Limerick colleges out in force at Cork IT for Fitzgibbon Cup

Three semi-finalists arrive from Limerick as UCD seek rare double after Sigerson success

 UCD manager Nicky English: His side  are the outsiders of the semi-final quartet largely because they lack   well-known players but as a collective they have been extraordinarily strong. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

UCD manager Nicky English: His side are the outsiders of the semi-final quartet largely because they lack well-known players but as a collective they have been extraordinarily strong. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

 

The Fitzgibbon Cup this weekend in Cork IT unusually sees no participants from the host city. It’s largely a Limerick invasion with all three colleges still in contention, as well as UCD who have the chance to complete a Sigerson-Fitzgibbon double for the first time since 1979.

All four managers have been All-Ireland winners and three of them have both played in and managed All-Ireland winning teams.

The first of the semi-finals today (CIT, 1pm) pits UCD, managed by Tipperary’s Nicky English, against University of Limerick, the holders who are managed by Clare’s Brian Lohan.

Extraordinarily strong

Carlow

Dublin’s Colm Cronin got the vital goal and they also boast a player who attained profile at the weekend, James Maher, man of the match in Kilkenny’s win over Tipperary on his full league debut.

UL have been reeling from a series of injuries starting with former Hurler of the Year Tony Kelly misses out because of a hamstring injury whereas Brian Troy, a member of last year’s winning team, broke a bone in his foot last weekend.

They can still call on firepower in Tipp’s Jason Forde, deployed defensively, but up front is another Tipperary man John McGrath and Limerick’s Kevin O’Brien. The injuries though will give hope to UCD’s quest for an upset.

In the other semi-final (CIT, 3pm) David Fitzgerald’s Limerick IT take on Mary Immaculate, managed by Eamonn Cregan, who have come close in recent years and have an impressive array of talent.

Limerick IT, however, have looked dangerous. They ploughed through Waterford IT in the quarter-final.

Tipperary’s Cathal Barrett has top-class inter-county experience whereas Peter Duggan is an established Clare panellist and David Dempsey is one of the promising Limerick hurlers.

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