Friday 15 December 2017

Mary Immaculate blow past GMIT and into semi final of Fitzgibbon Cup

Mary Immaculate 2-25 0-10 GMIT

Conor Gardiner, left, and GMIT team-mate Jarlath Mannion breaks his hurl across the shoulder of Alan Flynn, Mary Immaculate College. SPORTSFILE
Conor Gardiner, left, and GMIT team-mate Jarlath Mannion breaks his hurl across the shoulder of Alan Flynn, Mary Immaculate College. SPORTSFILE

Goals in each half from Declan Hannon and David Reidy saw Mary Immaculate reach the semi-finals with little or no bother, but their second-half performance will surely have left manager Eamon Cregan annoyed.

With a 21-point lead at the interval, the Limerick side waltzed their way through the second half and allowed an outclassed GMIT to save some face.

Hannon, Cian Lynch, Colm Galvin and Ronan Maher were all taken off at the break, while Reidy’s goal 12 minutes from time put a realistic look to the scoreboard after Davy Conroy led the GMIT revival.

It was 1-18 to 0-0 at half-time as Hannon’s 1-7, and strong performances from Galvin and John Meagher continuously had Mary I on the front foot. With the wind at their backs it was hard to recall a single puck-out that Mary Immaculate didn’t gather before the break, but after that their work rate and effort fell to pieces.

Eight wides in the first half indicates that Mary Immaculate’s lead could have been far greater, such was their dominance,while a couple of brilliant saves from James Barrett in the GMIT goal denied certain goals to Cian Lynch and Niall O’Meara.

Surprisingly, Mary Immaculate chose to make four changes all together at half-time, and that resulted in a revival from GMIT. Conroy finally got them off the mark in the 31st minute and Conor Gardiner tagged on another moments later.

However, once Reidy beat Barrett with a good, low shot 12 minutes from time, the Limerick men were assured of their spot in the finals weekend, which will be held in Cork IT in a fortnight’s time.

Scorers – Mary Immaculate: D Hannon 1-7 (5f), D Reidy 1-2, S Linnane 0-4, M O’Neill (2f), N O’Meara 0-3; S Cahill, C Galvin 0-2; C Lynch, S Kennedy 0-1. GMIT:  D Conroy 0-4, D Nevin 0-3 (2f), D Burke, C Gardiner, A Ward 0-1.

Mary Immaculate College – M O Conghaile; E Quirke, J Meagher, A Ryan; T Stapleton, A Flynn, M O’Neill; S Cahill, R Maher; C Galvin, C Lynch, N O’Meara; D Reidy, D Hannon, S Linnane. Subs: C Twomey for Galvin (h-t), S Kennedy for R Maher (h-t), J Hannon for Lynch (h-t), C Barry for Hannon (h-t), T Monaghan for O’Meara (34).

GMIT – J Barrett; D Cronin, I Creaven, J Finnerty; L Cosgrave, P Hoban, S Collins; D Conroy, D Burke; J Mannion, J Mooney, B Tuohey; D Mangan, D Nevin, C Gardiner. Subs: A Ward for Mannion (h-t), S Pierce for Cosgrave (40), D Cooney for Mangan (47), Cathal Reilly for Collins (47).

Ref – B Kelly (Westmeath)

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