Lynch and Niland impress as NUI Galway claim victory over UCC

NUI Galway 0-23
UCC 0-14

John Fallon reports from Dangan

NUI GALWAY SECURED home advantage for the quarter-finals of the Fitzgibbon Cup after an impressive victory over UCC at Dangan in Galway.

Both sides had already qualified for the knockout stages so home advantage was the prize on offer on a wet afternoon in Galway and Jeff Lynskey’s side delivered a solid performance in a game where they never trailed.

It helps, of course, to have the Hurler of the Year on board and the deft touches of Cian Lynch, especially in the opening half, were decisive and he could be poised to follow up his successes with Mary Immaculate in this competition with the Galway university where he is studying a Masters in Education.

But once again it was the accuracy of Galway’s Evan Niland which provided the scores as the Clarinbridge man landed twelve frees and one from play, while another who will be key to Henry Shefflin’s plans, Killimordaly’s Brian Concannon, was again impressive.

UCC were just unable to break down a rock solid Galway defence where Jack Fitzpatrick was again outstanding along with 2017 All-Ireland minor winning captain Darren Morrissey, while the 2019 successful captain Ian McGlynn was prominent in midfield.

That gave NUIG, looking for their first Fitzgibbon since 2010, a big platform and UCC were chasing the game from early on as the hosts opened up a 0-10 to 0-2 lead at the end of the opening quarter when they had the wind and rain behind them.

Three William Henn frees and points from the hard-working Shane Barrett and Mark Kehoe gave UCC hope but they turned around trailing by 0-15 to 0-6.

They needed a big start to the second-half but NUIG matched them point for point in the third quarter to lead by 0-19 to 0-10 and with UCC never looking like they would chisel their way through a resolute defence for a goal, the Galway college eased into a home quarter-final.

Scorers for NUI Galway: Evan Niland 0-13 (0-12f), Brian Concannon 0-3, Conor Walsh 0-2, Mark Gill 0-1, Ian McGlynn 0-1, Cian Lynch 0-1, John Fleming 0-1, Mark Kennedy 0-1.

Scorers for UCC: Shane Barrett 0-6 (0-5f, 0-1 ’65), William Henn 0-3f, Mark Kehoe 0-3, Conor Bowe 0-1, Simon Kennefick 0-1.

NUI Galway

1. Liam O’Reilly (Castlegar, Galway)

2. Eoin Lawless (Athenry, Galway), 3 Jack Fitzpatrick (Killimordaly, Galway), 4. Conor Caulfield (Kilconieron, Galway)

5. Caimin Killeen (Loughrea, Galway), 6. Darren Morrissey (Sarsfields, Galway), 7 Mark Gill (Castlegar, Galway)

8. Ian McGlynn (Kilconieron, Galway), 9. Diarmuid Kilcommins (Annaghdown, Galway)

10. Conor Walsh (Turloughmore, Galway), 11, Cian Lynch (Patrickswell, Limerick), 12. Brian Concannon (Killimordaly, Galway)

15. Phillip Hickey (Nenagh Éire Óg, Tipperary) 14. John Fleming (Meelick-Eyrecourt, Galway), 13. Evan Niland (Clarinbridge, Galway)

Subs

26. Mark Kennedy (Clarinbridge, Galway) for Hickey (50)

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18. Sean Burke (Kilconieron, Galway) for Kilcommins (50)

19. Adam Brett (Galway) for Gill (53)

23. Liam Forde (Galway) for Fleming (53)

17. Eoin O’Donnell (Galway) for Killeen (57)

UCC

1. Ian Butler (Kildorrery, Cork)

3. Niall O’Leary (Castlelyons, Cork), 9. Ger Millerick (Fr O’Neills, Cork), 4 Killian O’Dwyer (Killenaule, Tipperary)

17. Rob Downey (Glen Rovers, Cork), 5. Ronan Connolly (Adare, Limerick) 22 Ciaran Barry (Ahane, Limerick)

6. Tommy O’Connell (Midleton, Cork), 7. Daire Connery (Na Piarsaigh, Cork)

10. Conor Boylan (Na Piarsaigh, Limerick), 8. Conor Cahalane (St Finbarr’s, Cork), 14. Shane Barrett (Blarney, Cork)

18. Simon Kennefick (Glen Rovers, Cork), 11. William Henn (Na Piarsaigh, Limerick), 12 Mark Kehoe (Kilsheelan-Kilcash, Tipperary)

Subs

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21. Padraig Power (Blarney, Cork) for Barry (27)

13. Conor Bowe (Moyne-Templetuohy, Tipperary) for Henn (half-time)

15. Jack O’Connor (Sarsfields, Cork) for O’Connell (half-time)

33. Cormac O’Brien (Newtownshandrum, Cork) for Cahalane (46)

28. Eoin Roche (Bride Rovers, Cork) for Connery (52)

Referee: Johnny Murphy (Limerick)

Today’s other Fitzgibbon Cup results

Group A

  • Mary Immaculate College 6-15 UCD 6-15

Group B

  • DCU 2-13 IT Carlow 3-10
  • Waterford IT 5-17 Maynooth University 0-20

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