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1-10 for Donal Burke as DCU book first ever Fitzgibbon Cup final

They’ll face UL in the decider after tonight’s 11-point win over DIT.

DCU 2-20

DIT 1-12

Kevin O’Brien reports from Parnell Park, Dublin

DCU ARE INTO their first Fitzgibbon Cup final after a convincing 11-point win over local rivals DIT in tonight’s semi-final.

Fergal Whittely and Derek McNicholas

While DCU have competed in five Sigerson Cup finals, winning four, the Dublin college have never made a Fitzgibbon decider before.

They’ll face UL in the final after the Limerick college easily accounted for IT Carlow in the other semi-final.

Dublin forward Donal Burke top-scored for the winners with 1-10, while Wexford’s Joe O’Connor and Kilkenny pair John Donnelly and Conor Delaney also gave good displays for Eoin Roche’s side.

DCU led by three at half-time but scored an unanswered 1-8 in the third quarter to move 2-15 to 0-7 clear and put the result beyond doubt.

Both teams pulled a corner-forward out to midfield, meaning the middle third was highly congested with bodies.

Eoghan O'Donnell, Conor Delaney, Aaron Maddock with Paul O'Dea and Justin Cahill Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

The move of the game arrived in the second minute, when John Donnelly flicked a ground pass into the path of Donal Burke, who gathered and finished low across DIT’s Cuala stopper Sean Brennan.

Given the heavy traffic in midfield, frees were the order of the first-half. By the interval, Burke, the Dublin sharpshooter, had four placed balls on the board compared to six from DIT’s O’Brien.

DCU led by 1-7 to 0-7 at the half, with O’Brien contributing DIT’s sole score from play in the first 30 minutes.

Substitute Peter Hogan bagged an early second-half goal for DCU and they never looked back from that point, with Burke and Donnelly stretching their lead in the second-half.

Fergal Whitely, who was introduced off the bench after 17 minutes, clipped over a brace in the second-half, as did midfielder O’Connor.

O’Brien bagged a late consolation goal for DIT as they chased the game, bringing his personal tally to 1-9, but it wasn’t enough.

Watch both of DCU’s goals below:

Source: HE GAA/YouTube

Scorers for DCU: Donal Burke 1-10 (0-7f, 0-2 65), Peter Hogan 1-0, John Donnelly 0-3, Patrick Curran 0-2, Fergal Whitely and Joe O’Connor 0-2 each, Paul Kelly 0-1.

Scorers for DIT: Niall O’Brien 1-9 (0-7f), Derek McNicholas 0-3 (0-1f).

DCU

1. Oisin Foley (Crossabeg-Ballymurn, Wexford)

2. Darren Mullen (Ballyhale Shamrocks, Kilkenny)
3. Eoghan O’Donnell (Whitehall Colmcille, Dublin)
4. Conor McSweeney (South Liberties, Limerick)

7. Paudie Foley (Crossabeg-Ballymurn, Wexford)
6. Conor Delaney (Erin’s Own, Kilkenny)
5. Aaron Maddock (St Martin’s, Wexford)

9. Joe O’Connor (St Martin’s, Wexford)
24. Paul O’Dea (Na Fianna, Dublin)

14. Rian McBride (St Vincent’s, Dublin)

10. Conor Burke (St Vincent’s, Dublin)
11. Killian Doyle (Raharney, Westmeath)
12. Donal Burke (Na Fianna, Dublin)

13. John Donnelly (Thomastown, Kilkenny)
15. Patrick Curran (Dungarvan, Waterford)

Subs

21. Fergal Whitely (Kilmacud Crokes, Dublin) for O’Dea (17)
22. Peter Hogan (Ballygunner, Waterford) for Conor Burke (ht)
8. Daire Grey (Whitehall Colmcille, Dublin) for Doyle (39)
20. Paul Kelly (Craobh Chiarain, Dublin) for McBride (43)
19. Darragh Brennan (Carrickshock, Kilkenny) for McSweeney (45)

DIT

1. Seam Brennan (Cuala, Dublin)

2. Warren Kavanagh (Glenealy, Wicklow)
3. Thomas Doyle (Lough Lene Gaels, Westmeath)
4. Philip Cass (Conaghy Shamrocks, Kilkenny)

12. Liam Blanchfield (Bennettsbridge, Kilkenny)
6. Derek McNicholas (Lough Lene Gaels, Westmeath)
7. Luke Kelly (Setanta, Dublin)

5. Eoghan Dunne (St Brigid’s, Dublin)
19. Justin Cahill (Kilruane McDonaghs, Tipperary)

9. Conor Ryan (Craobh Chiaráin, Dublin)

15. Fiontan McGibb (Setanta, Dublin)
11. Patrick Maher (Lorrha Dorrha, Tipperary)
10. Niall Mitchell (Clonkill, Westmeath)

13. Niall O’Brien (Castletown Geoghan, Westmeath)
14. Robbie Greville (Raharney, Westmeath)

Subs

23. Cian O’Donoghue (Tullogher Rosbercon, Kilkenny) for Ryan (56)
8. Jonathan McGuirke (St Brigid’s, Dublin) for Cahill (59)

Referee: Alan Kelly (Galway).

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Kevin O'Brien

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