Gaffney's accuracy crucial as LIT hang on
Limerick IT 1-13
Waterford IT 0-13
Fitzgibbon Cup (SH)
Strong wind was a crucial factor in this game as Limerick Institute of Technology did just about enough in the first half to hold on for victory.
Backed by the breeze, LIT had led 1-9 to 0-3 at the break, but in a very tight finish the Waterford side piled on the scores thanks to a seven-point haul by Tipperary star Timmy Hammersley.
Clare star Bernard Gaffney was the scorer-in-chief for LIT with 1-4, all of them coming from frees, and his goal, three minutes before the interval, was ultimately the difference between the sides, although Laois player Willie Hyland also contributed four points from play.
Waterford IT opened the scoring through Fintan O'Leary and Ray McLoughney before Gaffney and John O'Keeffe scored points to tie it up after seven minutes, but Limerick IT suffered a big blow when Tipperary All-Ireland winner Seamus Callanan had to retire with a shoulder injury.
From there on, however, LIT took control, with a further 1-3 from frees for Gaffney and Sean Tobin's two points from play helping the home side into a big lead as Waterford IT had to wait until the last minute of the half for their third point -- a free by Hammersley.
Limerick IT had the opening point of the second half by Paudie O'Brien but then Waterford IT began to fight back, with McLoughney and Enda Barrett starting the flow of points until only a goal separated the sides with five minutes remaining.
Hammersley narrowed the gap back to two points but WIT had to play the all-important last three minutes a man down after Barrett was sent off, a late tackle earning him a second yellow card.
Davy Fitzgerald's side took advantage as Hyland restored their three-point advantage and sealed the win.
Conor Cooney, James McInerney and Ciaran Cowan shone at the back for Limerick IT in those tense closing minutes, while Paul Browne and Paudie O'Brien did well at midfield. Tobin also gave a helping hand to Hyland in attack.
Waterford had excellent defenders in David Langton and Shane Fives with Fintan O'Leary and McLoughney impressive among the forwards.
Scorers -- Limerick IT: B Gaffney 1-4 (1-4f), W Hyland 0-4, S Tobin 0-2, J O'Keeffe, S Collins, P O'Brien 0-1 each. Waterford IT: T Hammersley 0-7 (0-5f, 0-1 '65'), F O'Leary 0-3, R Mcloughney 0-2, E Barrett 0-1.
Limerick IT -- M Ryan; E Glynn, C Cowan, C Cooney; P Donnellan, J McInerney, J O'Keeffe; P Browne, P O'Brien; S Collins, W Hyland, S Callanan; S Lambert, B Gaffney, S Tobin. Sub: D Reale for Callanan (7).
Waterford IT -- L Tierney; B Kenny, S Fives, N Connors; W Hutchinson, D Langton, E Barrett; M Molloy, L Harney; F O'Leary, J Mulhall, PJ Roe; R McLoughney, B O'Meara, T Hammersley. Sub: J Dowling for Molloy (40).
Ref -- A Kelly (Galway)