Davy Fitzgerald's Limerick IT side dump Waterford IT out of the Fitzgibbon Cup
Limerick IT 5-14 Waterford IT 3-13
DAVY FITZGERALD’S LIT booked their place in the Independent.ie Fitzgibbon Cup quarter-finals – and a home meeting with UCD next week – after finishing on the right side of an eight-goal thriller against Waterford IT tonight.
The two-time winners led by seven points on two occasions following first-half goals by David Dempsey, Peter Duggan and Shane Bennett but Fitzgibbon Cup aristocrats WIT rallied hitting two goals in three minutes through Wexford goalkeeper Mark Fanning (penalty) and Austin Gleeson (free).
The 2016 Hurler of the Year cut the gap to one but LIT steadied the ship as a scrambled effort from chief marksman Paul Killeen clinched it and maintained their 100pc record in this year’s competition with three wins from three in Group C.
With Clare’s Jamie Shanahan working as a spare man throughout and Duggan and Killeen posing a twin threat up front, Diarmaid Byrnes opened the scoring after 43 seconds before Joe O’Dwyer responded with a long-distance effort.
Dempsey batted to the net after just three minutes following good work from David Reidy but WIT kept in touch via Liam McGrath and Joe O’Connor. Duggan blasted a second goal after 22 minutes (2-3 to 0-4) before three-in-a-row from McGrath and Shane McNulty kept the home side hot on their heels.
On the stroke of half time, Johnny Ryan blew for a penalty after O’Dwyer held back Duggan and Shane Bennett sent Fanning the wrong way from 21-yard line as the visitors led 3-6 to 0-9 at the break. McGrath and Killeen exchanged a brace of frees before O’Connell stretched LIT’s advantage and Fitzgerald’s side were in control.
However, a foul on O’Connor allowed Fanning to dispatch a penalty on 41 minutes and Gleeson, well marshalled by Oisin O’Brien throughout, belted home a close-range free two minutes later for Ray O’Brien’s side.
A huge free from the Waterford All-Star narrowed it to one (3-10 to 2-12) but Galway panellist Killeen bundled the sliotar over the line with 12 minutes remaining and supersub McCarthy added two points, quickly followed by a goal, as Shane Murphy’s consolation goal mattered little.
SCORERS – LIT: P Killeen 1-4 (4fs), J McCarthy 1-2, S Bennett 1-1 (1-0 pen), D Dempsey, P Duggan 1-0 each, D Byrnes (1f), B O’Connell 0-2 each, W Ryan, S Ryan, D Reidy 0-1 each.
WIT: L McGrath 0-7 (5fs, 1 65’), A Gleeson 1-1 (1-1fs), M Fanning (1-0 pen), S Murphy 1-0 each, S McNulty, J O’Connor 0-2 each, J O’Dwyer 0-1.
LIT – C Nolan, K Bennett, C Cooney; O O’Brien, B O’Connell, W Ryan; D Reidy, D Byrnes; S Bennett, D Dempsey, S Ryan; J Shanahan, P Duggan, P Killeen. Subs: J McCarthy for Dempsey (48), W Connors for Duggan (48), J Ryan for Cooney (53), B O’Meara for Bennett (58).
WIT – M Fanning; W Hahessy, S O’Donohue, T Fox; S McNulty, J O’Dwyer, J Henderson; C Lyons, C O’Brien; S Murphy, L McGrath, A Gleeson; J O’Connor, A Joyce, P Walsh. Subs: JP Tracey for Hahessy (34), K Blanchfield for Joyce (43), C Nevin for O’Brien (62).
REF – J Ryan (Tipperary)