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Clare Allstar duo out injured but Tipp's McGrath stars as UL beat UCD in Fitzgibbon Cup

The Brian Lohan-managed side had three points to spare in Wednesday’s quarter-final clash in Limerick.

UL's John McGrath and UCD's Cillian Buckley in opposition today.
UL's John McGrath and UCD's Cillian Buckley in opposition today.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

UL 0-18
UCD 0-15

Jackie Cahill reports from UL Sports Ground

TIPPERARY SENIOR PANELLIST John McGrath inspired a come-from-behind victory for hosts University of Limerick against UCD in the quarter-finals of the Fitzgibbon Cup on Wednesday.

McGrath, younger brother of Noel, finished with 0-7, including five frees, as Brian Lohan-managed UL came from four points down at half-time to score a three-point win.

Kilkenny’s Conor Martin was another player to star for four-time tournament winners UL, who advance to finals weekend at Limerick IT.

Even without injured Clare pair Tony Kelly and David McInerney, who are both carrying hamstring problems, wind-assisted UL were too good for visitors UCD in the second half.
But with Ross King hitting three pointed frees in the first half, it was Nicky English’s UCD who led by 0-9 to 0-5 at half-time. Both teams were guilty of some poor first half shooting, however, as UCD registered eight wides to UL’s seven.

The second half was a different story as UL were far more economical in front of the posts, popping over some long-range beauties including a superb 41st-minute effort from Martin on the right touchline.

Source: HE GAA/YouTube

UL hit ten points without reply to turn a four-point deficit into a six-point lead, 0-15 to 0-9, before UCD landed their first point of the second half, scored by King twelve minutes from time.

UCD rallied to within a point, 0-14 to 0-15, before UL kicked for home to establish a four-point gap again.

Conor O’Shea’s booming long-range free left just a goal between the sides before the defender saw his injury-time 20m free well saved by UL goalkeeper Paul Maher, before Kilkenny’s All Star Cillian Buckley saw his follow-up effort cleared.

Kevin O'Brien andMatthew O'Hanlon 18/2/2015 UL and UCD players battle it out today. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Scorers for UL: John McGrath 0-7 (0-5f), Conor Martin 0-4 (0-1f), Tommy Heffernan & Jason Forde (0-1f, 0-1 ’65) 0-2 each, Brian Stapleton, Dan Morrissey & Stephen Bennett 0-1 each.

Scorers for UCD: Ross King 0-6 (0-6f), Conor Devitt & Pat Purcell 0-2 each, Conor O’Shea (f), Jack O’Connor, Colm Cronin, Garrett Sinnott & Dillon Mulligan 0-1 each.

Tony Kelly 18/2/2015 No Tony Kelly in action for UL today due to injury Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

UL

1. Paul Maher (Moyne-Templetuohy, Tipperary)

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

5. Daire Quinn (Éire Óg Nenagh, Tipperary)
8. Jason Forde (Silvermines, Tipperary)
7. Brian Stapleton (Templederry Kenyons, Tipperary)

19. Dan Morrissey (Ahane, Limerick)
23. Aidan McGuane (Kilmaley, Clare)

10. John McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney, Tipperary)
14. Conor Martin (Emeralds, Kilkenny)
20. PJ Scully (Borris/Kilcotton, Laois)

13. Kevin O’Brien (Patrickswell, Limerick)
25. Stephen Bennett (Ballysaggart, Waterford)
12. Tommy Heffernan (Éire Óg Nenagh, Tipperary)

Sub
22. Thomas Cleary (Kilruane MacDonaghs, Tipperary) for Scully (56).

Cillian Buckley dejected 18/2/2015 UCD's Cillian Buckley speaks to his teammates after their defeat Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

UCD

1. Billy Leydon (O’Loughlin Gaels, Kilkenny)

2. Eoin Conroy (Naomh Eanna, Wexford)
6. Matthew O’Hanlon (St James, Wexford)
14. Conor McDonagh (Kilmordaly, Galway)

5. Joe Lyng (Rower-Inistioge, Kilkenny)
3. Conor O’Shea (Clara, Kilkenny)
7. Cillian Buckley (Dicksboro, Kilkenny)

8. Cian O’Callaghan (Cuala, Dublin)
9. Pat Purcell (Rathdowney-Errill, Laois)

10. Colm Cronin (Cuala, Dublin)
11. Conor Devitt (Ballyfad, Wexford)
12. Jack O’Connor (St Martins, Wexford)

21. Oisin O’Rourke (Kilmacud Crokes, Dublin)
26. Garrett Sinnott (Oulart-the-Ballagh, Wexford)
15. Ross King (Rathdowney-Errill, Laois)

Subs
27. Dillon Mulligan (Kilmacud Crokes, Dublin) for O’Callaghan (42)
22. Caolan Conway (Kilmacud Crokes, Dublin) for O’Connor (47)
24. Simon Aylward (Mullinavat, Kilkenny) for Purcell (56)
13. Michael Brennan (Ballyragget, Kilkenny) for Cronin (59).

Referee: Barry Kelly (Westmeath)

Nicky English 18/2/2015 UCD boss Nicky English. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

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