Brian Lohan trumps Davy Fitz as UL advance to Independent.ie Fitzgibbon Cup final
Limerick IT 1-14 University of Limerick 2-18
BRIAN Lohan got one over on his former Clare teammate Davy Fitzgerald as University of Limerick triumphed over hosts Limerick IT in a fiery Fitzgibbon Cup semi-final this afternoon.
Both teams finished the game with 14 men at the end of this local derby, with Lohan indicating afterwards that he will seek advice before deciding whether to appeal against Jack Browne’s second half red card, which will rule the Clare star out of the final against WIT.
Browne was sent off 20 minutes from time following an incident with LIT’s Paul Killeen but the numbers were evened up two minutes from the end when Niall O’Connor saw red.
O’Connor threw his hurley in the direction of UL sub Stephen Bennett, who remained composed to lash home a second goal for the winners.
UL, wind-assisted after half-time, eacked up a big score en route to victory but they also had goalkeeper Paul Maher to thank for a number of crucial saves – including a superb 44th minute stop to deflect Killeen’s goalbound effort over the bar.
A goal at that stage for LIT would have brought them to within two points and while the gap was down to two with seven minutes left, UL kicked for home.
Tipp’s Jason Forde, a second half goalscorer, pointed a free before Bennett struck in bitterly cold conditions.
And Forde’s glorious sideline cut was the icing on the cake as UL avenged last year’s shock quarter-final defeat against their local rivals.
At half-time, UL were 0-10 to 1-6 in front and they got off to the better start, leading by 0-5 to 0-2 before Willie Ryan’s goal for LIT, in the tenth minute, hauled Fitzgerald’s men level.
LIT surged three point clear – 1-6 to 0-6 – before a run of four uanswered points from UL before half-time put them ahead by the bare minimum.
Ultimately, Clare manager Fitzgerald was haunted by some of his own men as David McInerney, passed fit to play along with Tony Kelly, finished with 0-3 from play.
And Cathal McInerney, who threw in his lot with the Clare footballers this year, had three points in the first half alone.
A strong start from UL after half-time had them in the driving seat as Forde netted in the 33rd minute, taking a quick offload from Tommy Heffernan before lashing home a low effort.
UL were in cruise control before Browne’s red card, deemed harsh by Lohan, but LIT were unable to capitalise fully as the 2011 winners moved within an hour of another Fitzgibbon Cup win.
Scorers for LIT: D Reidy 0-8 (7f), W Ryan 1-0, P Killeen & M Fitzgerald 0-2 each, P Flaherty & S O’Brien 0-1 each.
Scorers for UL: J Forde 1-3 (0-1 sl), J McGrath 0-4f, S Bennett 1-0, D McInerney & C McInerney 0-3 each, K O’Brien 0-2, T Heffernan, C Martin & D Morrissey 0-1 each.
LIT: A Muphy; M Kiely, N O’Connor, S Gleeson; W Ryan, B O’Connell, K Bennett; S O’Halloran, S O’Brien; J Campion, M Fitzgerald, P Flaherty; D Reidy, P Killeen, D Dempsey.
Sub: P Fitzgerald for Campion (52).
UL: P Maher; J Browne, D McInerney, G Ryan; D Quinn, B Troy, B Stapleton; J Forde, T Kelly; J McGrath, D Morrissey, T Heffernan; K O’Brien, C Martin, C McInerney.
Sub: S Bennett for Heffernan (47).
Referee: J McGrath (Westmeath).