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Dublin: 9 °C Tuesday 18 December, 2018
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WIT progress to final four of Fitzgibbon Cup after strong defensive effort

The home side limited their guests to only three scores from play over the 60.

File pic.
File pic.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

WIT 1-18

DIT 1-7

WIT ADVANCED TO the final four of the Fitzgibbon Cup as they relied on a resolute defensive effort to wear down DIT at Carriganore.

The home side limited their guests to only three scores from play over the 60. Ger Teehan, Jerome Maher and Martin O’Neill all played lead roles.

Waterford representatives Pauric Mahony (eight points), Stephen Roche (1-1) and Austin Gleeson (three points) contributed generously to their winning total. Gleeson took over in the second half and claimed two incredible solo scores. DIT leaned too heavily on Jack Guiney as the Wexford sharpshooter hit 1-6.

The champions now face a taxing programme of three games in the space of five days to claim back-to-back titles. WIT will take on CIT in Friday’s semi-final for a repeat of last year’s decider.

Roche and Guiney swapped goals in the first half as WIT departed with a three-point cushion (1-7 to 1-4). DIT set up with Tipperary senior Kieran Bergin screening in front of the full back line and this led to a rather dull affair.

With WIT bossy at the back, they earned a 1-4 to 0-1 lead after 13 minutes. In the eighth minute, Jake Dillon was fouled for a penalty but goalkeeper Paddy McKenna was equal to Pauric Mahony’s shot.

Four minutes later, Austin Gleeson’s crossfield ball located Stephen Roche who rounded his marker and slammed a shot to the net.

Guiney then rallied for DIT. On 27 minutes, Jude Sweeney set him up as he completed a defence-splitting run with a fierce shot to the top corner.

Gleeson took centre stage for Colm Bonnar’s charges in the second half as they outscored their opponents by 11 points to three. On 44 minutes, he dashed down the right wing with the sliotar glued to his stick and produced the highlight of the evening to split the posts from a difficult position.

WIT pushed seven ahead by the end of the third quarter (1-13 to 1-6).

Martin O’Neill thwarted a certain goal for Guiney when he hooked the lively full forward and the sliotar spilled wide.

Gleeson added another dazzling single and the nine-time winners had the semi-finals firmly in their sights.

Late points from Stephen Roche, Pauric Mahony and Liam McGrath subsequently wrapped up a gritty 11-point win.

Scorers for WIT: Pauric Mahony 0-8 (6fs); Stephen Roche 1-1; Austin Gleeson 0-3; Gavin O’Brien, Liam McGrath 0-2 each; Jack Dillon, Johnny Hayes 0-1 each.

Scorers for DIT: Jack Guiney 1-6 (5fs); Conor Sheehan 0-1.

WIT

1. Darragh Stapleton (Limerick)

7. Owen McGrath (Kilkenny)

3. Ger Teehan (Kilkenny),

4. Jerome Maher (Waterford)

5. Thomas Hamill (Tipperary)

6. Martin O’Neill (Waterford)

2. Tom Fox (Tipperary)

8. Jack Langton (Kilkenny)

9. Stephen Roche (Waterford)

13. Gavin O’Brien (Waterford)

11. Pauric Mahony (Waterford)

10. Harry Kehoe (Wexford)

14. Liam McGrath (Tipperary)

12. Austin Gleeson (Waterford)

15. Jake Dillon (Waterford)

Subs:

20. Johnny Hayes (Kilkenny) for Dillon (36)

26. Ger Malone (Kilkenny) for Kehoe (48)

32. Philip Campion (Kilkenny) for Gleeson (56)

21. Ciaran O’Brien (Cork) for Langton (58)

17. Tommy Kavanagh (Tipperary) for Mahony (58)

DIT

1. Paddy McKenna (Kildare)

2. Brian Carey (Clare)

3. Tommy Doyle (Westmeath)

4. Conor Robinson (Dublin)

7. Glen Whelan (Dublin)

6. Kieran Bergin (Tipperary)

8. Justin Cahill (Tipperary)

12. Conor Sheehan (Limerick)

9. John Henderson (Wicklow)

27. Scott Murphy (Dublin)

14. Jack Guiney (Wexford)

10. Jude Sweeney (Dublin)

13. Michael Lee (Wicklow)

11. Derek McNicholas (Westmeath)

22. Joe McManus (Clare)

Subs

24. Daryl Roberts (Carlow) for Lee (28)

15. Willie McGrath (Meath) for Murphy (48).

Referee: Johnny Ryan (Tipperary)

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About the author:

Tomas McCarthy

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