DCU have made it into their first ever Electric Ireland Fitzgibbon Cup final after a convincing 2-20 to 1-12 win over their city rivals DIT. It sets up a superb final showdown as UL will face the Dublin side on Saturday week in Mallow.
Na Fianna & Dublin’s Donal Burke was very much the star of the show as the skillful hurler finished with an impressive haul of 1-09 including this nicely struck goal.
An early goal rattled DIT and it proved the difference between the sides at half-time as DCU went in 1-07 to 0-7 ahead. A strong crowd gathered at Parnell Park for the game as they anticipated a shoot-out between Burke and Westmeath and DIT forward Niall O’Brien, who landed 0-11 in the quarter-final.
O'Brien went one better than that tally tonight as he contributed an impressive 1-09, including 0-07 from frees and a late consolation goal but it was to no avail as DCU never lost their lead.
DCU's ability to fly out of the blocks proved crucial as a goal within three minutes in the first half and three points within three minutes in the second-half gave them a consistent breathing space that allowed for real confidence throughout the game.
Derek McNicholas became the second player to score with a long-range effort for DIT but they struggled to contain a mobile attack and it showed. Waterford's Peter Hogan compounded matters when he was sprung from the bench and grabbed a second goal shortly after to make it that bit more comfortable for his DCU.
To reach a final reflects the superb work being done by DCU hurling after their Freshers claimed an All-Ireland title last year. Their manager at the time was Eoin Roche who now looks to deliver an even bigger accolade to the college.
Roche has managed to progress several members of that first-year side into the Fitzgibbon team including the semi-final man-of-the-match Donal Burke and half-forward Conor Burke.
They overcame a much-fancied LIT side in Limerick during the group stages and will have no fear about facing a star-studded UL team on Saturday.
DIT were also vying for their first Electric Ireland Fitzgibbon Cup Final and can be proud of reaching this stage. They still have representation on the GAA front too as their footballers take on NUIG in the Electric Ireland Sigerson Cup semi-final.
— Daire Keogh (@DaireKeogh) February 13, 2018
— Pádraig Bolger (@Podge_Bolger) February 13, 2018
Looking ahead to the final, DCU will need to get the absolute most out of their talented forward line, not just Burke. At full-forward they have Robbie Greville who was a talented Westmeath minor and is now involved with their senior panel while they also have strength in reserve, introducing four subs who contributed a combined 1-04.
They will undoubtedly be underdogs, but their level of performance thus far this year will give them every reason to believe they are capable of an upset.
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