Monday 19 February 2018

Connors brothers poised for face-off

Noel Connors: key man for Waterford
Noel Connors: key man for Waterford
Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

BROTHERLY love will have to be put aside by Noel and Tomas Connors when Waterford IT take on University of Limerick in an eagerly anticipated Fitzgibbon Cup semi-final in Galway today.

Noel will line out in defence for WIT, while Tomas is a key attacker for University of Limerick.

The Limerick college, last year's beaten finalists, have been hit with a late injury to Tipperary senior Willie Ryan.

Ryan, who scored 1-9 (9f) in their quarter-final victory over UCC, in a repeat of last year's final, was injured while training with Tipperary during the week.

"Willie definitely will not be ready for the semi-final. Our only hope is that he will be able to take some part if we get through to the final," said University of Limerick manager Ger Cunningham yesterday.

Fortunately for the Plassey college, they have a host of good free-takers -- Offaly's Shane Dooley and Brian Carroll and Clare's Andrew Quinn -- to replace Ryan in a high-quality team sprinkled with inter-county players like Seamus Hickey, Paddy Stapleton and John Devane.

WIT, who were pushed hard by DIT last week before coming through by two points, will be looking to Adrian Power and Stephen Fives, as well as Noel Connors, for inspiration. They also include Cork senior Fintan O'Leary and Wexford's Mark Molloy, who is battling to beat a groin injury.

The other side of the draw features 2007 winners Limerick IT against hosts NUI Galway. The Galway team have high-quality players in John Lee and John Conlon but, with Joe Canning, Seamus Callanan and James McInerney in their ranks, Davy Fitzgerald's charges are favourites to make it an all-Limerick final.

Irish Independent

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