Limerick sides set for battle in Fitzgibbon Cup

THE O’Brien clan of Patrickswell will be divided this Thursday as the University of Limerick clash with city rivals Limerick Institute of Technology in the opening game of the Fitzgibbon Cup.

THE O’Brien clan of Patrickswell will be divided this Thursday as the University of Limerick clash with city rivals Limerick Institute of Technology in the opening game of the Fitzgibbon Cup.

Champions UL will include Thomas O’Brien in their panel while his younger brother Seanie is part of the LIT set up.

Indeed Thomas scored the winning goal when the sides met in last year’s final of the Third Level Colleges hurling championship.

The game on Thursday will take place at 2pm in the UL grounds.

Last March, UL were crowned champions for the fourth time and the Ger Cunningham managed side are again favourites to retain their crown.O’Brien is likely to be the only local in the plans of UL.

Davy Fitzgerald will lead LIT into battle this Thursday with a host of Limerick players that he is likely to oppose in the Waterford Crystal Cup on Saturday evening.

The Clare senior hurling manager doubles as the manager of LIT and faces a hectic week with the Fitzgibbon Cup on Thursday and then on Saturday evening, Fitzgerald’s Clare will provide the opposition as John Allen makes his debut as Limerick manager.

That Limerick v Clare game is in the Waterford Crystal Cup and will take place underlights in Sixmilebridge at 7.00.

Fitzgerald’s LIT will include seven Limerick club players - Eoin Ryan and Paudie O’Brien (both Kilmallock), Paul Browne, Jason Hayes, Colin Madden (all Bruff), Richie McCarthy (Blackrock) and Sean O’Brien (Patrickswell).

Also in the plans of the Moylish side are Galway star Joe Canning and a host of Clare players including former Ardscoil Ris Harty Cup winning captain Cathal McInerney of Cratloe.

UL will have Tipperary’s Paddy Stapleton, Padraic Maher and Paul Kelly, Galway’s Cyril Donnellan, Clare’s Brendan Bugler and Kilkenny brothers Martin and Paraic Walsh in their squad.

Both UL and LIT will play Dublin’s St Patrick’s Mater Dei in the group stages of the championship with the two Limerick colleges fancied to progress to the quarter-finals.

Meanwhile, the UL footballers bowed out of the Sigerson Cup on Tuesday as they lost to University of Ulster Jordanstown by 1-10 to 1-9. UL led by three points at half-time, 1-7 to 0-7, the goal coming from John O’Rourke and all of their points from Davy Conway.

However, UL could only manage two further points in the second half as Jordanstown fought back. In the Trench Cup, LIT beat University of Ulster Coleraine by 6-16 to 0-8 to advance to the quarter-finals.