After much back-and-forth over the past week, the concluding stages of the Fitzgibbon Cup (Third Level A Hurling Championship) start this Friday at Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT).
The decision of Mary Immaculate College, Limerick to appeal, after IT Carlow had won its appeal and were re-instated last week, led to the postponement of two quarter-finals to Tuesday of this week.
IT Carlow had beaten Mary Immaculate College to win a quarter-final place but they were subsequently removed from the competition when the ruling authority decided they had included an illegal player.
The Leinster college successfully appealed that decision to get back into the competition but the remaining two quarter-finals remained in doubt right up to Tuesday morning, after Mary Immaculate decided to take their case to the DRA, whose decision to uphold Carlow’s position was confirmed a few hours before the quarter-final took place at the Limerick college venue.
Following their win on Tuesday, LIT manager Davy Fitzgerald called on the college authorities to defer the semi-finals until next week but the request did not succeed.
The hosts secured their passage to the semi-finals with a 1-15 to 0-14 win over IT Carlow, while the remaining quarter-final place was sealed later on Tuesday evening, when titleholders Waterford IT accounted for DIT, 1-18 to 1-7.
Niall O’Connor, Newmarket; Stephen O’Halloran, Clarecastle and David Reidy, Éire Óg lined out for LIT, while Paddy Fitzgerald, Bodyke and Shane McGrath, Feakle were both introduced during the second half. Reidy scored 1-8 for the Limerick side, 0-7 coming from placed balls.
Hosted by LIT, semi-final games in the Ryan, Maher and Fitzgibbon Cups are scheduled for Friday, with the finals down for decision on Saturday.
Mick Neville Park in Rathkeale will host the Ryan Cup semi-finals, when Queens University play IT Tralee at 11am, followed at 12.30pm by the meeting of Trinity College and St Pat’s, Thurles.
Na Piarsaigh’s grounds will host the Fergal Maher Cup semi-finals. Galway-Roscommon ETB will play Sligo IT at 11am, followed by the meeting of Cork College of Further Education and Marion Institute of Education at 12.30pm.
In the Fitzgibbon Cup, holders Waterford IT will play Cork IT in the first of the semi-finals at LIT at 1pm, and it will be followed by the all-Limerick clash of UL and the hosts at 2.45pm.
On Saturday, the finals of the Corn Padraig Mac Diarmada and the Fergal Maher Cup will go ahead at LIT at 1pm and 2.30pm, respectively, while the Ryan Cup final will open proceedings at the Gaelic Grounds at 5.30pm. This will be followed by the Fitzgibbon Cup final at 7.30pm.