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IT Carlow smash five goals past Mary I to book Fitzgibbon Cup final spot with 14-point win

Wexford’s Cathal Dunbar bagged a brace on the way to a comfortable win.

Image: Tom O'Hanlon/INPHO

Mary Immaculate College 0-15

IT Carlow 5-14

Sinéad Farrell reports from DCU Sportsground

IT CARLOW PUT five goals past Mary Immaculate College to comfortably book their place in the Fitzgibbon Cup final.

Wexford’s Cathal Dunbar bagged a brace while Kilkenny’s Liam Blanchfield, Chris Nolan and Stephen Bergin also found the back of the net to see DJ Carey’s charges power their way into next week’s decider with a 14-point victory.

Laois star goalkeeper Enda Rowland also put his name on the scoresheet for the winners with two well-struck frees while also keeping a clean sheet.

A gaelforce wind in DCU made playing conditions difficult for both sides, with Carlow holding a slender one-point lead after the opening 10 minutes. Mary I grabbed the next two scores through Cathal Bourke who finished the last-four clash with nine points.

But his tally wasn’t enough for Jamie Wall’s outfit who were simply outgunned in the second half.

Andrew Ormond was presented with a goal opportunity moments later for Mary I but his tap-in effort was parried away when it was a drawn game in the first half.

The sides traded scores over the next minutes, with Carlow keeper Rowland picking up the first of his two scores from frees, before Dunbar stormed forward to lift the first green flag of the game.

It was a stunning finish from Dunbar who wheeled away from his marker before dragging the play wide to riffle his shot into the roof of the net from a tight angle.

dj-carey-with-jason-cleere DJ Carey congrautlates Jason Cleere after the final whistle. Source: Tom O'Hanlon/INPHO

Mary I replied by picking up three of the next four points to push them into a 1-7 to 0-11 lead at the break, courtesy of Bourke’s accuracy from the frees.

Carlow rattled off two unanswered points after the restart, including a second from Casey while points from Bourke and Tim O’Mahony kept Mary I’s noses in front at the other end.

But Carlow mustered an emphatic response with two quickfire goals to push them into a 3-9 to 0-14 lead. Bergin was first up to find the net when he tapped the ball home after he was quickest to pounce on a rebound shot from Dunbar.

Blanchfield followed that effort with a third goal for Carlow as they started to overwhlem Mary I, winning the final 10 minutes of the game by 2-5 to 0-1.

Dunbar clinched the second of his two goals during that final stretch to victory while Chris Nolan also netted for the winners who will take on the Fitzgibbon Cup holders UCC in next the final next Wednesday night.

Scorers for Mary I: Cathal Bourke (0-9, 8f, 1’65), Tim O’Mahony (0-3, 2f) Gary Cooney (0-2), Shane Ryan (0-1)

Scorers for IT Carlow: Cathal Dunbar (2-0),  Seamus Casey (0-6, 4f), Chris Nolan (1-1), Stephen Bergin and Liam Blanchfield (1-0 each), Enda Rowland (0-2, 2f) J Kelly and Richie Leahy (0-2 each), Eoin Gaughan (0-1).

Mary Immaculate College

1. Jason Gillane (Patrickswell, Limerick) 

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27. Ray McCormack (Borris-Ileigh, Tipperary)
3. David Prendergast (Lismore, Waterford)
30. Éanna McBride (JK Brackens, Tipperary)

5. Craig Moran (Kilruane MacDonaghs, Tipperary)
6. Darren Browne (Kanturk, Cork)
7. Tim O’Mahony (Newtownshandrum, Cork)

8. Ray McCormack (Borris-Ileigh, Tipperary)
9. Josh Considine (Patrickswell, Limerick)

10. Eoghan Cahill (Birr, Offaly)
11. Gary Cooney (O’Callaghan Mills, Clare)
12. Shane Ryan (Clarinbridge, Galway)

13. Andrew Ormond (JK Brackens, Tipperary)
23. Cathal Bourke (Clonoulty-Rossmore, Tipperary)
15. Colin O’Brien (Liscarroll Churchtown Gaels, Cork)

Subs:
29. Adam Ennis (Delvin/Westmeath) for Colin O’Brien (54 mins)
24. Philip Wall (Kilbrittan, Cork) for Cathal Bourke (55 mins)
14. Michael O’Loughlin (Clonlara, Clare) for Eoghan Cahill (59 mins)

IT Carlow

1. Enda Rowland (Abbeyleix, Laois)

2. Shane Reck (Oylegate Glenbrien, Wexford)
3. Sean Downey (Ballinakill, Laois)
4. Fergal Hayes (Kiladangan, Tipperary)

5. Podge Delaney (The Harps, Laois)
6. Jason Cleere (Bennettsbridge, Kilkenny)
19. Rory Higgins, (Rathnure, Wexford)

8. Richie Leahy (Rower Inistioge, Kilkenny)
9. Luke Scanlon (James Stephens, Kilkenny)

10. Jerry Kelly (Borris-Ileigh, Tipperary)
11. Cathal Dunbar (Naomh Éanna, Wexford)
12. Stephen Bergin, (Clough/Ballacolla, Laois)

13. Chris Nolan (Mount Leinster Rangers, Carlow)
14. Liam Blanchfield (Bennettsbridge, Kilkenny)
15. Seamus Casey (Olyegate Glenbrien, Wexford)

Subs:

18. Eoin Gaughan (Camross, Laois) for Liam Blanchfield (53 mins)
22. Dion Wall (Ballinkillen, Carlow) for Michael Harney (59 mins)
17. Thomas Nolan (Drom-Inch, Tipperary) for Seamus Casey (61 mins)

Referee: John Keenan (Wicklow).

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