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O'Brien's late winner completes UL title fightback

Thomas O'Brien's 61st-minute goal saw University of Limerick grab their first Ulster Bank Fitzgibbon Cup title since 2002, after a battling display at Waterford IT yesterday.

Substitute O'Brien's late match-winner propelled UL into the lead for the first time, after Ger Cunningham's side battled back from a nine-point deficit.

LIT were in firm command in the early stages as goals from Limerick duo Sean Tobin and Donie Reale helped them to a 2-7 to 0-4 lead in the 23rd minute.

UL cut the gap to six points at half-time, and gave a solid display on the restart with a fourth point from Galway's David Burke levelling the game with 40 seconds remaining.

O'Brien's goal edged UL ahead for the first time, with LIT's woes deepening late on following a red card for Laois senior player Willie Hyland in injury-time.

Scorers -- UL: P Cronin, D Burke (1f), A Quinn (3f) 0-4 each; P Kelly (2f) 0-3; T O'Brien 1-0; B Beckett, B Carroll 0-1 each. LIT: D Reale 1-1; S Tobin 1-0; J McInerney (3f), B Gaffney (3f) 0-3 each; P Browne, P O'Brien, S Collins, JB O'Halloran 0-1 each.

UL: T Lowry; P Stapleton, M Walsh, S Hickey; B Bugler, PJ Delaney, K Joyce; D Burke, P Cronin; B Carroll, B Beckett, P Kelly; K Morris, P Murphy, A Quinn. Subs: M Boran for Murphy (26); T Connors for Boran (HT); T O'Brien for Carroll (57).

LIT: M Ryan; E Glynn, C Cone, C Cooney; JB O'Halloran, J McInerney, J O'Keefe; S Lambert, P O'Brien; S Collins, W Hyland, P Browne; B Gaffney, S Tobin, D Reale.

Referee: Michael Wadding (Waterford).

Sunday Indo Sport