Roche heralds LIT win as a “huge victory”

John Morley

DCU hurling coach Eoin Roche during the universities’ win over LIT. Credit: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

DCU hurling boss Eoin Roche described his side’s 3-15 to 2-17 victory over LIT as a “huge victory”, as his side beat Davy Fitzgerald’s side in the group C opener of the Fitzgibbon Cup.

The DCU hurlers followed up the win against the favourites with an impressive win of 2-22 to 0-08 win over Garda College.

Dublin’s Donal Burke and Waterford’s Patrick Curran inspired DCU against the Treaty men with Burke bagging 2-3 and Curran 1-6.

The 20-point beating of Garda College means the DCU contingent will now look forward to a home quarter-final against the winners of NUIG and last year’s champions Mary Immaculate.

“They were two good wins. We’ve never gone past the quarter-finals of the Fitzgibbon in recent years, so the LIT victory was huge,” said Roche. “They (Curran and Burke) were very good, John Donnelly had a great game for us from half-forward but maybe the score-sheet just didn’t reflect that.

“They are two very strong squads. Mary I have Cian Lynch and Luke Meade in their squad and NUIG have All-Ireland winners in the Mannions and Conor Whelan, so either side will pose a great challenge.”

Roche also identified UCD and Carlow IT as strong contenders in the race for the Fitzgibbon Cup.

“Carlow are going very well and UCD also had a great win so its great for the competition and it’s great for Leinster hurling,” said Roche.

After bowing out of the competition at the quarter-final stage in previous years, Roche is determined to guide his side further in 2018, and he pinned progress by the DCU seniors as the fruits of the labours at underage level in the college.

“We’re not content with just getting to the quarters, if we win, it would be our first semi-final since 1997 I think, so it would be huge for hurling in the college,” he said.

“It’s a combination of successful freshers teams in the last few years. You have to start tradition some place. If you look at Waterford (WIT) or LIT they only pushed on in the late 90’s, early 2000’s.”

Roche was delighted with the home draw of quarter-final for hurling fans.

“Its great for Leinster hurling people,” he noted.

“There’ll be people from Dublin, Wexford, Carlow, and from parts of Munster too with a huge interest in this game.”

The quarter-final takes place on the 7th of February.

John Morley

Image Credit: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile