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Dublin: 10 °C Saturday 19 October, 2019

How do the four teams on the hunt for the Fitzgibbon Cup title rank?

Limerick IT take on Waterford IT tomorrow while UCC face Cork IT.

THE FITZGIBBON CUP reaches the semi-final stage tomorrow with Cork IT, Limerick IT, UCC and Waterford IT all vying for a place in Saturday’s final.

Here’s how we rank the quartet before the games.

Cork IT

Who are their inter-county stars… Tipperary’s John O’Dwyer is the most recognisable name in the CIT setup and has been scoring freely of late. Jimmy Barry-Murphy’s Cork squad are represented by defenders Mark Ellis and Eoin Keane and midfielder Michael O’Sullivan while attacker Bill Cooper has previously featured for the Cork senior side.

Their route to this stage… After emerging from their group with victories over LIT and GMIT, CIT then crushed NUI Galway by 2-22 to 0-11 in last week’s quarter-final tie.

What’s their Fitzgibbon Cup history… CIT have never won the Fitzgibbon Cup, losing the final in 2003 and in 2012, the latter after extra-time.

What are the bookies saying… CIT are priced at 9/2 to land the title and are 13/5 to cause a surprise against UCC tomorrow.

Verdict… Underdogs tomorrow at the semi-final stage against their locals rivals UCC, CIT have displayed impressive form this season in winning their three games to date. Managed by former Cork player Pat Mulcahy, they have been extremely consistent in recent campaigns and are involved in the finals weekend for the third time in four years.


Limerick IT

Who are their inter-county stars… Tony Kelly, the 2013 Hurler of the Year, is the standout figure in the LIT ranks. He is joined by fellow Clare seniors Jamie Shanahan and Cathal McInerney in the LIT ranks. Limerick’s Aaron Murphy and Alan Dempsey both won Munster senior hurling medals last summer as well.

Their route to this stage… After falling short in their opening group game against CIT, LIT have bounced back in style. They took care of GMIT to clinch a quarter-final place and then belied their price tag of 6/1 outsiders to despatch UL last week at the last eight stage.

What’s their Fitzgibbon Cup history… Under Davy Fitzgerald’s guidance, LIT have won this competition in 2005 and 2007 – their only two titles to date.

What are the bookies saying… LIT can be found at 4/1 to claim the crown and are 4/7 favorites to win their semi-final tie.

Verdict… Last week’s triumph over UL demonstrated the terrific spirit and cohesiveness in the LIT squad. Kelly adds serious class, as evidenced by his 1-10 contribution last week. The suspended Seanie O’Brien will be a major loss for LIT though.



Who are their inter-county stars… Conor Lehane and Seamus Harnedy are their star names from Cork while Darren McCarthy, Colm Spillane and Rob O’Shea were also involved with last year’s All-Ireland finalists. Clare’s Shane O’Donnell needs little introduction after his exploits last September. James Barry is currently involved with the Tipperary seniors while Paudie Prendergast and Jamie Barron feature for Waterford.

Their route to this stage… UCC topped their group with victories over Waterford IT, Carlow IT and St Pat’s. They had a little trouble in the quarter-final against UCD but recovered in the second-half to win that game in the Mardyke by 1-20 to 1-15.

What’s their Fitzgibbon Cup history… The competition specialists with 38 titles to their name, UCC have won the last two Fitzgibbon Cups and are chasing their fourth victory in six years.

What are the bookies saying… The overwhelming favorites at 8/15 to win a third successive crown and 1/3 to win their semi-final clash.

Verdict… The favourites to win the competition and their panel is packed with experience. At the back Darren McCarthy, Stephen Maher and James Barry provide resilience having been on the last two winning teams. Harnedy and Lehane are fit at the right time while the form of Alan Cadogan and Willie Griffin is encouraging.


Waterford IT

Who are their inter-county stars… Waterford’s Pauric Mahony, a title winner with UCC in 2012, is their scorer-in-chief up front. He is joined in the forward line by Eoin Murphy, goalkeeper with Kilkenny last year, Waterford’s Jake Dillon and Tipperary’s Liam McGrath. Elsewhere Waterford goalkeeper Stephen O’Keeffe, Tipperary’s Thomas Hamill and Wexford’s Shaun Murphy play important roles.

Their route to this stage… WIT finished second in their group as they recovered from a loss to UCC to defeat St Pat’s and Carlow IT. They needed extra-time before seeing off DIT in the quarter-final by 1-21 to 1-14.

What’s their Fitzgibbon Cup history… WIT have lifted silverware on eight occasions, their most recent being in an epic decider against LIIT in 2008.

What are the bookies saying… The outsiders at 9/1 to claim silverware and 13/8 to win tomorrow’s semi-final tie.

Verdict… Their team may not be loaded with the star names of previous years but they still have a lot to offer and are well-organised under the tutelage of Colm Bonnar. Will hope that the attacking triumvirate of Mahony, Dillon and Murphy can click if they are to upset LIT.


Davy Fitz: ‘That was as big as anything I have ever done because we weren’t given a snowball’s chance’

UCC stay on track for Fitzgibbon Cup three-in-a-row

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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