Fitzgibbon Cup Semi-Final – WIT 2-21 LIT 3-17

Waterford Institute of Technology defeated the Limerick Institute of Technology in the Irish Daily Mail  Fitzgibbon Cup Semi-Final on Friday February 28th at Queens University Belfast.

Waterford IT into Fitzgibbon final after thriller

Report by Orla Bannon for GAA.ie 

IDM Fitzgibbon Cup Semi-Final: Limerick IT 3-17 Waterford IT 2-21 (AET)

WIT staged a remarkable comeback from ten points down to beat Limerick IT after extra-time in Friday’s first Fitzgibbon Cup semi-final in Belfast. Ballygunnar’s Pauric Mahony hit an incredible 0-16, all but one from placed balls, with 12 of those points coming in normal time, but it was full-forward Jake Dillon who hit the winning point for WIT three minutes before the end of extra-time.

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 totally comfortable. Cathal McInerney got the only goal of the first-half after 25 minutes after a lovely turn and low finish to the net to give LIT a 1-12 to 0-6 lead at half-time. WIT were reliant on frees from Pauric Mahony and Cathal Kenny got their only other point from play.

Even though the Waterford college had the wind in the second-half, LIT stretched their lead further with points from Alan Dempsey, Philip Ivors and Paul Flaherty to take a commanding nine point lead with 21 minutes to go. WIT sprang to life however, and hit 1-7 without reply in the second-half.

Harry Kehoe got the first of two goals for WIT in the 46th minute 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. Clare’s Cathal McInerney thought he’d won it for LIT when he kicked the ball into the net with only 51 seconds remaining, after a great catch by Philip Ivors to set up the chance. WIT goalkeeper Stephen O’Keefe instantly shrugged off the disappointment of conceding a last minute goal and launched the ball long. LIT goalkeeper Aaron Murphy came off his line and batted the sliotair down straight into the path of Harry Kehoe who pulled on it brilliantly first time from 30 yards out and the ball flew into the 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 tomorrow’s final.

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Scorers for LIT: T Kelly 1-5 (4f), C McInerney 2-2, J Shanahan, A Dempsey 0-3 each, P Flaherty 0-2, P Ivors, P Begley 0-1 each

Scorers for WIT: P Mahony 0-16 (13f, 2 ‘65s’), H Kehoe 2-1, E Murphy 0-2, C Kenny, J Dillon 0-1 each

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)

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. Subs: J Langton for Kenny (44)

REFEREE: Brian Gavin

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