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DJ Carey's IT Carlow side prove too strong for UCC to reach Fitzgibbon Cup semi-finals

Rory Higgins hit a crucial first-half goal for the winners.

IT Carlow 1-17

UCC 0-14

DJ CAREY SAW his IT Carlow team clam a fully-merited quarter-final success on home soil tonight in the Fitzgibbon Cup, knocking UCC out of the competition in the process.

cian-kenny-with-ger-millerick-and-dare-oleary Cian Kenny in action against Ger Millerick and Daire O'Leary. Source: Evan Treacy/INPHO

UCC, who won the last two runnings of this competition, trailed for long stages of the game and were always struggling once Rory Higgins fired in a first-half goal for the winners.

Despite losing Marty Kavanagh to injury in the opening period and with Eoin Cody unavailable due to the All-Ireland club commitments with Ballyhale Shamrocks, IT Carlow triumphed with Carlow’s Chris Nolan, Wexford’s Seamus Casey and Kilkenny’s Cian Kenny all impressing.

The winners were ahead 1-11 to 0-8 at the break, both sides having players dismissed either side of the interval with UCC’s Padraig Power and IT Carlow’s Jerry Kelly both sent to the line.

shane-barrett-with-seamus-casey UCC's Shane Barrett with IT Carlow's Seamus Casey.

Tipperary’s Mark Kehoe hit three first-half points for UCC and Cork’s Shane Barrett was on target from frees but they never threatened enough against an excellent IT Carlow rearguard.

dj-carey IT Carlow manager DJ Carey. Source: Evan Treacy/INPHO

IT Carlow have never won the Fitzgibbon Cup, losing finals in 2017 and 2020, but they are now only one step away from returning to the final stage.

Higgins goal in the 17th minute propelled them ahead 1-6 to 0-3 and while UCC cut the gap to four points on two occasions, the margin was six in favour of IT Carlow at half-time.

As weather conditions deteriorated during the second half, UCC tried to chip away at the IT Carlow deficit but within five points was as close. Seamus Casey’s pointed ’65 rounded off IT Carlow’s win and they nearly hit the net again in the closing stages, only for UCC goalkeeper Ian Butler to pull off an impressive double save.

Scorers for IT Carlow: Seamus Casey (0-7, 4f, 1 ’65); Rory Higgins (1-1); Chris Nolan (0-3); Thomas Keyes, Niall Brassil, Cian Kenny, Eoin Gaughan, Cathal Dunbar, Marty Kavanagh (0-1 ’65) (0-1 each).

Scorers for UCC: Mark Kehoe, Shane Barrett (0-4f) (0-4 each); Conor Boylan, Daire Connery (0-2f) (0-2 each); Rob Downey, Will Henn (0-1f) (0-1 each).

IT Carlow

Adam Howlin (Shelmaliers, Wexford)

Fergal Hayes (Kiladangan, Tipperary), Podge Delaney (The Harps, Laois), Aidan Redmond (Rathnure, Wexford)

Jason Cleere (Bennettsbridge, Kilkenny), Jerry Kelly (Borris-Ileigh, Tipperary), Niall Brassil (James Stephens, Kilkenny)

Cathal Dunbar (Naomh Eanna, Wexford), Cian Kenny (James Stephens, Kilkenny)

Eoin Gaughan (Camross, Laois), Marty Kavanagh (St Mullins, Carlow), Seamus Casey (Oylegate-Glenbrien, Wexford)

Rory Higgins (Rathnure, Wexford), Chris Nolan (Mount Leinster Rangers, Carlow), Thomas Keyes (Camross, Laois)

Subs

Brandon McGinley (Rathdowney-Errill, Laois) for Kavanagh (inj) (11)

Shane Reck (Oylegate-Glenbrien, Wexford) for McGinley (37)

UCC

Ian Butler (Kildorrery, Cork)

Cormac O’Brien (Newtownshandrum, Cork), Niall O’Leary (Castlelyons, Cork), Jerome Boylan (Na Piarsaigh, Limerick), 

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Rob Downey (Glen Rovers, Cork), Iarlaith Daly (Lismore, Waterford), Daire O’Leary (Watergrasshill, Cork)

Ger Millerick (Fr O’Neills, Cork), Ronan Connolly (Adare, Limerick)

Conor Boylan (Na Piarsaigh, Limerick), Conor Cahalane (St Finbarr’s, Cork), Shane Barrett (Blarney, Cork)

Conor Bowe (Moyne-Templetuohy, Tipperary), Mark Kehoe (Kilsheelan-Kilcash, Tipperary), Padraig Power (Blarney, Cork),

Subs

Daire Connery (Na Piarsaigh, Cork) for O’Brien (half-time)

Jack O’Connor (Sarsfields, Cork) for Bowe (half-time)

Will Henn (Na Piarsaigh, Limerick) for Barrett (51)

Referee: Thomas Walsh (Waterford)

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