After a hugely controversial Fitzgibbon Cup 2015 campaign, we are now left with four teams, WIT, CIT, UL and LIT to do battle this weekend on Limerick IT’s campus.
Both semi-finals are down for decided and here we give our preview on predictions as to who will face off in the final of the 2015 Fitzgibbon Cup.
WIT v CIT
This year’s first semi-final sees a repeat of last year’s final in which WIT prevailed on a scoreline of 0-17 to 0-12. Both colleges have since lost and gained players but in many people’s eyes it will still come down to the battle between WIT’s decorated free-take Pauric Mahony and CIT’s John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer.
CIT boast the talent of inter-county stars Mark Ellis, O’Dwyer of Tipperary and the returning Aidan Walsh who is now also solely focused on hurling for his college. Furthermore, they hope to count on Bill Cooper and Jamie Coughlan in the forward line. However, both are struggling with injuries and it remains to be seen if they will feature for Pat Mulcahy’s charges over the weekend.
On the other hand, WIT and manager Colm Bonnar will look to the survivors from last year’s side in Jake Dillon, Pauric Mahony and Liam McGrath to guide their side to glory. With Austin Gleeson also in their ranks WIT have every chance of claiming a second Fitzgibbon title in as many years.
However, it is CIT that will be gunning for revenge and with the added talent of Aidan Walsh, they should prevail marginally.
LIT v UL
LIT will play host to Limerick rivals UL in the second semi-final, scheduled to be played at 15:00, in what is a repeat of last year’s quarter-final in which Davy Fitzgerald masterminded success for the Institue of Technology.
Crucial to Fitzgerald’s side’s victory last year was Tony Kelly who hit 1-10 in that game. However the 2013 Hurler of the Year will today be donning the colours of UL if he is passed fit. Fitzgerald has described his side as ”a very average, hard-working team” and will be up against it on their home patch.
UL and Brian Lohan posses star-quality within their ranks. The aforementioned Kelly is aided by the likes of David McInerney, John McGrath and Jason Forde who will provide Davy Fitz and his side with plenty of food for thought.
UL, who have underachieved recently in this competition, will believe that this is their year and one wold expect them to go all the way this weekend.
Seán Ó Murchú, Pundit Arena.