McGrath on song as UL make early statement
University of Limerick 0-20 Dublin IT 0-14
Brian Lohan's holders University of Limerick braved the elements in Dublin yesterday to get off to a winning start in Group C of the Independent.ie Fitzgibbon Cup.
Three points down at half-time, having played against a strong breeze in the opening period, UL showed the class and grit of champions to score a six-point victory.
Tipperary's John McGrath was in good form on placed balls as county mate Tommy Heffernan added four points from play, a haul matched by Limerick's Kevin O'Brien.
Westmeath forward Derek McNicholas was excellent for DIT, collecting nine points, but Eoin Brislane's charges paid the price for profligacy in the first half as they registered ten wides.
Given the weather conditions, UL would have taken being in touch at the break and that they were, trailing by 0-7 to 0-10.
They were level within five minutes of the restart and after hitting the front through O'Brien, they would not be caught.
McNicholas battled gamely throughout and Wexford powerhouse Lee Chin sparkled in patches but UL had the better overall spread of scorers to lay down an early marker, despite lining out without former Hurler of the Year Tony Kelly.
DIT led by 0-9 to 0-4 during the first half but this was UL's day.
scorers - DIT: D McNicholas 0-9 (3f, 1 65, 1 sl), L Chin 0-3, C Sheehan & J Guiney (f) 0-1 each. UL: J McGrath 0-7f, K O'Brien & T Heffernan 0-4 each, C Martin 0-2, J Forde, K Hehir & B Heffernan 0-1 each.
DIT - P McKenna; C Robinson, T Doyle, S McClelland; D Guinan, L Chin, S Barrett; G Whelan, R Greville; C Sheehan, J Guiney, J Sweeney; AJ Murphy, D McNicholas, C O'Donoghue. Subs: J Henderson for Murphy (h-t), B Kelly for Sweeney (50).
UL - P Maher; S Finn, J Browne, S Roche; G Hegarty, J Forde, B Stapleton; A McGuane, K Hehir; D Fitzgerald, C Martin, T Morrissey; K O'Brien, J McGrath, T Heffernan. Subs: M Casey for Roche (38), B Heffernan for McGuane (52), C McInerney for Fitzgerald (58), L O'Sullivan for O'Brien (60+2).
ref - A Kelly (Galway)