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Tony Kelly man-of-the-match as UL celebrate Fitzgibbon Cup final replay win over WIT

Brian Lohan’s side made no mistake at the second attempt in Páirc Uí Rinn tonight.

UL players celebrate after the game.
UL players celebrate after the game.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

UL 2-18
Waterford IT 1-14

UL CLAIMED THE Fitzgibbon Cup title for the fifth time as they beat Waterford IT in tonight’s final replay in Páirc Uí Rinn.

Goals in each half, from Daire Quinn and Tommy Heffernan, proved to be the key components of the victory while goalkeeper Paul Maher made two important saves, from WIT attackers Johnny Hayes and Ger Malone.

In addition, Brian Lohan’s side were able to call on big performances from man of the match Tony Kelly at midfield, centre-back and captain David McInerney and free-taker John McGrath, who finished with six points, the same as Kelly.

Gavin O'Beien under pressure from David McInerney and Cathal McInerney WIT's Gavin O'Brien under pressure from UL's David and Cathal McInerney. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Quinn’s 14th-minute goal helped UL to establish daylight for the first time as they moved 1-4 to 0-3 ahead, though there was an air of fortune to it. The wing-back’s clearance was dropping in the WIT goalmouth but, as full-back Ger Teehan tried to claim possession, the ball ricocheted into the roof of the net and out.

After consultation with his umpires, referee Barry Kelly awarded the goal and by the 19th minute it was 1-6 to 0-4, the lead stretching to 1-9 to 0-6 by half-time. WIT were heavily reliant on Pauric Mahony for first-half scores, but they weren’t helped by the early loss of Austin Gleeson to a hamstring injury he had had coming into the game.

WIT corner-back Tom Fox – the scorer of the late equaliser to force the replay – got the first point of the second half but it didn’t usher in a period of dominance for them. UL, inspired by Kelly’s majesty at midfield, continued to keep the scoreboard humming.

UL players celebrate with the cup The UL players celebrate their victory. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Jason Forde’s sideline cut on 48 put them 1-16 to 0-10 ahead and Maher saved from Malone immediately after. A long-range Kelly free augmented the lead before the killer goal, Heffernan finishing after McGrath and Conor Martin had linked well.

UL didn’t score after another Kelly free on 53, but it scarcely mattered. WIT finished strongly, Gavin O’Brien with a goal for them, but the outcome had been decided.

Scorers for UL: Tony Kelly (0-2f), John McGrath (0-4f) 0-6 each, Tommy Heffernan 1-1, Daire Quinn 1-0, Kevin O’Brien 0-2, Conor Martin, Cathal McInerney, Jason Forde (sideline) 0-1 each.

Scorers for Waterford IT: Pauric Mahony 0-8 (0-5f, 0-1 65), Gavin O’Brien 1-2, Tom Fox, Harry Kehoe, Jake Dillon, Johnny Hayes 0-1 each.

A dejected Harry Kehoe A dejected Harry Kehoe after WIT's defeat. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

UL

1. Paul Maher (Moyne/Templetuohy, Tipperary)

2. Jack Browne (Ballyea, Clare)
17. Gearoid Ryan (Clarecastle, Clare)
6. Brian Troy (Emeralds, Kilkenny)

5. Daire Quinn (Éire Óg Nenagh, Tipperary)
3. David McInerney (Tulla, Clare)
7. Brian Stapleton (Templederry Kenyons, Tipperary)

9. Tony Kelly (Ballyea, Clare)
19. Dan Morrissey (Ahane, Limerick)

13. Kevin O’Brien (Patrickswell, Limerick)
14. Conor Martin (Emeralds, Kilkenny)
12. Tommy Heffernan (Éire Óg Nenagh, Tipperary)

24. Cathal McInerney (Cratloe, Clare)
10. John McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney, Tipperary)
8. Jason Forde (Silvermines, Tipperary)

Subs
25. Stephen Bennett (Ballysaggart, Waterford) for Cathal McInerney (50)
20. PJ Scully (Borris/Kilcotton, Laois) for O’Brien (56)
11. Shane O’Gorman (Adamstown, Wexford) for Morrissey (57)
18. Kevin Walsh (Piltown, Kilkenny) for Heffernan (60)
4. Eoin Moriarty (Emeralds, Kilkenny) for Forde (60)

WATERFORD IT

1. Darragh Stapleton (Doon, Limerick)

7. Owen McGrath (John Lockes, Kilkenny)
3. Ger Teehan (Graigue-Ballycallan, Kilkenny)
4. Jerome Maher (Geraldines, Waterford)

5. Thomas Hamill (JK Brackens, Tipperary)
6. Martin O’Neill (Mount Sion, Waterford)
2. Tom Fox (Éire Óg Annacarty, Tipperary)

8. Jack Langton (Clara, Kilkenny)
9. Stephen Roche (Mount Sion, Waterford)

11. Pauric Mahony (Ballygunner, Waterford)
14. Liam McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney, Tipperary)
10. Harry Kehoe (Cloughbawn, Wexford)

12. Austin Gleeson (Mount Sion, Waterford)
15. Jake Dillon (De La Salle, Waterford)
13. Gavin O’Brien (Roanmore, Waterford)

Subs
20. Johnny Hayes (Kilmacow, Kilkenny) for Gleeson (4, injured)
26. Ger Malone (Mullinvat, Kilkenny) for Liam McGrath (46)
21. Ciarán O’Brien (St Ita’s, Cork) for Roche (53)
22. Joe O’Dwyer (Killenaule,Tipperary) for Hamill (56).

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Tony Kelly man-of-the-match as UL celebrate Fitzgibbon Cup final replay win over WIT

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Denis Hurley

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