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Electric Ireland Fitzgibbon Cup Preview: Two Exciting Derbies In Store

Fitzgibbon Cup

Following an intriguing opening round, the Electric Ireland Fitzgibbon Cup continues this weekend with plenty more action to enjoy.

The second round begins on Friday evening when IT Carlow welcome GMIT to their grounds before the action continues all across the weekend.

Read our preview of the games below.

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Group A

Maynooth University v DCU Dochas Eireann: Sunday, January 19, Maynooth, 12pm.

Group favourites DCU will be hoping to maintain their positive start to the 2020 campaign when they travel to Maynooth on Sunday. The Dublin side boasts an impressive array of county stars including Rory O’Connor, John Donnelly and Fergal Whitely, who all had a hand in their opening victory against UL, though it was Donal Burke who stole the show with 0-13 to his name. Maynooth, meanwhile, survived a late onslaught from Trinty to get their campaign up and running but the Kildare college will be up against it this week in their second season in the Fitzgibbon ranks. They will be looking to the likes of Andrew Gaffney and Conor Stakelum to inspire them to victory.

University of Limerick v Trinity Dublin: Sunday, January 19, UL Grounds, 2pm.

2018 winners UL will be hoping to get their campaign back on track when they welcome Trinity College Dublin to Limerick on Sunday. Gary Kirby’s side fell to a three-point defeat to DCU last weekend despite the best efforts of Tipperary’s Cian Darcy who finished the day with 15 points. The college have plenty of experience in their ranks, including the likes of Kyle Hayes and Ronan Lynch, which should be enough to see them past Trinty but the Dublin side will be out for revenge following their opening loss. A 64th minute free was enough to hand a one-point victory to Maynooth but Trinity will take confidence from their late rally in the game as they look to cause an upset in group A of the Fitzgibbon Cup.

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Group B

Mary Immaculate College v Limerick IT: Sunday, January 19, Mary I, 1.30pm.

All eyes will be on MICL Grounds this weekend when two of Limerick’s heavyweights go head to head in a local derby. Mary I will be the happier of the two going into the clash having recorded a nine-point win over TU Dublin last weekend. The teaching college may not have the star power of 2017 when they last won the competition, but they have a number of influential players in Eoghan Cahill, Colin English and Tim O’Mahony. A win on Sunday would be enough to see them through to the knock out stages but LIT cannot afford another defeat following their loss to WIT in the first round. Billy Seymour was in top form for the Limerick side with 1-11 and they will be relying heavily on his free-taking ability to get them over the line.

Waterford IT v TU Dublin City Campus: Sunday, January 19, WIT Sports Ground, 2pm.

2015 Fitzgibbon Cup champions WIT enjoyed a positive start to their campaign with that nine-point victory over LIT in Limerick with Stephen Condon and Austin Gleeson in impressive form. However, an injury to the former Hurler of the Year late in the second half could prove to be a big blow to the college. With the likes of Jack Prendergast and Calum Lyons to steady the ship, WIT should have enough in the tank at home to beat TU Dublin but, like LIT, the Dublin side will be desperate to keep their hopes for a knock out place alive.

Fitzgibbon Cup

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Group C

University College Cork v Cork IT: Sunday, January 19, Mardyke, 3pm.

Fans will be treated to another local derby when rivals UCC and CIT go head-to-head in the three-team group on Sunday. With one game already under their belt, reigning champions UCC are likely to have an advantage going into the clash in the Mardyke. Tom Kingston’s side overcame NUIG on a scoreline of 0-19 to 0-17 with Kerry’s Shane Conway continuing his sparkling form from 2019 while his fellow county stars, Paddy O’Loughlin, Mark Kehoe and Mark Coleman also played their part. This is the first outing in this year’s competition for CIT who last reached the Fitzgibbon Cup final in 2014. Their top scorer from last season Josh Beausang is once again part of their squad and they will look to make an immediate impact on the competition.

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Group D

IT Carlow v GMIT, IT Carlow, Friday, January 17, 7pm.

Round 2’s action throws-in this evening when high-flying IT Carlow welcome GMIT to their grounds. The 2017 finalists were highly-impressive in their opening round, securing a seven-point win over UCD, despite trailing by three points at the break. Liam Blanchfield, Chris Nolan and Cathal Dunbar each registered a goal while Kilkenny stars Richie Leahy and Niall Brassil also found themselves on the scoresheet. Like CIT, this is GMIT’s first outing in this year’s competition. They qualified for the Fitzgibbon Cup following a dominant campaign in the Ryan Cup last year in which they eased to victory. They will be hoping to prove they are not a side to be taken lightly as they set into tonight’s tough task. The game will be streamed live on www.electricireland.ie/hec.

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Electric Ireland’s Sigerson, Fitzgibbon and Higher Education Championship campaign, FirstClassRivals, showcases the unique trait of these historic GAA competitions that sees unexpected alliances form when fierce county rivals put aside their differences to play together, challenge together, and win together.

Electric Ireland is proud to support the Higher Education Championships and will live stream a selection of Fitzgibbon and Sigerson Cup games. Watch the games and follow the Championship at www.electricireland.ie/hec and be a part of the conversation on social media using the hashtag, #FirstClassRivals or visit @ElectricIreland on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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Author: Marisa Kennedy

Marisa is a Digital Journalist with Pundit Arena. You can contact her at marisa@punditarena.com or on Twitter