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Moran inspires UL to shock triumph


Brian Fox fires home University of Limerick's second goal despite the efforts of DIT's Peter Dominican.

Brian Fox fires home University of Limerick's second goal despite the efforts of DIT's Peter Dominican.

Brian Fox fires home University of Limerick's second goal despite the efforts of DIT's Peter Dominican.

David Moran inspired University of Limerick to a shock win in a thrilling match in Clontarf.

Managed by former Kerry goalkeeper Declan O'Keeffe, UL stunned a DIT outfit that was unable to build on a blistering start as the Limerick side increased in confidence as the afternoon progressed.

With David Niblock outstanding at midfield and Moran providing a physical and polished presence at full-forward, UL came thundering back to cause a huge upset.

Early on, UL were in deep distress as DIT commenced the contest in impressive fashion, moving the ball quickly into a full-forward line that featured the immensely promising Offaly youngster Bernard Allen.

DIT kicked four points on the spin, but UL finally settled and only trailed by 0-7 to 0-4 after 20 minutes as Moran brought them back into contention.

Then in the 21st minute, UL were awarded a penalty when influential midfielder Niblock was fouled by Donncha Reilly. Moran's subsequent finish was low and true.

Allen steered DIT back in front before the interval, but UL continued to demonstrate the necessary defiance in the third quarter. It became an intriguing battle as the game progressed, with Allen stroking over two excellent points, but UL were bright and busy too as Moran and Brian Fox ensured they were level by the 49th minute, 0-11 to 1-8.

A sharp Moran delivery crafted a goalscoring opportunity for Fox, who provided an equally tasty finish as UL hit the front for the first time.

It was a lead they never looked like relinquishing in the closing stages as Niall Coyne anchored the defence superbly, restricting DIT's much-vaunted centre-forward Aidan O'Shea.

A delighted O'Keeffe said afterwards: "This is a win that nobody else saw coming, but I knew leaving my house this morning that we had the stuff to do it. The boys applied themselves so well."

The Limerick team's reward is a quarter-final date with NUI Maynooth.

Hosts UCD, who haven't won the competition since 1996, will face NUI Galway, while the other quarter-finals will see hot favourites and reigning champions DCU taking on UCC in a repeat of last year's final and Carlow IT playing Jordanstown.

Scorers -- UL: D Moran 1-6 (4f, 1 s-l), B Fox 1-1, D Niblock, M Geaney 0-1 each. DIT: D Connolly 0-6 (6f), B Allen 0-4, C McHugh 0-2, G McKiernan 0-1.

UL -- B Scanlon; F Fitzgerald, M Dalton, J Lyne; D Rhattigan, N Coyne, S Hickey; A Maher, D Niblock; A O'Donavan, P Austin, B Fox; C Dempsey, D Moran, M Cahalane. Subs: M Geaney for Cahalane (31), D O'Sullivan for Dalton (40), M Culloty for Fitzgerald (54).

DIT -- D Lyons; C Walsh, D Hughes, P Cunningham; G Bradshaw, P Domican, K McLoughlin; D Reilly, G McKiernan; G Guilfoyle, A O'Shea, A Nestor; B Allen, D Connolly, C McHugh. Subs: C Reddin for D Reilly (31), M Reilly for Nestor (40), C Lynam for McHugh (45), K Martin for Bradshaw (45), T Cunniffe for Guilfoyle (60).

Ref -- C Branagan (Down).

Irish Independent