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Gleeson's late goal can't prevent Waterford IT falling to DCU in Fitzgibbon quarter-final

John Donnelly, Jim Ryan and Rory O’Connor led the way for the Dublin side.

DCU’s Brian Ryan and Conal Flood of Waterford.
DCU’s Brian Ryan and Conal Flood of Waterford.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

DCU 1-23

Waterford IT 2-14

DCU SEALED THEIR place in the last four of the Fitzgibbon Cup after a deserved six-point victory over WIT tonight.

John Donnelly grabbed a six-point haul for the winners in a stand-out display, while his fellow Kilkenny man Jim Ryan wrapped the game up with his 54th minute goal to finish with 1-3.

Evan Shefflin, fresh from Ballyhale Shamrocks’ All-Ireland triumph, was a driving force from wing-back and looks primed to make his mark at senior level with the Cats over the coming season.

Wexford’s Rory O’Connor clipped over 0-4 for the star-studded Glasnevin outfit, who will face reigning champions UCC in the semi-final on 8 February at the DCU Sportsgrounds.

WIT were forced to start without star man Austin Gleeson, who missed Waterford’s league opener against Cork last weekend with a knee injury.

Gleeson did arrive off the bench in the 57th minute and while he drilled in a goal from a 21m free in stoppage-time, DCU had the game wrapped up by then.

Such was the quality on their bench, manager Eoin Roche was able to introduce talented Dublin forwards Fergal Whitely and Donal Burke during the second-half. 

Roche boasts one of the strongest squads in the competition and they breezed through the group stage with wins over UL, Maynooth and Trinity College. Things will only get tougher against UCC team that features brilliant attackers Shane Conway and Shane Kingston in the last four.

Cork ace Stephen Condon led the way for WIT, contributing 0-10 over the hour. Jack Prendergast was their primary creator from play and he showed some great touches throughout, winning a number of frees for Condon to convert.

After a slow start, WIT fought back into the game through Billy Nolan’s goal from the penalty spot. That put them on level terms in the 19th minute, but DCU hit six scores in succession to lead by 0-14 to 1-5 at the interval. 

jim-ryan DCU’s Jim Ryan bagged 1-3. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

WIT brought the fight in the third quarter and through Condon’s excellent free-taking they were within two points by the 40th minute. Some of DCU’s link-up play in attack was excellent and Kildare forward James Burke’s passing was a joy to behold. 

Burke played a pinpoint ball to the back post for Bergin but his batted effort was cleared off the line. In the final 10 minutes, Burke sent Donnelly through with a cross-field ball but the Thomastown man fired over. 

A neat move involving O’Connor and Bergin saw Ryan hit the net for the hosts six minutes from time. Calum Lyons clipped over a huge point for the visitors and Gleeson arrived off the bench to rattle in a late goal, but this was DCU’s night.

Scorers for DCU: John Donnelly 0-6, Rory O’Connor 0-4 (0-3f, 0-1 65), Jim Ryan 1-3, James Burke 0-3, James Bergin, Brian Ryan and Rian McBride 0-2 each, Damien Reck 0-1.

Scorers for WIT: Stephen Condon 0-10 (0-9f), Billy Nolan 1-1 (1-0 pen, 0-1f), Austin Gleeson 1-0 (1-0f), Tom Barron 0-2, Calum Lyons 0-1.

DCU

1. Oisin Foley (Crossabeg Ballymurn/Wexford)

2. Lee Gannon (Whitehall Colmcilles/Dublin)
3. Paddy Smyth (Clontarf/Dublin)
4. Conor Firman (St Martin’s/Wexford)

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5. Brian Ryan (South Liberties/Limerick)
6. Conor Burke (St Vincent’s/Dublin)
7. Evan Shefflin (Ballyhale Shamrocks/Kilkenny)

8. Damien Reck (Oylegate Glenrien/Wexford)
9. Daire Gray (Whitehall Colmcilles/Dublin)

10. John Donnelly (Thomastown/Kilkenny)
11. Rian McBride (St Vincent’s/Dublin)
12. James Burke (Naas/Kildare)

13. Rory O’Connor (St Martin’s/Wexford)
14. Jim Ryan (Rower Inisteoige/Kilkenny)
15. James Bergin (Conahy Shamrocks/Kilkenny)

Subs

26. Fergal Whitely (Kilmacud Crokes/Dublin) for Gray (42)
29. Donal Burke (Na Fianna/Dublin) for McBride (56)

Waterford IT

1. Billy Nolan (Roanmore/Waterford)

4. Seadnaidh Smyth (Midleton/Cork)
3. Kevin Hassett (Drom & Inch/Tipperary)
2. Tom Hayes (Molycarkey Borris/Tipperary)

5. Calum Lyons (Ballyduff Lower/Waterford)
6. Martin De Paor (Clonea/Waterford)
31. Tommy Walsh (Tullaroan/Kilkenny)

20. Ross Smithers (Naomh Eoin/Carlow)
11. Jack Prendergast (Lismore/Waterford)

12. Robbie Flynn (Clonea Power/Waterford)
19. Conal Flood (Cloughbawn/Wexford)
10. Tom Barron (Fourmilewater/Waterford)

15. Stephen Condon (Glanworth/Cork)

13. Eddie Meaney (De La Salle/Waterford)
14. Ciaran Kirwan (Kill/Waterford)

Subs

22. Mickey Mahoney (Ballygunner/Waterford) for Flood (49)
9. Austin Gleeson (Mount Sion/Waterford) for Meaney (57)

Referee: Paud O’Dwyer (Carlow)

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About the author:

Kevin O'Brien  / Reports from the DCU Sportsgrounds

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