O'Loughlin keen to build on DIT's historic first title
Published 25/02/2013 | 04:00
DIT were available at 7/1 before a ball was kicked but after stunning 2012 champions DCU in the semi-finals, Sean Fox's team clinically dismissed the challenge of 20-time competition winners UCC at a bitterly cold Athlone IT on Saturday.
DIT could boast a number of inter-county names in their ranks, particularly in attack, but they were also superb defensively and went through the competition without conceding a goal.
And coach Billy O'Loughlin confirmed that the vast majority of this year's winning squad will be available again in 2013.
He said: "We'll have a good lot of them. Darran (O'Sullivan) is in first year, Kevin O'Brien is in first year, Ciaran Reddin is there next year. We're missing David Givney, Aidan O'Shea, Colin Walshe (right) and Martin Reilly."
Givney and O'Shea were excellent again at midfield, with Cavan player Givney bagging 1-2. At the start of each half, Givney set the tone with early points and he capped a fine display with a well-taken goal two minutes from the end.
At half-time, DIT led by 2-4 to 0-4, with Dubliner Reddin and Mayo's Jason Doherty hitting decisive goals.
UCC were held to just three points from play during the game and Conor Cox, who had scored 0-22 in his previous three games, was brilliantly shackled by DIT full-back and man of the match Bryan Menton.
UCC's misery was compounded in stoppage time when substitute Darragh O'Sullivan received a straight red card for a high challenge.
Scorers – DIT: D Givney, J Doherty (2f) 1-2 each, C Reddin 1-1, G O'Hare, T O'Connor, P Maguire 0-1 each. UCC: C Sweeney 0-3 (2f), T Clancy, B Coughlan, C Cox (f), L Connolly ('45') 0-1 each.
DIT – R Lambert; K O'Brien, B Menton, G O'Hare; C Walshe, N Devereaux, R Sheridan; A O'Shea, D Givney; M Reilly, D O'Sullivan, C Reddin; M Collins, T O'Connor, J Doherty. Subs: B Allen for Reddin (41), A Nestor for Sheridan (47), P Maguire for Reilly (51), S O'Connor for O'Sullivan (53), J McGrath for O'Connor 59).
UCC – S Mellet; P Galvin, E O'Mahony, N Daly; J O'Sullivan, P Crowley, T Clancy; P Acheson, JB Spillane; K O'Driscoll, L Connolly, B Coughlan; G O'Grady, C Cox, C Sweeney. Subs: D O'Sullivan for Coughlan (48), P Murphy for Clancy (48), E Buckley for O'Grady (52).
Ref – M Deegan (Laois)