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Gleeson and Mahony star as Waterford IT remain on course to defend Fitzgibbon Cup

Colm Bonnar’s side edged a tight encounter in Moylish.

Jack Langton and Stephen Roche showed their delight at the final whistle.
Jack Langton and Stephen Roche showed their delight at the final whistle.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Waterford IT 1-20
Cork IT 0-19

PAURIC MAHONY CONTINUED his rich vein of form as he followed-up his eight points against DIT with another eight as Waterford IT edged past Cork IT in the semi-final of the Fitzgibbon Cup.

The defending champions eventually triumphed after extra-time in Limerick as the sides exchanged blows right up until the final few minutes before WIT pulled away. In the end, the victory margin was four points.

Mahoney wasn’t the only Waterford hurler to catch the eye. Austin Gleeson was magnificent as he scored the only goal of the game and also raised six white flags while Gavin O’Brien also contributed 0-4.

Austin Gleeso scores his side's first goal Austin Gleeson bags WIT's goal. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Today’s clash was a repeat of last year’s decider but there was more heartbreak for Cork IT as their quest to land the Fitzgibbon Cup goes on. They had brilliant individual showings from Stephen Murphy, Cian Buckley, John Cronin and Bill Cooper but WIT proved too powerful in extra-time.

John OÕDwyer and Aidan Walsh dejected after the game Disappointment for CIT's John O'Dwyer and Aidan Walsh today. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The teams were level five times during an entertaining opening half and it was 0-7 apiece at the break. CIT started the second-half brightly with John O’Dwyer, Cronin, Aidan Walsh and Buckley rattling off points.

But WIT brought themselves back into contention when Martin O’Neill launched in a long delivery in the 43rd minute which Gleeson gathered before firing home a low shot to the net.

The action ebbed and flowed in the closing stages and while Mahony looked to have hit the match-winner for WIT in the 58th minute, Buckley rescued CIT and sent the game into extra-time.

CIT started extra-time in a positive fashion with a brace of points from O’Dwyer but the Tipperary star missed another placed ball and wasn’t his usual prolific self this afternoon. WIT powered on and went 1-15 to 0-17 ahead at the midway mark of extra-time before the triumvirate of Mahony, Gleeson and O’Brien ensured they dominated the second period and ran out four-point winners.

Jack Langton and Stephen Roche celebrate at the final whistle WIT's Jack Langton and Stephen Roche celebrate at the final whistle. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Scorers for Waterford IT: Pauric Mahony 0-8 (0-5f, 0-1 ’65), Austin Gleeson 1-6, Gavin O’Brien 0-4, Jake Dillon, Johnny Hayes 0-1 each.

Scorers for Cork IT: John O’Dwyer 0-5 (0-3f, 0-1 ’65), Cian Buckley 0-3, Aidan Walsh, John Cronin, Bill Cooper, Noel McNamara, Dara Lordan (0-1f) 0-2 each, Kevin Kavanagh 0-1.

WATERFORD IT

1. Darragh Stapleton (Doon, Limerick)

7. Owen McGrath (John Lockes, Kilkenny)
3. Ger Teehan (Graigue-Ballycallan, Kilkenny),
4. Jerome Maher (Geraldines, Waterford)

5. Thomas Hamill (JK Brackens, Tipperary)
6. Martin O’Neill (Mount Sion, Waterford)
2. Tom Fox (Éire Óg-Annacarty, Tipperary)

8. Jack Langton (Clara, Kilkenny)
9. Stephen Roche (Mount Sion, Waterford)

13. Gavin O’Brien (Roanmore, Waterford)
11. Pauric Mahony (Ballygunner, Waterford)
10. Harry Kehoe (Cloughbawn, Wexford)

12. Austin Gleeson (Mount Sion, Waterford)
14. Liam McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney, Tipperary)
15. Jake Dillon (De La Salle, Waterford)

Subs
20. Johnny Hayes (Kilmacow, Kilkenny) for Liam McGrath  (51)
19. Stephen O’Neill (Mount Sion, Waterford) for Owen McGrath (inj) (60)
26. Ger Malone (Mullinavat, Kilkenny) for O’Brien (77)
24. Eoin Ryan (Coolderry, Offaly) for Kehoe (79)
31. Philip Campion (Freshford, Kilkenny) for Dillon (79)

CORK IT

1. Gary Minihane (Courcey Rovers, Cork)

2. Stephen Murphy (Blackrock, Cork)
3. Alan Dennehy (Charleville, Cork)
4. Tomás Lawrence (Brian Dillons, Cork)

5. Jack Herlihy (Newtownshandrum, Cork)
6. Mark Ellis (Millstreet, Cork)
7. Cian Buckley (Na Piarsaigh, Cork)

14. Conor Hammersley (Clonoulty-Rossmore, Tipperary)
9. William Murphy (Meelin, Cork)

12. Bill Cooper (Youghal, Cork)
11. John Cronin (Lisgoold, Cork)
8. Aidan Walsh (Kanturk, Cork)

17. Noel McNamara (Kilworth, Cork)
13. John O’Dwyer (Killenaule, Tipperary)
15. Kevin Kavanagh (Carrigaline, Cork)

Subs
18. Michael Russell (Aghada, Cork) for Murphy (40)
23. Patrick White (Midleton, Cork) for McNamara (48)
21. Jamie Coughlan (Newtownshandrum, Cork) for Kavanagh (55)
17. Noel McNamara (Kilworth, Cork)  for Hammersley (70)

Referee: Fergal Horgan (Tipperary)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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