The Electric Ireland third level colleges hurling competition, the Fitzgibbon Cup, throws in for the 2019 season this weekend and ahead of the action, we have profiled some of the players that are sure to light up the competition.
1. Seamus Flanagan (UCD)
This time last year, you might not have known the name Seamus Flanagan, but after an incredible 2018 that finished with him lifting the Liam MacCarthy Cup with Limerick, he is now a household name within Limerick GAA. Flanagan is currently studying Radiography in the college and hopes to go one step further in the Fitzgibbon Cup than last year, when they lost out in the quarter-final stages to DIT.
Flanagan credits the Fitzgibbon Cup with giving him the exposure that eventually led to his inclusion in the Limerick squad for the year. Given his tally of 3-30 for the county, many will be excited to see what he can bring to the competition.
2. Jake Morris (UL)
Jake Morris is another player who enjoyed a stellar 2018 campaign, ending in All Ireland glory with the Tipperary U21 team. Many will remember his senior debut for the Premier County back in May when he came on as a substitute in the Munster round-robin clash with Cork and scored the equalising point that kept Tipp’s campaign rolling for another week.
Morris scored six points in Nenagh’s loss to Clonoulty Rossmore in the Tipperary championship final in October and was also a member of the UL Freshers team that reached the All Ireland final in 2018. Having lost a number of high profile players, the college will be hoping he can carry that form into 2019 as they look to secure back-to-back Fitzgibbon Cup titles.
3. Paudie Foley (DCU)
DCU have enjoyed a meteoric rise in the Fitzgibbon Cup in recent years, culminating in them reaching the final of the competition for the first time ever last year. They then followed that up with victory in the Fitzgibbon League back in December. Paudie Foley will be a key man if they are to go one step further in 2019.
This will be the final year playing in the competition for the Wexford defender and he has certainly shown serious form in the run up to it. Foley scored 0-7 against Kilkenny last weekend as Davy Fitzgerald’s charges booked their place in the Walsh Cup final. The half-back scored eight points during last year’s championship and will be a vital leader for DCU in 2019.
4. Thomas Monaghan (Mary I)
Thomas Monaghan is in his fourth year in Mary I and having tasted victory in the competition in 2016 and 2017, he will be hoping for more of the same this year. Though they have lost some major names such as Hurler of the Year, Cian Lynch, Mary I are still a force to be reckoned with when they can boast the likes of Luke Meade, Aaron Gillane and Monaghan.
Since winning an All Ireland minor medal with Galway in 2015, Monaghan has impressed on the U21 scene as was a pivotal player in last year’s panel who won their first ever Leinster title. That has led to him becoming a regular feature in Micheál Donoghue’s side. Consistent performances in the Fitzgibbon Cup could lead the way for him breaking into Galway’s highly competitive starting fifteen.