FITZGIBBON CUP THIRD LEVEL COLLEGES HURLING

The semi-finals and final of the Fitzgibbon Cup Third Level Colleges Senior Hurling will take place in Dublin this weekend. The first semi-final at 12 noon on Friday will be between Cork IT and University of Limerick and the second semi-final at 3pm will be between UCC and Waterford IT. Both games will be played at the Clanna Gael Fontenoys grounds in Ringsend. Incidentally, these grounds have been used in the past by many Tipperary teams for pre-match warm-ups prior to playing games in Croke Park. The All-Ireland winning team of 2001 did their pre-match warm-ups at Clanna Gael Fontenoys for their draw and replay against Wexford and the final against Galway.

There will be Fitzgibbon Cup 2009 medallists from Tipperary after Saturday evening’s final, which takes place at 5pm in Parnell Park, as all 4 semi-finalists have Tipperary representatives on their panels. Cork IT will be seeking their first title and also a football and hurling double, having won their first Sigerson Cup last weekend. Niall Teehan (Gortnahoe- Glengoole) and Peter Downey (Ballyneale) are the Tipperary players on the Cork IT panel. University of Limerick are seeking their fourth title having last won the competition in 2003. They will be captained by Thomas Stapleton (Templederry Kenyons) and other Tipp players on the panel are Paddy McCormack (Thurles Sarsfields), Brian Fox (Éire Óg, Annacarty), Jim Bob McCarthy (Golden-Kilfeacle), Ryan O’Dwyer (Cashel King Cormacs), Kevin Lannigan (Carrick Swans), James Heffernan (Clonoulty Rossmore) and Eoin Ryan (Loughmore-Castleiney). Dinny Ryan (Newport), a former Tipperary senior hurler, is a selector with UL. The other semi-final sees defending champions Waterford IT, seeking their ninth title, taking on UCC who top the roll of honour with 39 titles but have not won the competition since 1998. Martin Dunne (Moyle Rovers), Stephen Lillis (Thurles Sarsfields), Timmy Hammersley (Clonoulty-Rossmore), Ray McLoughney (Kilruane MacDonaghs) and Stephen Spillane (Arravale Rovers) are on the Waterford IT panel. UCC have Michael Cahill (Thurles Sarsfields), Shane Bourke (JK Brackens) and Shane Walsh (Fethard) on their panel. UCC’s Tipperary connections extend further as the Secretary of the UCC hurling club is Mike Shanahan (Knockavilla Kickhams) and one of the selectors is Eddie Enright (Thurles Sarsfields), who won an All-Ireland senior hurling medal and All-Star award in 2001.

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