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Tipp's McGrath and Waterford's Bennett both hit 1-5 as UL reach Fitzgibbon Cup last eight

A nine-point win for the Limerick-based college against NUI Galway today.

University of Limerick 2-21
NUI Galway 2-12

Eoin Brennan reports from UL

UL BECAME THE first college to advance to the Fitzgibbon Cup quarter-finals after maintaining their perfect start to Group B on home soil this afternoon against NUI Galway.

pjimage Tipperary and Waterford forwards starred today for UL. Source: INPHO

Taking the whip hand for the majority of the game, timely goals in each half from Tipperary’s John McGrath and Waterford’s Stephen Bennett ensured that last year’s finalists had enough of a cushion to withstand any NUI Galway late revolt.

Even the absence of Tony Kelly – in All-Ireland club semi-final action for Ballyea on Saturday – could not prevent UL from building on last week’s win over Cork IT.

McGrath’s 14th minute goal proved the difference in the opening half as they faced into a stiff breeze and fed off target man Michael Mullins to reap the rewards on their way to a 1-10 to 0-9 interval lead. Limerick’s Gearoid Hegarty also raided for three points.

A dejected Gearoid Hegarty Limerick's Geraoid Hegarty impressed for UL today. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

1-4 without reply in the opening seven minutes including an excellent flicked goal by Waterford senior Bennett pushed the hosts 2-13 to 0-9 clear and seemingly on their way to a comfortable victory.

To their credit, NUI Galway dug deep and after a Niall Mitchell 20 metre free billowed the net, a second goal from Sam Conlon in the 52nd minute slashed the arrears to just six at 2-17 to 2-11.

Niall Mitchell and Seanie O'Brien Niall Mitchell (left) scored 1-5 for NUI Galway today. Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

However, UL, despite some wayward shooting, could rely on Bennett to see out the victory as he fired three late points to keep their rivals at arm’s length and book their place in the last eight with a game to spare.

Scorers for UL: Stephen Bennett, John McGrath (0-4f) 1-5 each, Gearoid Hegarty 0-4, David Fitzgerald, Kevin Hehir 0-2 each, Lorcan Lyons, Tom Morrissey, Michael Mullins 0-1 each.

Scorers for NUI Galway: Niall Mitchell 1-5 (1-5f), Sam Conlon 1-1, Kevin McHugo, Ger Hennelly (0-1f) 0-2 each, Oisin Donnellan; Conor Cleary (0-1f) 0-1 each.

University of Limerick

1. David McCarthy (Glenroe, Limerick)

2. Michael Casey (Na Piarsaigh, Limerick)
6. Brian Troy (Emeralds, Kilkenny)
26. Liam O’Connor (Newmarket-on-Fergus, Clare)

5. Barry Heffernan (Nenagh Éire Óg, Tipperary)
12. Jason Forde (Silvermines, Tipperary)
3. David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona, Clare)

7. Aidan McGuane (Kilmaley, Clare)
9. Lorcan Lyons (Monaleen, Limerick)

10. Tom Morrissey (Ahane, Limerick)
8. Kevin Hehir (Inagh-Kilnamona, Clare)
11. Gearoid Hegarty (St Pat’s, Limerick)

13. Stephen Bennett (Ballysaggart, Waterford)
14. Michael Mullins (Gort, Galway)
15. John McGrath (Loughmore Castleiney, Tipperary)

Subs

18. David Gleeson (Ballinahinch, Tipperary) for Hegarty
22. John Paul Lucey (Shamrocks, Waterford) for Hehir
23. Ronan Lynch (Na Piarsaigh, Limerick) for Mullins
4. Gearoid Ryan (Clarecastle, Clare) for Casey

NUI Galway

1. Cathal Tuohy (Tommie Larkins, Tipperary)

4. Conor Ryan (Nenagh Éire Óg, Tipperary)
3. Barry Fitzpatrick (Sixmilebridge, Clare)
2. Conor Cosgrove (Galway)

5. Mike Connelly (Liam Mellows, Galway)
6. Conor Cleary (Kilmaley, Clare)
7. Ger Forde (Ardrahan, Galway)

8. Ian Fox (Sarsfields, Galway)
9. Oisin Donnellan (Feakle, Clare)

10. Niall Mitchell (Clonkill, Westmeath)
11. Kevin McHugo (Tommie Larkins, Galway)
12. Ger Hennelly (Ardrahan, Galway)

18. Conor Whelan (Kinvara, Galway)
14. Sam Conlon (Roscrea, Tipperary)
13. Gearoid Loughnane (Loughrea, Galway)

Subs

26. Shane Moloney (Rahoon/Newcastle, Galway) for Forde
22. Stephen Barrett (Liam Mellows, Galway) for Loughnane
27. Pearse McCrann (Ardrahan, Galway) for Fox
20. Jack Cummins (Gort, Galway) for Hennelly

Referee: John McCormack (Tipperary)

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About the author:

Eoin Brennan

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