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SETU Waterford Into Fitzgibbon Cup Quarter-Finals After 'Humdinger' Game

SETU Waterford Into Fitzgibbon Cup Quarter-Finals After 'Humdinger' Game
PJ Browne
By PJ Browne
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SETU Waterford progressed to the quarter-finals of the Electric Ireland Fitzgibbon Cup after a two-point win against MTU Cork at the SETU Arena on Wednesday night.

SETU won the game, 1-19 to 0-20. Deise hurler Padraig Fitzgerlad got the goal, while his fellow inter-county teammate Reuben Halloran scored 0-11 from frees.

"It was a real humdinger of a match," SETU Waterford manager Fintan O'Connor told Balls.ie reporter Lauren Guilfoyle after the game.

"I won't sleep with everything running through my head. In fairness to [MTU] Cork, they gave it everything that they had.

"I was watching their match against Galway two weeks ago, and they are a serious team. You talk about leadership, young Joyce there at centre- back, they have some serious hurlers. He drove them forward, got some unreal scores, won I don't know how many puckouts. That's what college hurling is about: Lads like that standing up, and dragging their team along with them."


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For SETU, the victory was atonement for a disappointing 13-point defeat to the University of Galway in Dangan last week.


"We felt we didn't play as well we could last week up in Galway," said O'Connor.


"That's not taking away from NUIG because they're a serious team. We're just happy to get the win. It's all about getting into the quarter-finals.

"We said beforehand that if we could just get over the line, that's what it's all about.


"Disappointment is good fuel for a performance, and last week, we were disappointed, all of us. We felt we could have worked harder at times. They wanted to put that right tonight. In fairness, they did work very hard."

'It's probably their last year playing Fitzgibbon Cup hurling'

The quarter-finals will be played on February 8th and 9th, just days after the opening weekend of the Allianz Hurling League.

"It's the same for everyone," said O'Connor when asked about how he'll deal with players who are also on inter-county panels.


"Every Fitzgibbon team will be dealing with every county manager, and in fairness to them, they know that for a lot of the inter-county lads, it's probably their last year playing Fitzgibbon hurling, and they usually give a bit of leeway. Leave them off [training] on Tuesday night, maybe play over the weekend, and then they rest and recover, and try to be right for the Wednesday.

"It's unbelievably taxing on them. Usually, on a Fitzgibbon panel, you have 15 - 20 lads waiting to come on. Usually, you use three or four as the competition progresses.

"We'll just play it by ear, see how we go. We're all so excited about inter-county hurling coming back at the weekend. For a college team, it's lovely to have that inter-county fella involved. Mikey Butler played last year, and we were all delighted for him getting Young Hurler of the Year. You'd be really proud of him.


"We played Waterford in a challenge match over Christmas. I think MTU [Cork] have played Cork in a challenge match. Ideally it works as a relationship, and if we work together, it's healthy for the county, and healthy for the college."

See Also: Goalkeeper The Hero As UCC Win Dramatic Sigerson Cup Shootout

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