Friday 19 January 2018

Gillane grabs 2-10 as holders Mary I sweep aside NUIG to book place in Fitzgibbon semi-finals

Mary I 4-18 NUI Galway1-16

Aaron Gillane
Aaron Gillane

Jackie Cahill

Aaron Gillane might not be in Limerick manager John Kiely's immediate plans but he's doing his best to force his way back into the Shannonside senior set-up.

Gillane collected 2-10 for a rampant Mary Immaculate College as they booked their place in the semi-finals of the Fitzgibbon Cup.

Finals weekend hosts NUI Galway were sent packing as star-studded Mary I provided firm evidence that it will take a very good team to stop them from retaining their crown.

On a glorious afternoon for hurling, Gillane was the star turn as Mary I made home advantage count against an NUIG side minus the services of the club-tied Mannion brothers, Cathal and Padraic.

Gillane, who was a member of Limerick's squad before being let go recently, had registered 3-9 against DIT in his previous outing and this latest haul took his tally from two games to 5-19.

He had eight points on the board by half-time before adding 2-2 in the second half - but the score of the game was supplied by Cork's rising star Luke Meade.

Tadhg Gallagher netted Mary I's opening goal in the fourth minute, picking up the pieces after Colm Galvin had rattled the NUIG crossbar with a fierce drive.

And while Gallagher turned provider for Meade in the 20th minute, the young forward still had plenty to do.

But in in one fluid movement, Meade controlled the ball on his stick before finding the net with a batted finish.

It was a stunning effort and while Gerry Hennelly attempted to keep NUIG in touch from placed balls, they were 0-11 to 2-11 behind at half-time.

In an entertaining game, Mary I turned up the heat after the break to blow their opponents away - and set up a semi-final clash with Limerick IT or UCD.

Gillane netted in the 35th minute and after he was just off-target with another effort, he bagged his second goal with 19 minutes left.

NUIG did grab a consolation goal with three minutes remaining when Gearoid Loughnane pounced from close range after Hennelly's fierce 20m free was blocked.

Scorers – Mary I: A Gillane 2-10 (0-4f, 0-2 65s), L Meade 1-2, T Gallagher 1-0, M O’Neill 0-3, D O’Donovan 0-2, T Monaghan 0-1. NUIG: G Hennelly 0-9 (6f, 1 65), G Loughnane 1-0, C Whelan 0-3 (1f, 1 sl), C Cleary (f), I Fox, O Donnellan & S Conlon 0-1 each.

Mary I – C Barrett; D Sweeney, R English, E Quirke; C Twomey, R Maher, A Flynn; C Galvin, S Cahill; D O’Donovan, M O’Neill, A Gillane; T Gallagher, C Lynch, L Meade.

NUIG – C Tuohy; C Ryan, G Fennelly, G Forde; S Moloney, C Cleary, M Connelly; I Fox, O Donnellan; G Loughnane, K McHugo, C Whelan; G Hennelly, S Conlon, A Helebert. Subs: N Mitchell for Helebert (39), J Commins for McHugo (44), C Cosgrove for Connelly (54), S Barrett for Loughnane (57).

ref – F Horgan (Tipperary)

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