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UL overcome DCU to claim a sixth Fitzgibbon Cup

UL ran out 2-21 to 2-15 winners in Mallow.

The Limerick university overcame a respectable challenge from DCU to claim their third collegiate title in five years.

In a cold and blustery afternoon in Mallow’s impressive GAA complex, DCU had some of the better of the first – at one point going out to a 1-6 to 0-6 lead.

Peter Hogan popped the first score of the game for DCU after three minutes, and nearly followed this up with a goal had Patrick Curran’s effort not been hooked by Gearóid Hegarty and the follow up saved well by Limerick goalkeeper David McCarthy.

UL got into the game with points from Jason Forde and John McGrath, but DCU went back into the lead with a Patrick Curran penalty, after John Donnelly was hauled down inside the rectangle.

The Limerick side then rallied back with more scores from Forde, before a beautifully worked goal beginning with Limerick pair Tom Morrissey and Barry Murphy, linking up with Tipperary’s John McGrath, who handpassed the ball left to Forde who buried the finish. The Silvermines forward notched 1-10 on the day.

With a 1-11 to 1-09 lead at half time, UL powered on in the second half – a goal from Pat Ryan of Limerick in the 53rd minute helping UL on their way. DCU’s Conor Bourke found the back of the net with a tidy angled finish late on, but it wasn’t enough as UL ran out 2-21 to 2-15 winners to mark their first Fitzgibbon Cup victory since 2016.

There were over 700 spectators in Cork to watch the collegiate finale, with the location and weather not doing much to attract a large following. A return to a weekend of a hurling hosted on a college campus could perhaps help spark some life into a finale that never really heated up a chilly Mallow afternoon.

UL 2-21: Jason Forde 1-10 (0-8 frees, 0-1 65), John McGrath, Kevin O’Brien, David Fitzgerald, Ronan Lynch 0-2 each, Tony Kelly, Gearóid Hegarty, Ian Galvin 0-1 each.

DCU 2-15: Donal Burke 0-9 (0-7 frees), Patrick Curran (p), Conor Bourke 1-0 each, Killian Doyle, Joe O’Connor, Conor Delaney, Peter Hogan, John Donnelly, Darren Mullen 0-1 each.

UL

1. David McCarthy (Limerick)

2. Aidan McGuane (Clare)

3. Conor Cleary (Clare)

4. Seán Finn (Limerick)

6. Barry Heffernan (Tipperary)

5. Gearóid Hegarty (Limerick)

7. David Fitzgerald (Clare)

8. Tony Kelly (Clare)

19. Ronan Lynch (Limerick)

10. Ian Galvin (Clare)

11. Kevin O’Brien (Limerick)

12. Tom Morrissey (Limerick)

13. John McGrath (Tipperary)

14. Jason Forde (Tipperary)

15. Barry Murphy (Limerick)

DCU

1. Oisín Foley (Wexford)

4. Conor McSweeney (Limerick)

3. Eoghan O’Donnell (Dublin)

24. Paul O’Dea (Dublin)

5. Aaron Maddock (Wexford)

6. Conor Delaney (Kilkenny)

7. Paudie Foley (Wexford)

9. Joe O’Connor (Wexford)

2. Darren Mullen (Kilkenny)

21. Fergal Whitely (Dublin)

14. Rian McBride (Dublin)

12. Donal Burke (Dublin)

13. John Donnelly (Kilkenny)

22. Peter Hogan (Waterford)

15. Patrick Curran (Waterford)

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