Home GAA Fitzgibbon Cup Review: UCC & IT Carlow Battle Their Way To Final Spots

Fitzgibbon Cup Review: UCC & IT Carlow Battle Their Way To Final Spots

IT Carlow and UCC will contest the 2020 Electric Ireland Higher Education Fitzgibbon Cup final after they overcame Mary Immaculate College and DCU respectively.

DJ Carey’s men put five goals past Mary I in the first of an exciting double-header in the DCU Sportsgrounds on Saturday. Following that UCC and the host side served up a dramatic game which finished in a one-point victory for the reigning champions.

Fitzgibbon Cup

IT Carlow and UCC will now battle it out for the Electric Ireland Fitzgibbon Cup in Wednesday’s decider in the DCU Sportsgrounds at 7.30pm.

Read our round-up of both semi-finals below.

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IT Carlow 5-14 Mary Immaculate College 0-15

Wexford’s Cathal Dunbar netted a brace of goals as IT Carlow stormed into the Electric Ireland Fitzgibbon Cup final with a five-goal win over Mary Immaculate College.

Fitzgibbon Cup

In difficult conditions, both sides were heavily reliant on their free takers for the majority of the opening half. IT Carlow stormed into a four-point lead before Mary I managed to level the game by the 14th minute. The Limerick side had edged into the front by the time Dunbar struck for his first score leaving them one-point adrift at the break.

Carey’s men began the second half in similar fashion but Mary I once again regained the lead and had opened up a two-point gap when IT Carlow hit a double blow, Stephen Bergin and Liam Blanchfield both hitting the back of the net in the space of a minute. Jamie Wall’s men emptied the bench in search of a goal to bring them back into contention but they were outscored by 2-5 to 0-1 in the closing stages with Dunbar and Chris Nolan firing the Carlow college into their second-ever Fitzgibbon Cup final.

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DCU DÉ 0-17 UCC 0-18

It took a sensational sideline score from UCC’s Mark Coleman in the 65th minute to see off the challenge of DCU Dóchas Éireann and book their spot in the Electric Ireland Fitzgibbon Cup final.

Tom Kingston’s side looked very assured in the opening exchanges, despite the worsening conditions, and they quickly built up a six-point lead. Shane Conway was once again immense for the current champions while DCU had to rely on goalkeeper Oisin Foley to keep them in the game with two wonderful saves. Eventually, the hosts settled down and helped by the introduction of Mullen brothers Adrian and Darren, as well as frees from Rory O’Connor, they outscored UCC by 0-7 to 0-1 in the closing stages of the first half to level the game at the break.

Fitzgibbon Cup

DCU took the lead in the first minute of the second half and maintained it for the rest of normal time. O’Connor, who finished the day with 0-11, helped them open up a four-point lead but through scores from Michael O’Halloran, Neil Montgomery and Conway, UCC found their way back into this game. The game looked destined for extra-time as both sides desperately went on the hunt for the winning scores. DCU sent two shots agonisingly wide before Coleman sent over his terrific strike in the final seconds of the four additional minutes.

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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.

About Marisa Kennedy

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