Monday 22 January 2018

Fitzgibbon Cup preview: Champions Mary I ready to make short work of GMIT

Michael Verney

Today

(2.0 unless stated)

Independent.ie fitzgibbon Cup

group A

Mary Immaculate College Limerick v GMIT, MICL Grounds

The reigning champions open their defence with what should be a formality. Jamie Wall's side possess class in the likes of Tipp's Ronan Maher and Limerick's Richie English and will be far too strong for GMIT on home soil.

Odds: Mary I 1/100 GMIT 12/1 Draw 33/1

Verdict: Mary I

IT Carlow v DIT, IT Carlow, 7.0

DJ Carey's Carlow side have Laois' Stephen 'Picky' Maher and Kilkenny's Kevin Kelly in their ranks and are impressing in this year's Walsh Cup, with a semi-final against Galway this weekend. They won't have it all their own way in one of the ties of the round, however, with a DIT side powered by Westmeath duo Derek McNicholas and Robbie Greville likely to cause problems.

Odds: IT Carlow 1/5 DIT 7/2 Draw 11/1

Verdict: IT Carlow

group B

UL v Cork IT, UL Grounds

Brian Lohan's Limerick side came heart-breakingly close to back-to-back titles last year and with Tony Kelly's availability unconfirmed, this is a tricky opener. Tipp's John McGrath and Waterford's Stephen Bennett will likely lead the attack for the competition favourites but CIT, with Oulart boss Frank Flannery in their backroom team, will push them very close.

Odds: UL 1/4 CIT 3/1 Draw 11/1

Verdict: UL

group c

LIT v Trinity College, Limerick IT

Davy Fitzgerald's LIT, led by Diarmaid Byrnes and Shane Bennett, should have no problems putting Trinity to the sword.

Odds: LIT 1/100 Trinity 12/1 Draw 33/1

Verdict: LIT

DCU Dóchas Éireann v WIT, DCU Sportsgrounds, 7.0

DCU shipped six goals against Antrim at the weekend but still hit 1-22 with Tony French and Paul Kelly in fine form. Colm Bonnar is an old hand in this competition, however, and should steer his WIT side through a difficult away trip.

Odds: DCU 9/4 WIT 4/11 Draw 10/1

Verdict: WIT

group d

UCC v Ulster University, The Mardyke

UCC head the Fitzgibbon Cup roll of honour and are hotly tipped to make another bold bid. With Cork's Alan Cadogan, Tipp duo Michael Breen and Seamus Kennedy, and Waterford's All-Star midfielder Jamie Barron in their squad they should begin with a comfortable win.

Odds: UCC 1/100 UU 12/1 Draw 33/1

Verdict: UCC

UCD v Maynooth University, Belfield, 7.0

Galway's Brian Molloy has helped Maynooth through the Kehoe Cup but Nicky English's UCD can call on All-Stars Cillian Buckley and Tadhg De Búrca and should get the job done here.

Odds: UCD 1/16 Maynooth 7/1 Draw 16/1

Verdict: UCD

Irish Independent

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