DIT edge UCD to reach Fitzgibbon Cup last four
DIT will face DCU for a maiden final appearance after tight encounter in Belfield
Patrick Maher in action for UCD against DIT. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
DIT 0-19 UCD 0-17
DIT have advanced to the semi-finals of the Fitzgibbon Cup after they saw off a fancied UCD side in a tight contest at Belfield.
The sides were level ten times - seven in the opening half - but DIT finished strongly to set up a semi-final next week with DCU, when the winners will reach their first ever Fitzgibbon Cup final.
UCD were far too dependent on DJ Foran for scores and while the Waterford man delivered a 0-13 haul, it wasn’t enough to see them advance.
Instead, it was the sharp-shooting of Westmeath’s Niall O’Brien which proved decisive and his tally of 0-11 was the key to the surprise win.
The teams may have been deadlocked on seven occasions in the opening but UCD looked good for victory when they opened up a 0-11 to 0-8 interval lead and then extended within seconds of the restart from Foran.
But DIT, with a rock solid defence, never lost sight and by the 40th minute were back on level terms.
Two long-range points from Foran edged UCD back in front after another effort from O’Brien.
And it was DIT who pushed for home with three frees in succession from O’Broen to lead by 0-17 to 0-15 with eight minutes left.
Waterford’s Tadgh de Burca left one between them again but while O’Brien and Luke Scanlon exchanged points, UCD couldn’t draw level and Dublin’s Conor Ryan sealed the win with a sideline from distance.
DIT: P McKenna; W Kavanagh, T Doyle, P Cass; E Dunne, D McNicholas, L Kelly; J McGuirke (0-1), R Greville (0-1); N Mitchell (0-2), P Maher, F McGibb (0-1); N O’Brien (0-11, 0-9 frees, 0-1 65), L Blanchfield (0-1), C Ryan (0-1, 0-1 sideline). Subs: N Walsh (0-1) for McGuirke (30 mins).
UCD: D Hughes; B Quigley, R Lennon, G Molloy; M Cody, T de Burca (0-1), P Guinan; J Maher (0-1), JJ Ryan; DJ Foran (0-13, 0-9 frees), D Codd, J Mullaney; S Flanagan (0-1), T Phelan, P O’Connor. Subs: L Scanlon (0-1) for O’Connor (40 mins), R Purcell for Lennon (50 mins).
Referee: Paud O’Dwyer (Carlow).