Dillon leads way for victorious Waterford

Despite drawing level in third quarter Cork IT fail to seize opportunity to take lead

Waterford IT were composed front-runners as they won a sixth Fitzgibbon Cup in 15 years in Belfast on Saturday.

They may not have had the biggest names on show, but WIT had the best team, scoring the first four points of the game and the last four points at Queen’s University.

In between times, they successfully fended off a mini revival from their opponents in the third quarter when CIT briefly drew level but could never get ahead.

Missed opportunity
Man-of-the-match Jake Dillon and Harry Kehoe scored five points from play between them in the last 20 minutes to steer WIT home.


"Overall it's an unbelievable feeling because we didn't have any expectations really," said WIT manager Colm Bonnar.

"Last year I thought we had missed a big opportunity against Mary I (in the semi-final) and then we lost so many big name players, but we were very committed this year.

“They are a special group and they gave it everything.

“They mightn’t be the best players on paper, but as a team and a group they came together and took responsibility. They take the credit.”

Both camps acknowledged the crucial period in the game was when they were level at 0-10 after 38 minutes.

After a bad start, CIT’s first score did not arrive until the 12th minute and there was a slight momentum change as they finally got to grips with the fast tempo WIT had set.

They trailed by 0-10 to 0-7 at half-time and then they had their best spell in the match, scoring three points in a row from Conor Hammersley, John O'Dwyer (free) and Mark Ellis to draw level.

Now was the time for them to make WIT feel heavy in the legs after their extra-time exertions from the day before. The next point was crucial, and it was Harry Kehoe who got it in the 41st minute to give WIT belief again.

“Even after they had their purple patch, we were still level,” said Bonnar. “That was significant, that they never got ahead. They are very fast and good hurlers and if they had pushed on and got a point or two in front and the game started opening up, we could have been in trouble.”

CIT manager Pat Mulcahy had no complaints, feeling they had little left in the tank after putting so much effort into beating city rivals UCC on Friday.

“We just rushed a few shots and we weren’t as composed . . . Overall we were just a little bit off. We were chasing the game the whole time and made too many mistakes.”