Monday, March 08, 2010
THIRTY years of failures and disappointment in the Fitzgibbon Cup
They did it in heart-stopping fashion with Clare’s precocious
The manner of NUIG’s victory was sensational. For the opening
WIT’s methodical and controlled hurling generated a handsome lead of
But NUIG’s stunning revival, largely underpinned by a brilliant goal
For Galway senior John Lee, this was his last shot at Fitzgibbon Cup
“I’ve been here six years trying to win it, lost three semi-finals
“I’m delighted for Tony Regan (selector and former NUIG sports
Regan himself was simply delighted to see hurling in the college
For WIT, this was a quite devastating experience. It was particularly
But somehow NUIG roused themselves. The switch of Finian Coone to
But inspired by Hammersley, WIT looked to be close to victory with a
Scorers for NUI Galway: F Coone 0-9 (0-6f, 0-1 ‘65), C Morey 1-1, S
Scorers for Waterford IT: T Hammersley 1-11 (0-10f), B O’Meara, R
NUI GALWAY: D Tuohy (Clare); D Nash (Clare), J Lee (Galway), D
WATERFORD IT: A Power (Waterford); B Kenny (Galway), R McCarthy
Subs: K Reade (Tipperary) for Good (44), S Power (Waterford) for
Referee: Diarmuid Kirwan (Cork).
Gallant NUIG reap reward
FITZGIBBON CUP FINAL/NUIG 1-17 Waterford 1-6 AET : NUIG BRIDGED a
Waterford IT, bidding for their fifth title in eight years, seemed
John Lee, whose switch to centre-back helped instigate their comeback
“I am just delighted for ‘Horse’ Regan. After more than 30 years
“We were seven points down against DIT and came back. We were three
In the end promising Clare U-21 John Conlon seized the moment to
Conlon must have felt his Fitzgibbon Cup final was over when he was
NUIG’s exertions in the semi-final seemed to have proved costly as
But the switching of Lee to centre-back, coupled with the emergence
Waterford, who led 1-7 to 0-4 at the break thanks to a fine goal from
NUI Galway led by 1-14 to 1-13 at the interval in extra-time but
NUI GALWAY: D Tuohy; D Nash, J Lee, D Connolly; P Gordon, S Hennessy
WATERFORD IT: A Power; B Kenny, S Fives, N Connors; W Hutchinson, E
Referee: D Kirwan (Cork)
Ulster Bank Fitzgibbon Cup Final
NUI Galway 1-17 Waterford IT 1-16 AET - first title for NUI Galway since 1980
Ulster Bank Ryan Cup Final
Ulster Bank Fergal Maher Cup Final
Galway get the right side of LIT
FITZGIBBON CUP SEMI-FINAL/NUI GALWAY 1-24 Limerick IT 1-23 AET:
GALWAY DEFENDER John Lee put the shackles on his county colleague Joe Canning as hosts NUIG shocked favourites Limerick IT in Dangan yesterday.
Canning did not score from play until he landed a point in extra-time and, while the quality of ball into him was poor, Lee dealt with the threat sufficiently to give NUIG a fighting chance.
And they seized the opportunity to book a place in today’s final as they bid to bridge a 30-year gap since they lifted their ninth crown.
And yet Canning - who still managed to hit 0-13 - could have won it in the dying seconds but he saw a rasping 21-yard free fly over rather than under the bar.
NUIG got a huge boost in the second minute when Cormac O’Donovan fired home a goal but Willie Hyland’s accuracy hauled LIT back into contention.
The sides were level six times in the opening half as Canning and Coone regularly exchanged pointed frees.
The teams were level at 1-8 to 0-11 at the break but NUIG got a great start to the second-half with points from Domhnall O’Donovan, David Barrett and Coone and in between Canning uncharacteristically mishit a 21-yards free goal opportunity which skewed wide.
Canning recovered by landing sideline pucks from either side but NUIG were more hungry and should have pulled away but a final wides tally of 18 allowed Limerick IT stay in the contest.
Limerick IT drew level with a Timmy Dalton goal five minutes from time and led in stoppage time before Séamus Hennessy rescued NUIG with a point from distance on the left touchline.
NUIG’s David Barrett was red-carded for a wild pull in the dying moments but they led by 1-21 to 1-20 at the interval in extra-time.
Points from Shane Quinlan, Coone and Kelly were enough in the end to send them through as Canning’s last-gasp effort failed to rescue the favourites.
NUI GALWAY: D Tuohy; D Nash, J Lee, D Connolly; P Gordon, S Hennessy (0-2, one free), P Kelly (0-1); B Daly (0-2), D O’Donovan (0-2); D Barrett (0-2), K Keehan, C O’Donovan (1-0); G Kelly (0-2), J Conlon (0-5, four frees), F Coone (0-5, three frees). Subs: C Morey (0-2) for Keehan (37 mins), S Quinlan (0-1) for C O’Donovan, 47 (mins), JP O’Connell for Kelly (56 mins).
LIMERICK IT: M Ryan; C Chaplin, C Cooney, J Gunning; N O’Connell (0-1, free), J McInerney, R Sherlock; P O’Brien (0-1), S Collins (0-2); N Quinn (0-2), S Callanan, W Hyland (0-3); S Tobin, J Canning (0-13, nine frees, two sidelines, one 65), B Gaffney (0-1). Subs: J O’Keeffe for Sherlock (27 mins), T Dalton (1-0) for O’Brien (36 mins).
Referee: B Gavin (Offaly).
Hennessy talks up NUIG’s rocky road to success
NUI Galway 1-17 Waterford IT 1-16 (After extra-time)
Monday March 08 2010
Tipperary hurler Seamus Hennessy — who landed the last-gasp points that sent the semi-final and final to extra-time — reckoned that tough group games all season had moulded NUI Galway into a winning side. Hennessy himself showed great nerve to force Saturday’s decider at Pearse Stadium into extra-time, repeating his feat of the previous day when a gripping contest with red-hot favourites Limerick IT also went to an extra 20 minutes. In the end it was the promising Clare U-21 player John Conlon who seized the moment when he shot the match-winner in stoppage-time at the end of extra-time.
“This is a massive success for the college and it is just wonderful to be part of it,” Hennessy said. “Even in the group games we were under pressure, but the one thing this team has is character — and the willingness to keep going till the bitter end. “We built that up during the year and it served us well in the semi-final and final.” Conlon must have felt his final was over when he was subbed with four minutes left in normal time.
But he was brought back on in extra-time and emerged as the hero as, ironically, the man who initially replaced him, James O’Gorman, levelled in stoppage-time before Conlon seized the moment to snatch the title with a point from 25 yards.
NUIG’s exertions in edging out LIT in Friday’s 1-24 to 1-23 thriller after extra-time seemed to have come with a heavy price as they were sluggish for the opening 40 minutes and Waterford IT seemed poised for victory when they led by 1-11 to 0-5 after 49 minutes.
Remarkably, Waterford failed to score for the remainder of normal time and the switching of John Lee to centre-back, coupled with the emergence of the likes of Hennessy, Patrick Kelly and Caimin Morey, hauled the hosts back into it. Waterford, who led by 1-7 to 0-4 at the break thanks for a fine goal from Timmy Hammersly, were just not able to deal with the challenge.
A superb goal from Morey gave momentum to the NUIG fightback after 42 minutes and the revival was completed when Hennessy levelled in the dying seconds.
NUI Galway led by 1-14 to 1-13 at the interval in extra-time, but Waterford held the edge after the restart, with Hammersly and Henry Vaughan putting them back in front.
NUIG skipper Finian Coone levelled before Hammersly brought his total to 1-11. But NUIG never gave up and as the game slipped into stoppage-time, sub O’Gorman levelled before Shane Quinlan set Conlon up for the match-winner.
The victory ended 30 years of frustration and heartbreak for the Galway college and no one was more thrilled than Galway defender Lee.
“I am six years in college trying to win this and it is one hell of a tough competition to win,” Lee said. “All year we had our backs against the wall. We were seven points down against DIT and came back. We were three down against UCD and came back; all year we have done the same.”
Lee also paid tribute to College GAA officer and former Roscommon footballer Tony ‘Horse’ Regan, who is retiring after decades of service.
“I am just delighted for ‘Horse’ Regan,” Lee added. “After more than 30 years involved, this is his retirement present. We really wanted to win this for him more than anyone. That’s what makes it so sweet.”
Scorers — NUI Galway: F Coone 0-9 (0-6f, 0-1 ‘65), C Morey 1-1, S Hennessy 0-3 (0-2f), J Conlon 0-2, B Daly, J O’Gorman 0-1 each. Waterford IT: T Hammersly 1-11 (0-9f), R McLoughney, B O’Meara 0-2 each, H Vaughan 0-1.
NUI Galway — D Tuohy; D Nash, J Lee, D Connolly; P Gordon, S Hennessy, P Kelly; B Daly, D O’Donovan; J Conlon, K Keehan, C O’Donovan; G Kelly, C Morey, F Coone. Subs: JP O’Connell for C O’Donovan (h-t), S Quinlan for Keehan (h-t), J O’Gorman for Conlon (56), Conlon for Kelly (60).
Waterford IT — A Power; B Kenny, S Fives, N Connors; W Hutchinson, E Barrett, PJ Rowe; R McCarthy, M Molloy; F O’Leary, B O’Meara, R Good; T Hammersly, K Grehan, R McLoughney. Subs: K Reade for Good (42), S Power for Grehan (53), W O’Dwyer for Molloy (56), H Vaughan for Power (60).
Ref — D Kirwan (Cork).