An exciting close game ensued in Cusack Park, Ennis Co. Clare on Thursday as Limerick Side Mary Immaculate college defeated National Univesity of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) 1-18 to 18 points to set up a date in Waterford with University College Cork (UCC).
One of the themes of the game was the competition between Mary I’s Aaron Gillane and NUIG’s Evan Niland to see who could come out of the game as top scorer.
NUIG had the advantage of playing with the wind in the first half. It was a game with a lot of stop-starts, there were a lot of frees in this game, almost all scored by either Niland or Gillane.
It was a close affair between the two teams until just before half-time. Jack Fitzpatrick put his arm around Colin Guilfoyle who goes down to win a penalty. Guillane steps up to score the penalty before Niland adds a point to lessen the blow. At half-time it was Mary I 1-8 NUIG 0-9
The second half picked up from where the game left off, more scored from frees form Niland and Guilane and neither side pulling ahead to make a big lead. NUIG had to work hard in order to score points, Mary I displaying their strong defence.
Midway through the second half Mary I goalkeeper Eoghan Cahill made a vital save, keeping the advantage for his team. In added time, NUIG were dropping balls in the area in hope that one of their players would score the goal that they vitally needed, but it wasn’t to be.
The game finished Mary I 1-18 NUIG 0-18
Mary Immaculate College now go on to face UCC in the final of the Fitzgibbon Cup on Saturday in Waterford IT.
Photo credit: Mary Immaculate College, Limerick