Sport Hurling

Saturday 24 February 2018

Dillon's extra magic caps stunning WIT fightback

Waterford IT 2-21 Limerick IT 3-17 (After extra-time)

Liam McGrath, Waterford Institute of Technology celebrates at the final whistle
Liam McGrath, Waterford Institute of Technology celebrates at the final whistle
A dejected Sean O'Gorman, Limerick IT, after the final whistle
Cathal McInerney, Limerick IT, in action against Joe O'Dwyer, Waterford Institute of Technology

Orla Bannon Fitzgibbon Cup Semi-final

Jake Dillon hit the winning point in the seventh minute of extra-time to sink Limerick IT in Belfast and book a place in the final for Waterford IT.

Both sides scored a goal in the last minute of normal time to take a thrilling contest all the way at Queen's playing fields. LIT manager Davy Fitzgerald will wonder how he let this one get away from him as his side led by 1-15 to 0-8 after 39 minutes and looked to be cruising to victory.

However, WIT were inspired in the second half. Pauric Mahony hit 0-16 before Dillon's late winner.

Cathal McInerney got the only goal of the first half on 25 minutes to give LIT a 1-12 to 0-6 lead at half-time.

In the second half, points from Alan Dempsey, Philip Ivors and Paul Flaherty gave LIT a 10-point lead with 21 minutes to go.

Then WIT sprang to life and hit 1-7 without reply. Harry Kehoe got the first of two goals to ignite the fightback and with Mahony punishing every LIT foul with unerring free-taking, WIT drew level at 1-15 each with two minutes remaining. In an exciting finish, there was still time for two late goals before the game went to extra-time.

McInerney thought he'd won it for LIT when he netted with only 51 seconds left, but WIT 'keeper Stephen O'Keefe shrugged off the disappointment and launched a long puck out. LIT 'keeper Aaron Murphy batted the sliothair down straight into the path of Kehoe, who pulled on it brilliantly first time from 30 yards to net seconds before the hooter sounded.

The sides still could not be separated at half-time in extra-time, Tony Kelly with LIT's third goal drawing them level at 3-16 to 2-19 at the break.

The sides traded points before Dillon's late winner put WIT through to today's final.

Scorers – Waterford IT: P Mahony 0-16 (13fs, 2 '65s'), H Kehoe 2-1, E Murphy 0-2, C Kenny, J Dillon 0-1 each. Limerick IT: T Kelly 1-5 (4fs), C McInerney 2-2, J Shanahan, A Dempsey 0-3 each, P Flaherty 0-2, P Ivors, P Begley 0-1 each.

WATERFORD IT – S O'Keefe; G Teehan, P Gahan, J Maher; T Hamill, J O'Dwyer, S Murphy; S Roche, C Kenny; H Kehoe, P Mahony, E Murphy; L McGrath, J Dillon, G O'Brien. Sub: J Langton for Kenny (44).

LIMERICK IT – A Murphy; S O'Gorman, M Minehan, C Nolan; P Kileen, E Boyce, B O'Connell; P Flaherty, A Dempsey; T Kelly, P Begley, M Gennery; P Ivors, C McInerney, J Shanahan. Subs: S McGrath for Kileen (46), P Hickey for Gennery (59).

REF – B Gavin (Offaly)

Irish Independent

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