Revenge for IT Carlow as UCC crash out of Fitzgibbon Cup

IT Carlow reverse one point final defeat by UCC in 2020, to reach this year’s semi final

IT Carlow’s Rory Higgins looks for a free after clashing with UCC’s Daire Connery. Photograph: Evan Treacy/Inpho

IT Carlow 1-17 UCC 0-14

IT Carlow reversed the 2020 Fitzgibbon Cup hurling final result when deservedly stripping UCC of their title at the IT Carlow grounds on Tuesday night.

In a game where a superb Rory Higgins goal on 17 minutes proved the quarter-final’s pivotal score, UCC made a raft of changes from the match programme and the Cork students soon found themselves under the cosh.

Carlow flew out of the traps to race into a double scores lead of 0-6 to 0-3 after 16 minutes. The home side lost top forward Marty Kavanagh to injury in the 11th minute but they overcame that setback as their attack - constantly running at the Cork defence - picked off some superb scores.


Full forward Chris Nolan’s solo run at the UCC backline opened up the chance for Rathnure’s Higgins to score the game’s only goal.

Mark Kehoe, the Kilseehlin-Kilcash clubman carried the only genuine forward threat for UCC, the Tipperary man hit four first half points from play.

In quick time all six starting Carlow forwards had made the scoresheet as Carey’s side showed a high work ethic and some deadly finishing as they held a comfortable 1-11 to 0-8 lead.

The Cork side were in big trouble on 26 minutes when, following a flare-up at the stand sideline, referee Thomas Walsh issued a straight red card to Cork left full forward Padraig Power, apparently for interfering with the helmet of an opponent.

UCC introduced Daire Connery and Jack O’Connor at half time in an effort to pull the game their way. But, in truth, Tom Kingston’s team never carried a threat to Adam Howlin’s goal.

The six point difference remained pretty constant throughout a second half in which the Carlow defence continued to play with confidence, well marshalled by full back Podge Delaney. Centre back Jerry Kelly was also having a solid game but he too fell foul of a red card early in the second half.

But that did not change the trend of the game in any way as Carlow continued to lead the way, reversing the one point final defeat by UCC in 2020.

IT Carlow: A Howlin; F Hayes, P Delaney, A Redmond; N Brassill (0-1), J Kelly, J Cleere; C Dunbar (0-1), C Kenny (0-1); E Gaughan (0-1), M Kavanagh (0-1, 65), S Casey (0-7, 0-4 frees, 0-1 65); R Higgins (1-1), C Nolan (0-3), T Keyes (0-1). Subs: B McGinley for Kavanagh (11 mins); S Reck for McGinley (37 mins).

UCC: I Butler; C O'Brien, N O'Leary, K O'Dwyer; R Downey (0-1), I Daly, D O'Leary; R Connolly, G Mellerick; C Boylan (0-2), C Cahalane, M Kehoe (0-4); C Bowe, S Barrett (0-4, all frees), P Power. Subs: D Connery (0-2, frees) for O'Brien, J O'Connoir for Bowe (both h-t); W Henn (0-1) for Barrett (51 mins).

Referee: T Walsh (Waterford).