We are down to the final eight teams in the Electric Ireland Fitzgibbon Cup 2019 with all four quarter-finals taking place across the country today.
We have been treated to a feast of talent so far during this year’s competition, not to mention a number of surprise results.
Each remaining team is littered with inter-county stars and we have selected a stand-out player from each one that are sure to make an impact in today’s showdowns.
1. Shane Conway (UCC/Kerry)
The Cork college have been extremely impressive throughout this campaign, easing to wins against holders, UL, UCD and NUIG. They are littered with Cork inter-county stars with Shane Kingston, Chris O’Leary, Mark Coleman, and Robbie O’Flynn all playing their parts for UCC as well as Tipperary’s Mark Kehoe.
However, Shane Conway has been their go-to man so far during the championship. The Kerry man has scored 20 points in their three games, 0-8 from play. He has been causing chaos among the opposition defence and is a man IT Carlow will be looking to contain during today’s encounter.
2. Colin Dunford (IT Carlow/Waterford)
Last year’s semi-finalists, IT Carlow have a number of high-profile names on their team including Colin Dunford of Waterford and Kilkenny’s Richie Leahy. The duo have been instrumental in their recovery from a first-round loss to LIT to secure wins over Garda College and Trinity College.
Dunford, in particular, has been a lethal force, scoring 2-1 for DJ Carey’s side against Garda College last week to seal their quarter-final spot, the two goals coming in the space of a minute in dreadful conditions. With their toughest task is yet to come in the form of UCC, Dunford will need to provide a goal threat once again.
3. Peter Duggan (LIT/Clare)
Peter Duggan is a man that needs no introduction having won an All-Star last year following a phenomenal year in the Clare jersey, and the Clooneyquin man has carried that form into the college competition.
The 26-year-old has a tally of 2-25 from three games for LIT as they breezed through the group stages of the Fitzgibbon Cup. The Limerick college, who are without the services of Davy Fitzgerald for the first time in 16 years, can also boast All-Ireland winners such as Peter Casey and Diarmuid Byrnes in their side and will be highly-fancied in their home quarter-final against NUIG later today.
4. Evan Niland (NUIG/Galway)
Despite winning only one encounter during the group stages, NUIG find themselves in the quarter-finals as runners-up of Group A. That win came against reigning champions, UL, and the result saw the Limerick side crash out of the competition.
Galway’s Evan Niland scored 11 points during that game in Dangan, having registered 0-12 against UCD the previous week, and also landed nine points against UCC in Pairc Ui Chaoimh last week. Jeff Lynskey has a number of Galway stars in his ranks including Sean Loftus, Brian Concannon, Darragh Burke and 2017 Young Hurler of the Year, Conor Whelan.
5. Paudie Foley (DCU/Wexford)
Coming into this year’s Fitzgibbon Cup, 2018 finalists and current League champions, DCU, were favourites to win it and it’s not hard to see why as they can call upon the services of a number on inter-county stars including Eoghan O’Donnell, Chris Crummy, Donal Burke and Paudie Foley.
Operating from the half-back line, the Wexford man has been particularly impressive during their campaign. As one of their free-takers, Foley has featured regularly on the scoreboard, registering four points against CIT and two points against WIT. Their all-Dublin quarter-final clash against DIT is one of the more highly anticipated quarter-finals.
6. Eoghan Dunne (TU Dublin City Campus -formerly DIT/Dublin)
Former Dublin underage star, Eoghan Dunne, has been in flying form for DIT throughout this campaign. He was particularly impressive against Mary I in their first game, scoring 1-7 as both he and the Mary I free-taker, Aaron Gillane, battled to give their side the advantage with Gillane narrowly winning out.
He also hit the net in their subsequent game against Maynooth with Liam Blanchfield, Davy Keogh and Niall Walsh also raising green flags. When they can also boast Tipperary’s Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher as one of their key men, DIT will prove no easy task for their neighbours.
7. Aaron Gillane (Mary I/Limerick)
Two-time champions, Mary I are littered with talent including Tipperary’s U21 winning captain, Colin English, Galway U21 star, Thomas Monaghan, Cork’s Luke Meade, and Colin Guilfoyle of Clare. But the man who has been a constant thorn in his opponents’ side is Aaron Gillane.
The Limerick man, together with Guilfoyle, has been the main scoring threat for Jamie Wall’s side, registering 1-15 against DIT and six points against Maynooth. The Limerick college will be itching to get back to another final having won the Fitzgibbon Cup in 2016 and 2017 and will fancy their chances against CIT.
8. Josh Beausang (CIT/Cork)
CIT recovered well from their opening loss to DCU to record a six-point victory over WIT in their final group game. Of their 15-point tally during that win, Cork underage star, Josh Beausang, scored nine points, all from placed balls. The Russell Rovers man also landed five points against DCU last month.
CIT will have their work cut out for them, heading to Mary I for their quarter-final tomorrow, but they have a number of leaders in their team that they can turn to, including Cork’s Shane Cummins and Tipperary’s Andrew Coffey.
Fitzgibbon Cup quarter-final fixtures:
(All games to take place on Thursday, February 7)
UCC v IT Carlow in Mardyke at 7pm
LIT v NUIG in LIT at 1pm
DCU v DIT in DCU Sportsground at 7.30pm
Mary I v CIT in MICL Grounds at 2.30pm.