Mary Immaculate College 3-24
IT Carlow 1-19
John Fallon reports from Pearse Stadium
CHAMPIONS MARY IMMACULATE College from Limerick retained their Fitzgibbon Cup title with a deserved success in Salthill.
DJ Carey’s IT Carlow came up short but the win was a memorable day for Mary I manager Jamie Wall.
He was on the Mary I team beaten in the final four years ago at Pearse Stadium but is confined to a wheelchair following an illness almost three years ago.
Mary I, backed by the breeze, led by double scores at 0-16 to 0-8 at the end of a free-flowing opening half.
They got a great start with points from Michael O’Neill, Aaron Gillane and Conor Twomey in the opening four minutes.
But IT Carlow, appearing in their first final, settled and Stephen Maher got them off the mark after five minutes with the first of five pointed frees which he delivered in the opening half.
Limerick’s Darragh O’Donovan hit two superb points from sidelines for Mary I and Tipperary’s Ronan Maher landed four with the wind, three of them frees from distance.
That kept pushing the reigning champions further ahead and they led by 0-9 to 0-3 at the end of the opening quarter.
But IT Carlow kept hanging in there with Waterford’s Colin Dunford and Charles Dwyer finding the range.
Mary I finished the opening half strongly with former All-Star Colm Galvin hitting a superb point and Limerick’s Cian Lynch bringing his haul to 0-3 to lead by eight at the break.
Two more frees by Maher cut the gap in the opening four minutes of the second-half but O’Neill hit back with his third point for Mary I.
And then a delivery from Luke Meade broke for O’Donovan to dispatch the ball to the net with a one-handed strike and make it 1-17 to 0-10 after 36 minutes with Conor Twomey extending the lead with a point from distance.
But IT Carlow never gave up and points from Martin Kavanagh and Maher gave them hope as they reduced the margin to 1-20 to 0-14 going into the final quarter.
Then Mary I struck another huge blow when Gillane blasted home a penalty after he was fouled by Kevin Hannfinn with 12 minutes left.
Maher got a goal for Carlow six minutes from time but the gap was too big to bridge for the newcomers and Mary finished in style with a goal from Tim O’Mahony.
Scorers for Mary I – A Gillane 1-5 (1-0 pen, 0-4f), D O’Donovan 1-3 (0-2 sl), R Maher 0-4 (0-3f), T O’Mahony 1-0, M O’Neill 0-3, C Lynch 0-3, C Twomey 0-3, C Galvin 0-1, L Meade 0-1, S Cahill 0-1.
Scorers for IT Carlow – S Maher 1-13 (0-12f), C Dunford 0-2, C Dwyer 0-2, M Kavanagh 0-1, C Bolger 0-1.
Mary Immaculate College
1. Ciaran Barrett (Clonmel Óg, Tipperary)
2. David Sweeney (Kiladangan, Tipperary)
3. Richie English (Doon, Limerick)
4. Eoin Quirke (captain) (Whitegate, Clare)
of the team
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5. Conor Twomey (Newtownshandrum, Cork)
6. Ronan Maher (Thurles Sarsfields, Tipperary)
7. Alan Flynn (Kiladangan, Tipperary)
8. Colm Galvin (Clonlara, Clare)
9. Stephen Cahill (Thurles Sarsfields, Tipperary)
10. Darragh O’Donovan (Doon, Limerick)
11. Michael O’Neill (Kilmaley, Clare)
12. Aaron Gillane (Patrickswell, Limerick)
17. Tadhg Gallagher (Kiladangan, Tipperary)
14. Cian Lynch (Patrickswell, Limerick)
22. Luke Meade (Newcestown, Cork)
13. Thomas Monaghan (Craughwell, Galway) for Gallagher (half-time)
27. Tim O’Mahony (Newtownshandrum, Cork) for O’Neill (55)
15. Sean Burke (Grenagh, Cork) for Gillane (63).
1. Enda Rowland (Abbeyleix, Laois)
2. Dwayne Palmer (Camross, Laois)
3. Kevin Hannafin (St Brendan’s, Kerry)
4. Ross Browne (Colligan, Waterford)
5. Robert Moran (Castlecomer, Kilkenny)
6. Damian Healy (Longwood, Meath)
7. Dale O’Hanlon (Carrick Swans, Tipperary)
8. James Doyle (St Mullin’s, Carlow)
9. Colin Dunford (Colligan, Waterford)
12. Martin Kavanagh (St Mullin’s, Carlow)
10. Charles Dwyer (Ballinakill, Laois)
14. Stephen Maher (Clough-Ballacolla, Laois)
15. Chris Bolger (Clara, Kilkenny)
11. Mark Russell (Lattin-Cullen, Tipperary)
13. Jack Fagan (De La Salle, Waterford)
17. Tommy Nolan (Drom/Inch, Tipperary) for Russell (50)
Referee: Brian Gavin (Offaly).
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