darragh O’Keeffe (Ballygunner, Waterford) for Geraghty (44), Killian Egan (Graigue-Ballycallan, Kilkenny) for Duggan (49), Eoin Purcell (Thurles Sarsfields, Tipperary) for Murphy (52), Conor Hoban (Dunamaggin, Kilkenny) for Guilfoyle (54).

Referee: Fergal Horgan (Tipperary).

Electric Ireland Fitzgibbon Cup Semi-Final Thursday, February 16
SETU Waterford v UL, SETU Waterford Arena, 7.30pm