Friday 6 December 2019

Conlon's heroics seize Fitzgibbon for NUIG

Clare's John Conlon secured victory in the Fitzgibbon Cup final for NUI Galway at Pearse Stadium as he landed a late winner to overcome Waterford IT 1-17 to 1-16 after extra-time.

They looked dead and buried when Waterford IT went 1-11 to 0-5 in front with 20 minutes remaining. A goal from Timmy Hammersley helped WIT to a 1-7 to 0-4 lead at the interval but remarkably they failed to score for the closing 20 minutes of the match.

Clare U-21 Caimin Morey hauled NUIG back into contention with a superb goal after 42 minutes and the comeback was completed when Tipp star Seamus Hennessy levelled the dying seconds.

NUI Galway led by 1-14 to 1-13 at the interval in extra-time but WIT held the edge after the restart with Hammersly and Henry Vaughan putting them back in front. NUIG skipper Finian Coone levelled before Hammersly brought his total to 1-11.

But NUIG never gave up and in stoppage-time sub James O'Gorman levelled before Shane Quinlan set Conlon up for the match-winner to secure NUIG's 10th crown in the grade.

Ardscoil Ris and holders Thurles CBS will have to do it a third time to decide the winners of this year's Dr Harty Cup after yesterday's pulsating replay finished level, 2-21 to 4-15, after extra-time at McDonagh Park, Nenagh. Declan Hannon's point in stoppage-time at the end of 20 minutes of extra-time salvaged a draw for Ardscoil Ris, who played most of the second half with 14 men after Cathal McInerney was sent off.

John Fitzgibbon slotted over the equaliser deep in stoppage-time at the end of normal time to ensure two extra 10 minute periods. Returned to 15 players for extra-time, Limerick's Ardscoil Ris roared into a three-point lead but Thurles CBS star Michael O'Brien banged over four unanswered points to hand his side a one-point lead, before Hannon set up a replay.

James Divilly was the hero, scoring 1-9, as Presentation College Athenry captured their first Connacht Colleges senior hurling title since 1977, beating Gort 1-13 to 2-9. A goal from Jonathan Glynn helped Gort to a 1-6 to 0-7 interval lead. When Michael Mullins flicked to the Athenry net in the second half it looked as if Gort would cruise to victory. But Divilly's goal and a point from frees secured victory for Athenry.

In Leinster, Ballymahon Secondary School came out on top after a frenetic and highly charged Vocational Schools 'A' decider at Pearse Park. A John Rock effort in the first half of extra-time eventually proved decisive as Ballymahon overcame fellow Longford outfit Cnoc Mhuire, Granard by 2-6 to 1-8.

Kerry's Causeway Comprehensive made their own bit of history when they won back-to-back All-Ireland Vocational Schools junior 'A' hurling title for the first time at Kilmallock, beating St Bridgid's of Loughrea 2-20 to 1-12.

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