IT Carlow 5-20
By Kieran Murphy
IT Carlow’s quest for Fitzgibbon Cup glory continues after a fantastic victory over NUI Galway in a cracking clash at IT Carlow on Thursday evening.
DJ Carey’s men will take on Mary Immaculate Limerick in the semi-final at DCU Sportsgrounds on Saturday at 2pm. That game will be followed by DCU against UCC in the other semi-final at 4pm.
Rory Higgins was the hero for IT Carlow on Thursday. The Rathnure man came on as a substitute and rattled home 2-3 to help power his side into the last four.
Carlow hit their stride early and took a 2-9 to 0-9 lead into half-time. Borris-Ileigh forward Jerry Kelly, fresh from a huge performance on the losing side in the recent All-Ireland club final, was set up by Chris Nolan of Mount Leinster Rangers for their first goal. Seamus Casey tagged on a second for a nine-point lead after just 11 minutes of action.
Galway never gave up, and stuck with their hosts for the rest of the half. NUIG continued to pile on the pressure and forced extra-time when the sides finished 3-13 to 0-22 at the end of normal time.
IT Carlow held their heads, though, and despite having never won this competition, they showed a ruthless streak to take a 5-17 to 0-26 lead into half-time in extra-time.
There would be no spirited comeback, and instead IT Carlow pushed on for the final whistle to seal their place in the semis.
IT Carlow: Enda Rowland (Laois, 0-4 frees); Shane Reck (Wexford, 0-1), Sean Downey (Laois), Fergal Hayes (Tipperary); Podge Delany (Laois), Jason Cleere (Kilkenny), Niall Brassil (Kilkenny); Richie Leahy (Kilkenny, 0-1), Luke Scanlon (Kilkenny); Michael Harney (Waterford), Cathal Dunbar (Wexford, 1-1), Jerry Kelly (Tipperary, 1-1); Chris Nolan (Carlow, 0-1), Liam Blanchfield (Kilkenny), Seamus Casey (Wexford, 1-8, 0-6 frees). Sub: Rory Higgins (Wexford, 2-3)
NUIG (Galway unless stated): Sean Manogue (Kilkenny); Darren Morrissey, Jack Fitzpatrick, Caimin Killeen; Daniel Loftus, Shane Burke (0-1), Mark Gill; Sean Loftus (0-2), Ian Fox (0-2); Conor Elwood, Liam Forde, Brian Concannon (0-2); Michael Lynch (0-2), Evan Niland (0-18, 0-14 frees), Paul Hoban. Subs: Andrew Greaney, John Fleming (0-1), Sean Kennedy (Clare)
Referee: J Owens (Wexford)