Saturday 21 October 2017

14-man Mary Immaculate squeeze past WIT in Fitzgibbon Cup semi

Mary Immaculate College 1-17 Waterford Institute of Technology 1-15

Eoin Murphy, Waterford Institute of Technology, is challenged by Declan Hannon, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick
Eoin Murphy, Waterford Institute of Technology, is challenged by Declan Hannon, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick

Mary Immaculate College have qualified for tomorrow’s Fitzgibbon Cup final after defeating Waterford IT 1-17 to 1-15 at Carnmore, Galway despite playing the majority of the game with 14 men.

The sides were level at the end of 60 minutes but injury time points from substitute Conor Cooney and Luke O’Farrell sealed a famous win for the Limerick teacher-training college.

Clare’s John Conlon, a previous Fitzgibbon winner with NUI Galway in 2010, was the inspiration for Mary Immaculate as they battled manfully after Declan Hannon’s dismissal.

Waterford IT started brighly and registered the first point before wing-forward Eoin Murphy had his penalty saved.

Both sides traded points before a moment of madness from Mary Immaculate centre-back Declan Hannon saw him receive his marching orders.

The sending-off saw the game become more open and it strangely suited the team with the numerical disadvantage as Conlon rattled the net to give Mary Immaculate a 1-4 to 0-3 lead.

Mary’s Luke O’Farrell and Conlon traded points with Pauric Mahoney and Jake Dillon as Waterford struggled to make inroads into the advantage and they trailed 1-7 to 0-8 at the break.

John Conlon grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck upon the resumption and points from frees and play helped stretch the advantage to 1-13 to 0-9.

Michael Sheedy and Pauric Mahoney were on target for WIT as they closed the gap and then Sheedy added a crucial goal as the advantage was cut to just two points.

A Pauric Mahoney free and another Jake Dillon drew the sides level before O’Farrell and O’Mahoney exchanged points to see the sides level at 1-15 apiece at the end of normal time.

14-man Mary Immaculate somehow conjured another effort and substitute Conor Cooney landed a monster point before man-of-the-match Conlon setup O’Farrell for the insurance score to keep the Limerick side’s fairytale run in the competition going.

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