Fitzgibbon Cup round-up: GMIT and NUIG win well to set up Galway semi-final derby

Kevin Cooney and Evan Niland bag bi totals in quarter-final victories

GMIT 1-19 TUS Midwest 1-12

An 11-point haul from Kevin Cooney at one end of the field and a strong defensive performance at the other pushed GMIT one step closer to a first ever Fitzgibbon Cup final appearance on Wednesday afternoon.

The Galway students played with the aid of a strong diagonal breeze at Carnmore hurling club and after the first four points of the game were shared evenly, a string of scores from Cooney, Seán McDonagh and Conor Gardiner put distance between the sides.

With team captain Cianán Fahy imperious at centre back, TUS Midwest were forced to try and score from distance. Once a gorgeous piece of skill from Paddy Commins set up AJ Willis for the game's first goal, GMIT were on their way to a 1-12 to 0-7 half-time lead.


Cooney and McDonagh also added the first two scores of the second half, meaning that when Billy Seymour was able to scramble the ball over the line for a goal after eight minutes of that period, there was still seven between the sides.

A stunning save from Darrach Fahy to parry a Robin Mounsey shot and a last-ditch hook from Fahy to deny Ross Bonnar ensured that TUS Midwest never got the goal they needed, while nine second-half wides also proved fatal to the Limerick side's chances of progression.

GMIT: D Fahy; L Prendergast, S Neary, K Meehan; J Forde, C Fahy, A Clarke; A O'Shaughnessy, D Mannion; C Gardiner (0-3), AJ Willis (1-1), P Foley; K Cooney (0-11, seven frees), S McDonagh (0-2), P Commins (0-2).

Subs: E Egan for O'Shaughnessy (h-t), E Duggan for Mannion, P Martin for Clarke (both 56 mins), M Cullen for Meehan (59).

TUS MIDWEST: C Broderick; J McCarthy, T O'Connor, D Tuohy; E Killeen, P Donnellan, B Mahony; C McCarthy, E Fitzpatrick (0-2); R Mounsey (0-2, one s/l), R Maher, C Downes; B Seymour (1-4, three frees), K O'Kelly (0-1), K McCarthy (0-2).

Subs: A Mulcahy for Maher (36), S O'Loughlin for K McCarthy (45), R Bonnar (0-1) for O'Kelly (55).

Referee : F Horgan (Tipperary).

NUI Galway 1-22 Waterford IT 2-13

NUIG started strongly and then responded well to two penalty goals from Shane Bennett of Waterford IT in the evening quarter-final clash at Dangan, ensuring they will take on neighbours GMIT in next week’s semi-finals.

Accurate dead-ball shooting from Evan Niland, some outstanding scores from Cáimín Killeen and Cian Lynch, and a well-finished solo goal from Fionn MacDonagh moved NUIG seven points clear coming up to half-time, before a foul on Tom Barron gave Bennett the chance to crash home a crucial goal from a penalty for Fintan O’Connor’s side.

Frees from Eoin O’Shea and Billy Nolan and another long-distance score from Bennett cut the gap to three points shortly after half-time, but NUIG duly found another gear and shot six of the next seven points, with Niland in flawless form from frees.

Points from Bennett and Pádraig Fitzgerald, followed by a second penalty goal from Bennett, left just three points between the teams after 55 minutes, but three points from Niland and another score from Mark Kennedy proved to be an exemplary response, forcing WIT into a vain hunt for goals through five minutes of added time.

NUI GALWAY: L Reilly; E Lawless, J Fitzpatrick, C Caulfield; C Killeen (0-2), D Morrissey, M Gill (0-1); D Kilcommins, I McGlynn; C Walsh, C Lynch (0-3), F MacDonagh (1-0); P Hickey, J Fleming (0-1), E Niland (0-14, 12 frees).

Subs: C Salmon for MacDonagh (temp, 30-30+2 mins), M Kennedy (0-1) for McGlynn (50), O Flannery for MacDonagh (52), N Collins for Hickey (60).

WATERFORD IT: B Nolan (0-2, two frees); C Ryan, D Walsh, W Halpin; R Smithers, T Barron, M De Paor; N O'Sullivan, S Bennett (2-2, 2-0 pens); A Kirwan, E O'Shea (0-7, six frees, one 65), J Lyons; O Reilly, C Kirwan (0-1), P Fitzgerald (0-1).

Subs: P Boland for Reilly (43 mins), P Hennebry for Murphy (56), Ryan Tierney for Kirwan (58).

Referee: R McGann (Clare).