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Dublin: 14 °C Sunday 22 September, 2019
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UCC, UL and WIT signalled their intentions in today's Fitzgibbon Cup openers

Conor Lehane, Tony Kelly and Austin Gleeson all caught the eye for the winners.

Conor Lehane was amongst the goalscorers for UCC today.
Conor Lehane was amongst the goalscorers for UCC today.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Updated at 21.05pm

UCC, UL AND WIT issued strong statements of intent in their opening Fitzgibbon Cup games today.

2012 and 2013 champions UCC, who were denied in their bid for three-in-a-row at the semi-final stage last year by Cork rivals CIT, proved far too strong for GMIT at home in the Mardyke.

UCC ran out winners by 20 points with Conor Lehane, Alan Cadogan and Shane O’Donnell all finding the net in a 3-19 to 0-8 success.

The team managed by current Dublin boss Ger Cunningham were on top from the off. Cadogan and Lehane both netted in the first-half while Barry Lawton struck 0-6 as they went in front by 2-10 to 0-3 at the break.

Jason Flynn and Tadhg Haran tried hard to keep GMIT in touch but it was one-way traffic. UCC were ahead 2-16 to 0-7 at the end of the third quarter and Clare senior O’Donnell bagged their third goal before the finish.

Shane O'Donnell 23/8/2014 Clare's Shane O'Donnell was amongst the goalscorers for UCC today. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

In Dangan, UL displayed their credentials with a stunning 2-24 to 0-9 victory over NUI Galway.

Limerick’s Kevin O’Brien bagged two goals for the winners who had been in front by 0-9 to 0-5 at half-time with Clare’s Tony Kelly in fine scoring form.

Kevin O'Brien 10/1/2015 UL's Kevin O'Brien was key to their success. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Kelly wound up with 0-4 to his name but it was Tipperary’s Jason Forde who top scored for UL with 0-10. Premier duo Brian Stapleton and John McGrath struck 0-3 and 0-2 respectively.

O’Brien netted a brace of goals in the second-half for UL while NUI Galway tried to chip away through Clare’s Bobby Duggan and Westmeath’s Niall O’Brien.

Meanwhile, despite playing the majority of the second half with 14 men, WIT had a comfortable 13-point win away to IT Carlow this evening.

A 29th-minute goal from Austin Gleeson helped WIT in to a 1-10 to 0-4 lead at half time, with Liam McGrath and Ciaran O’Brien adding goals in the second period to give the visitors a 3-13 to 0-9 win.

Austin Gleeson 8/6/2014 Waterford's Austin Gleeson hit the net for WIT. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Pauric Mahoney hit eight points for WIT, who had Tom Fox dismissed shortly after the restart.

The evening’s other scheduled fixture between Maynooth University and Mary Immaculate College was postponed, after heavy snow in Maynooth left the pitch unplayable. A new date for the game has yet to be confirmed.

Fitzgibbon Cup Results

Group B
UL 2-24 NUI Galway 0-9
UCC 3-19 GMIT 0-8

Group C
IT Carlow 0-9 WIT 3-13

Additional reporting by Paul Dollery

First published at 15.56pm

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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