DCU and St. Pat’s deadlocked in final Fitzgibbon group game

DCU 2-17
St. Patrick’s College 1-20

February 9th, 2016.

The DCU Senior hurlers played out a thrilling 2-17 to 1-20 draw with local rivals St. Patrick’s College in the final game of the Fitzgibbon Cup group stages as former Dublin county player Danny Sutcliffe hit a last gasp sideline free to ensure DCU avoided defeat.

It was the last of Sutcliffe’s three points and arguably his most difficult but the score meant DCU avoided defeat in a game they really should have won. After a slow start which seen Pat’s race out to an early four-point lead, DCU battled their way back into the first half to head into half time down just two scores.
Some excellent defensive work from Daire Barden and some crafty play from right corner forward Cathal Curran set the tone for Nick Weir’s charges just before the interval.

The hosts were able to capitalise on late first half momentum early in the second half with two goals in quick succession from Gary Howard and Peter Hogan. Sutcliffe and Hogan provided the assists in the build up with Pats goalkeeper Paul Simms never really standing a chance at stopping either shot.

Further scores from Whitehall’s Sean Gray, Kilkenny’s Conor Joyce and Howard meant that DCU boasted a seven-point lead just after the forty minute mark. Weir’s side looked destined for a routine win after a seemingly very slow start but a five-point second half haul from Waterford’s Paddy Curran meant that Pat’s narrowed the lead to just two.

As the game entered the final minutes both sides exchanged scores with Pat’s substitute forward Christy Breathnach adding a late goal to put the visitors in front.
Both sides would exchange scores before Joyce missed a crucial long range free that in hindsight would’ve won DCU the game. Curran looked to have sealed the winner with a routine free but Sutcliffe’s late equaliser meant the game would finish as a tie.

The result matters little to both sides with the game a dead-rubber at this point in the competition but it will be the last time the two teams face each other in the Fitzgibbon Cup with Pat’s now falling under the DCU banner in a long term effort to incorporate the teaching college into the University.

DCU: D.D. Renehan; J. Tyrell, T. French, P. O’Dea, M. Daly (E. McHugh 47′), K. Fitzgerald, M. Heaney, D. Barden, C. Curran, G. Howard (P. Lynam 57′), D. Sutcliffe, D. Staunton, P. Hogan (S. Gray 26′), C. Joyce, N. O’Connor.

St. Patrick’s College: P. Simms, D. Egan, C. Shaw, K. Treacy, B. Hanlon, R. Fitzpatrick, J. McGrath, N. Mullins, J. de Barun, W. Murphy (C. Breathnach 52′), M. Collins, E. Price, J. Bruton (F. Ó Cuirrín 40′), P. Curran, T. Devlin.

Referee: J. McGrath (Westmeath)

Jack O’Toole

Image Credit: Sportsfile

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