Confident back-to-back performances secure DCU a place in Fitzgibbon Cup quarter-finals

Christy Dunne

Fergal Whitely of DCU in action against Robert Downes of LIT. Credit: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

After their demolition job of Garda College at home finished the week two for two, DCU ensured passage out of Group C into the next round of the Fitzgibbon Cup.

With their fate secured, DCU will have the added benefit of more preparation time over their quarter-final counterparts, who will emerge from the highly competitive Group D.

DCU began the week with their toughest fixture with a trip to last year’s semi finalists, Limerick IT.

With Thomond Park serving as the backdrop, DCU came out of the blocks and set the pace early on, establishing a 2-5 to 0-3 lead with goals from Donal Burke and Patrick Curran.

After the restart, LIT imposed themselves on the game but could not pull level, finding themselves 3-14 to 1-14 down in the closing stages.

However, a late rally by the two-time champions saw the game all-square entering injury time.

With the clock ticking, Curran marked off an excellent individual performance with the winner in the 62nd minute for DCU.

After the fiercely contested LIT game, the following task was much more straightforward throughout.

A hard fought first half against a physically imposing Garda College side put the home side ahead by a score line of 0-10 to 0-5 at the interval.

Burke found the back of the net for the second game running midway through the second half, helping DCU to a comfortable 2-22 to 0-8 win.

The result made DCU only the second side to guarantee their place in the Quarter Finals, following IT Carlow’s win against NUI Galway earlier that day. DCU will now look towards the 7th of February where they will have home advantage over the runner up of Group D.

With IT Carlow already claiming top spot in Group D, DCU await the result of Thursday’s fixture between Mary Immaculate College Limerick and NUI Galway.

Both sides have enjoyed similar campaigns so far. Having lost to IT Carlow by a goal each, the two sides comfortably beat Trinity College Dublin to set up what can be considered a straight play-off for second place in Limerick. Mary Immaculate enter the competition as reigning champions and will no doubt prove to be DCU’s toughest test should they see off NUIG’s challenge.

Christy Dunne

Image Credit: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile