Mary I edge local derby to set up another in Fitzgibbon final

Limerick IT undone in scrappy semi-final - next up is UL in Saturday’s final

LIT’s David Reidy and Eoin Quirke of Mary I contest the ball. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

LIT’s David Reidy and Eoin Quirke of Mary I contest the ball. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

 

Mary Immaculate College 0-11 Limerick IT 0-9

Mary Immaculate overcame difficult conditions to qualify for their second Fitzgibbon Cup final after edging local rivals Limerick IT in a very poor encounter.

The weather deteriorated for the second semi-final and the constant rain clearly affected both sets of players where the emphasis was very much on defence.

A total of 15 wides between the pair reflected the astonishingly poor shooting on display in a best forgotten first-half during which the standard of free-taking in particular was deplorable.

And while the accuracy levels improved marginally on the resumption the final whistle couldn’t come quickly enough for the many neutrals.

Limerick IT jumped in front with a first-minute point from their captain Alan Dempsey, but it took them another 21 minutes to add to their tally by which stage Mary I had three on the board.

They surged 0-6 to 0-2 ahead approaching the interval with three unanswered points, including one from play by Damien Reidy sandwiched in between Darragh O’Donovan and Declan Hannon frees. Peter Duggan’s free in stoppage-time left it 0-6 to 0-3 at half-time.

The scoring rate didn’t improve on the resumption with neither goalkeeper tested though Mary I’s corner-back, Andrew Ryan, was cool under pressure when handling the greasy ball from a Duggan free on the goal-line in the 35th minute.

It was 0-8 to 0-5 entering the closing quarter and Mary I stretched their advantage with a fine point from play by Tipperary’s Ronan Maher to leave his side poised to advance.

Limerick IT’s battling qualities surfaced in a hectic finish as Hannon and Diarmaid Byrnes pointed three times to cut the deficit to the minimum, 0-10 to 0-9 approaching the hour.

But a Hannon free in the first minute of three added on for injuries and substitutions saw Mary I over the line.

MARY IMMACULATE: M O Conghaile; E Quirke, R English, captain, A Ryan; R Maher (0-1), T Stapleton, J Meagher; C Galvin (0-1), D O’Donovan (0-2, one free, one ‘65); S Linnane, C Lynch, D Corry; D Reidy (0-2, one free), D Hannon (0-4, three frees, one ‘65), N O’Meara (0-1). Subs: S Kennedy for O’Donovan 45 mins, T Gallagher for Reidy 46 mins, S Cahill for Linnane 50 mins, M O’Neill for O’Meara 58 mins

LIMERICK IT: E Quilligan; N O’Connor, K Bennett, P Killeen (0-1); W Ryan, J Shanahan, D Byrnes (0-4, two ‘65s, one free); C Barrett, O O’Brien (0-1); A Dempsey (0-1), captain, N Maher, D Dempsey; M O’Malley, D Reidy, P Duggan (0-2 frees). Subs: J Campion for Maher 44 mins, S Gleeson for D Dempsey and W Connors for O’Malley 50 mins.

Referee: D Kirwan (Cork)

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