IT Carlow 1-22 – 0-22 Mary Immaculate College
After a heart-breaking loss in last year’s Fitzgibbon Cup final, IT Carlow faced Mary I for the first time seeking to avenge the 3-24 to 1-19 defeat last February.
Reaching a Fitzgibbon Cup final for the first ever time was amazing and a remarkable achievement for the college, led by Kilkenny legend DJ Carey. The atmosphere in Pearse Stadium was outstanding, leaving the stand after 60 minutes on the other hand was a different story with an 11 point defeat.
Despite the change of venue due to the horrific weather conditions and finishing with 14 men on the field. IT Carlow overcame their Limerick rivals with a well battled three point win.
A number of key players that stood out on the day included Carlow’s very own Martin Kavanagh and James Doyle, Kilkenny’s Richie Leahy, Laois’s Enda Rowland and Waterford’s Jack Fagan who was left covering the full forward line after Mark Russell got sent to the line. One down.
IT Carlow 2-16 – 1-16 NUIG
Next, Carlow headed to Galway with plenty of momentum, a win against NUIG sealing a pass through to the quarter finals. NUIG were on the same boat, having beaten Trinity College Dublin in the opening round.
The weather was fine until throw in, when the rain started to pour but still had very little wind which had a huge effect on both teams. The first half was dominated by NUIG who had a four point lead at half time, showing 1-9 to 0-8 on the scoreboard.
Within the first 10 minutes of the second half IT Carlow brought the score back to a draw of 1-12 apiece, with a goal scored by Jack Fagan drawing the teams level. The scores stayed unchanged until Fagan struck the back of the net again, ten minutes later. The Waterford player tacked on another two points along with a point form Laois’s Charles Dwyer to get the Carlow side over the line.
It was a tense final few minutes but IT Carlow held out for a final score of 2-16 to 1-16, sealing their second consecutive trip to the knockout stages and a step closer to going one better than last year.
IT Carlow 1-19 – 0-14 Trinity College
With another change to the game time, IT Carlow travelled to Santry, Dublin to play their last match of the group. Another cold night for supporters on the side-line, but thankfully no rain or wind to contend with.
Trinity opened the match with the first point but Kilkenny’s Richie Leahy followed with a score for Carlow. With two points on the board, Martin “Mouse” Kavanagh quickly opened the gap on TCD with a goal. Kavanagh stayed popping points over the black spot as Trinity resorted to fouls.
Trinity had an opportunity to close the gap, having been awarded a penalty near half time – but the crossbar denied the score and the ball was cleared. The half time score was 1-11 to 0-5 in IT Carlow’s favour.
IT Carlow were handed a boost in the second half as they welcomed back corner back Dwane Palmer, after suffering a leg break last year.
The Carlow side motored on with Jack Fagan scoring a toal of 0-7, Martin Kavanagh scoring 1-6 and Enda Rowland, Richie Leahy, Colin Dunford and Mark Russell all scoring a point each.
IT Carlow top their group ahead of a home quarter final against Limerick Institute of Technology. A win against Davy Fitzgerald’s side will mean another semi-final for Carey’s crew. Having beaten UL at that stage last year, Carlow will fear no one this time around – a dream return to the final where they will certainly be better equipped this time around would be a great story in this famed and historic collegiate competition.
Final year student in Institute of Technology Carlow studying Management Practice, I have a huge interest in sport and writing. Looking to progress in blogging.