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6 players to watch in today's Fitzgibbon Cup final

UCC v Mary Immaculate throws-in today in Waterford IT at 2.45pm.

1. Mark Coleman (UCC & Cork) 

2017 All-Star Mark Coleman. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Coleman plays at wing-back with Cork, and won an All-Star in the position in 2017, but with UCC he lines out at centre-field alongside Kilkenny man Conor Browne.

The 21-year-0ld was one of nine players from the Rebel County to start the semi-final defeat of DCU.

Coleman fired over a point in that extra-time victory and the Blarney native will look to join the attack at every opportunity tonight. 

2. Thomas Monaghan (Mary I & Galway)

Thomas Monaghan Galway youngster Thomas Monaghan. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

An All-Ireland minor winner with Galway in 2015, Monaghan quickly rose to the senior ranks and was part of their squad for the 2017 All-Ireland victory. 

He hasn’t yet managed to force his way into starting place in star-studded attack, but Monaghan has featured regularly off the bench in recent seasons. He helped the county’s U21 side to the Leinster title last summer, scoring 1-2 in the final defeat of Wexford.

He forms a formidable Mary I attack alongside Limerick’s Aaron Gillane and Clare pair Gary Clooney and Colin Guilfoyle.

3. Shane Conway (UCC & Kerry) 

It’s likely Conway will be the only player from a lower-tier county in either starting 15 tonight, but he’s as talented as anyone taking the field.

The Kerry forward has racked up 32 points on UCC’s five-game run to the final. Of that haul, 0-22 have arrived from frees which gives an indication of Conway’s accuracy from placed ball.

Conway clipped over 0-15 in last year’s Kerry hurling decider and will take serious watching on the half-forward line.

4. Eoghan Cahill (Mary I & Offaly) 

Eoghan Cahill Offaly goalkeeper Eoghan Cahill. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The Offaly goalkeeper has been kept extremely busy between the posts while lining out for his county in recent seasons but he’s mad a habit of emerging from games with enormous credit.

Offaly have shipped some heavy beatings of late but Cahill’s performance levels in goals have been very impressive.

The Birr clubman is capable of scoring from frees inside his own half, while his reflexes make him difficult to beat from close-range.

5. Shane Kingston (UCC & Cork)

Like Coleman, Kingston was part of several successful Cork underage sides and has already won two Munster senior hurling medals.

The Douglas man posted 1-5, all from play, from centre-forward in the semi-final defeat of DCU.

Kingston hasn’t featured for Cork yet this season as he focuses on delivering a first Fitzgibbon title since 2013 for the 38-time winners.

6. Aaron Gillane (Mary I & Limerick)

Aaron Gillane Limerick sharpshooter Aaron Gillane. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Following his whirlwind campaign last year, it’s been a busy start to 2019 for All-Star nominee Gillane. He’s played in each of Limerick’s three Division 1 wins to date, scoring 1-23 in the process.

On the college front, Gillane led Mary I past NUIG  in the semi-final with a 1-12 haul. He bagged 1-5 when the Limerick college last prevailed in this competition in 2017.

Gillane, who was voted GAA.ie’s hurler of the week after scoring 0-9 against Limerick, will be rested for the Treaty’s league game against Cork tomorrow regardless of today’s result.

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Kevin O'Brien

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