A powerful display saw last year’s Fitzgibbon Cup champions Mary I progress to this year’s Semi- final stages with a 4-18 to 1-16 win over NUIG.
The Limerick College started the game strong from the off with two points from half forward Darragh O’Donovan and a goal from Tipperary’s Alan Flynn who finished to the back of the net after a Colm Galvin shot was blocked.
Aaron Gillane went on to score three fine points for Mary I in quick succession. It was only the start of what would be a huge con of 2-10 to the Mary I total for Gilane who was imperious through the contest.
NUIG finally got into the game with a fantastic point from the dominant full back and Clare senior Conor Cleary and from midfield player Oisin Donovan.
The second Mary I goal came in the 19th minute when corner forward Luke Meade caught an exceptional high ball and passed it on to his team mate Tadgh Gallagher who blasted the ball into the back of NUIG keeper Cathal Tuohy’s net to leave the scores 2-08 to 0-08.
Further points by Dillane and NUIG’s Gearoid Loughnane left the scores 2-11 to 11 points at half time leaving Mary I with a good six point lead going into the second half.
Mary I came out after half time on a roll scoring a goal in the 34th minute when Gillane hit a bullet of a shot into the net after some brilliant work down the filed by half back Tipperary Senior Ronan Maher and Galvin.
10 minutes later Gillane got his second and his teams 3rd goal of the match when he flew by the Galway College’s defence and finished to the top right hand corner of the net. There was nothing the hapless NUIG keeper Tuohy could do about the strike.
NUIG got a few scores from frees from Loughnane and a half chance at a goal that was blocked. Despite this they could make no significant inroads to the Mary I lead.
Mary I marched on with four points from Gallagher and Meade. Try as they might NUIG simply couldn’t match the scoring prowess of their opponents and rarely threatened to go on the goal spree that the would need to make an impression on the lead.
In the end Mary I were the much stronger team winning with a scoring tally of 11 points up on their opponents.
Mary I will now play in the Fitzgibbon Cup semi final on February 24th in GMIT either against LIT or UCD with those ties to take place later this afternoon.
Man of the Match:
Mary I had some brilliant performers on the day such as Ronan Maher, Colm Galvin and Darragh O Donovan but without doubt the award has to go to the suburb Aaron Gillane. The Limerick man was fantastic all afternoon, hitting his scores exceptionally and working tirelessly for his team. With a scoring tally of 2-10 as well it was not a bad day in the office for the Patrickswell’s man.
Ciaran Barrett (Tipperary); David Sweeney (Tipperary), Richie English (Limerick), Eoin Quirke (Clare); Conor Twomey (Cork), Ronan Maher (Tipperary), Alan Flynn (Tipperary); Colm Galvin (Clare), Stephen Cahill (Tipperary); Darragh O’Donovan (Limerick), Michael O’Neill (Clare), Aaron Gillane (Limerick); Tadhg Gallagher (Tipperary), Cian Lynch (Limerick), Luke Meade (Cork). Subs: Thomas Monaghan (Galway) for Tadhg Gallagher (38mins), Thomas Grimes (Limerick) for Aaron Gillane (45mins), Colm Stapleton (Laois) for Conor Twomey (49mins), Micheal O’Loughlin (Clare) for Cian Lynch (51mins), Paul O’Connell (Clare) for Darragh O’Donovan (55mins).
Cathal Tuohy (Galway); Conor Ryan (Tipperary), Ger Fennelly (Tipperary), Ger Forde (Galway); Shane Moloney (Galway), Conor Cleary (Clare), Mike Connelly (Galway); Ian Fox (Galway), Oisin Donnellan (Galway); Conor Whelan (Galway), Kevin McHugo (Galway), Gearoid Loughnane (Galway); Gerry Hennelly (Galway), Sam Conlon (Tipperary), Aidan Helebert (Galway). Subs: Niall Mitchell (Westmeath) for Aiden Helebert (38mins), Jack Cummins (Galway) for Kevin McHugo (44mins), Conor Cosgrove (Galway) for Mike Connelly (54mins), Stephen Barrett for Gearoid Loughnane (57mins).
Mary I: Aaron Gillane 2-10 (0-4frees, 0-2 ‘65), Luke Meade 1-2, Michael O’Neill 0-3, Tadhg Gallagher 1-0, Darragh O’Donovan 0-2, Thomas Monaghan 0-1.
NUIG: Gerry Hennelly 0-9 (6frees 2 ‘65), Conor Whelan 0-3 (1 free), Gearoid Loughnane 1-0, Oisin Donnellan, Conor Cleary (free), Sam Conlon and Ian Fox 0-1 each.