THE University of Limerick will play champions Waterford IT in Saturday’s Fitzgibbon Cup final after Friday’s respective semi-finals.
The decider will take place in the Gaelic Grounds at 7.30 and be televised live on TG4.
The curtain-raiser at 5.30 is the Ryan Cup final between Queens University of Belfast and Trinity College of Dublin.
UL booked their place in the final with a 2-18 to 1-14 semi-final win over Limerick rivals, LIT in Moylish this Friday afternoon.
Twelve months ago Davy Fitzgerald had masterminded a memorable quarter-final win for underdogs LIT against their city rivals.
But this time round, UL looked the more composed outfit throughout, even if the contest was a clot closer than many expected for long periods.
Indeed it was only a 58th minute goal from sub Stephen Bennett that finally helped Brian Lohan’s UL to see off LIT.
Entering the final eight minutes it was 1-16 to 1-14 to UL but a late flourish ensured victory.
At half time, UL led 0-10 to 1-6.
Willie Ryan had the LIT goal in the 10th minute for a side missing suspended captain Alan Dempsey.
It was a half that saw Cathal McInerney hit four points for UL from play in his first start of the year in the championship.
UL stormed clear at the start of the second half with Dan Morrissey staring their run of scores.
When Jason Forde goaled UL were 1-13 to 1-6 clear with just six minutes gone in the second period.
Then UL had Jack Browne sent off in the game’s 39th minute.
Back came LIT to leave it 1-13 to 1-10 entering the final quarter.
Patrickswell’s O’Brien brothers, Seanie (LIT)and Kevin (UL) exchanged points but UL were still keeping LIT at bay.
LIT needed a goal but the green flag came to UL when Bennett found the net two minutes from time in a move that saw LIT’s Niall O’Connor sent-off.
SCORERS: UL: Jason Forde 1-3 0-1free, 0-1 ‘65), Cathal McInerney 0-4, David McInerney and John McGrath (3frees) 0-3 each, Stephen Bennett 1-0, Kevin O’Brien 0-2, Conor Martin, Tommy Heffernan, Dan Morrissey 0-1 each. LIT: David Reidy 0-8 (7frees), Willie Ryan 1-0, Martin Fitzgerald and Paul Killeen 0-2 each, Paul Flaherty and Seanie O’Brien 0-1 each.
LIMERICK IT: Aaron Murphy (Hospital-Herberstown, Limerick); Mikey Kiely (Ballybrown, Limerick), Niall O’Connor (Clare), Kieran Bennett (Waterford), Willie Ryan (Tipperary), Barry O’Connell (Kildimo-Pallaskenry, Limerick), Shane Gleeson (Clare); Stephen O’Halloran (Clare), Martin Fitzgerald (Kildare), Paul Flaherty (Galway), Seanie O’Brien (Patrickswell, Limerick); Joe Campion (Laois); David Reidy (Clare), Paul Killeen (Galway), David Dempsey (Na Piarsaigh, Limerick). Sub: Paddy Fitzgerald (Clare) for Joe Campion (51mins).
UL: Paul Maher (Tipperary); Jack Browne (Clare), Brian Troy (Kilkenny), Gearoid Ryan (Clare); Brian Stapleton (Tipperary), David McInerney (Clare), Daire Quinn (Tipperary); Tony Kelly (Clare), Dan Morrissey (Ahane, Limerick); Jason Forde (Tipperary), Conor Martin (Kilkenny), John McGrath (Tipperary); Kevin O’Brien (Patrickswell, Limerick), Cathal McInerney (Clare), Tommy Heffernan (Tipperary). Sub: Stephen Bennett (Waterford) for Tommy Heffernan (41mins).
REFEREE: James McGrath (Westmeath).