Mary Immaculate College 2-19
Cork Insititute of Technology 0-12
A superb last-minute goal from Luke Meade sealed a comprehensive victory for Mary Immaculate College and the first spot in the Electric Ireland Fitzgibbon Cup semi-finals.
The 2017 winners were strong favourites going into this game and for good reason, as their star-studded team dominated CIT from start to finish.
All Ireland winner, Aaron Gillane finished as their top scorer but it was centre-back, Thomas Grimes, who was most impressive, topping off a wonderful defensive performance with one of the best points of the game late in the first-half.
The writing was on the wall from the get-go as Clare’s Gary Cooney netted Mary I’s first goal after less than two minutes following a brilliant supply from Thomas Monaghan. The Galway half-back chipped in with three points from play as the Limerick side raced into a six-point lead.
CIT did manage to stay in touch through Josh Beausang but were forced to live off frees thanks to the defensive effort of Mary I who never allowed the CIT forwards an inch of space.
Gillane once again showed his outrageous range of skill when he pointed a sideline cut and it looked to get an awful lot worse for CIT when Eoghan Cahill’s long-range free found its way into the back of Patrick Collins’ net but the whistle was blown for a square ball.
Tipperary’s Andrew Coffey, together with Beausang, pointed either side of a superb point from distance from Grimes, to leave CIT trailing by seven at the break.
— MIC_Limerick (@MICLimerick) February 7, 2019
Timmy Murphy’s side looked far from beaten as they emerged for the second half, however, and Coffey, Beausang and Shane Cummins grabbed early scores.
Though the referee was very willing to let the game flow, Gillane and Beausang were both afforded a number of opportunities from placed balls with Gillane’s accuracy just out-shining that of his CIT counterpart.
Mary I looked to be in cruise control as Clare’s newest discovery, Colin Guilfoyle, tapped over his first point of the game but CIT responded well through Coffey and Beausang to keep within six points of the home side.
There was a sense that Mary I could move up a gear all through the game, and that’s exactly what they did in the final five minutes, scoring four points without reply through Gillane, Philip Hickey and Michael O’Loughlin.
As the game ticked into injury time, Luke Meade gathered possession near the edge of his own half, before superbly dodging his defender and blasting the ball to the back of the net for what proved to be the final score of the game.
Mary I will now face NUIG in the Fitzgibbon Cup semi-final after the Galway college recorded a superb win over highly-fancied, LIT, in this afternoon’s other quarter-final.
Mary Immaculate: Eoghan Cahill; Eoghan Ryan, David Prendergast, Seamus Downey; Craig Morgan, Darren Browne, Thomas Grimes (0-1); Thomas Monaghan (0-4), Luke Meade (1-1); Aaron Gillane (0-7, 1 65, 1sl, 4f), Michael O’Loughlin (0-1), Colin O’Brien (0-1); Gary Cooney (1-1), Colin Guilfoyle (0-1), Philip Hickey (0-2).
CIT: Patrick Collins; Eoin Healy, Darragh Fanning, Kevin Galvin; Daniel Harrington, Enda Heffernan, Conor Prunty; John Good, David Noonan; Brian Everard (0-1), John Cooper (0-1), Shane Cummins (0-2); Josh Beausang (0-7, 6f), Andrew Coffey (0-2), Ryan Walsh.