Champions UL lift Fitzgibbon Cup in Mallow last February
THERE are a total of 34 Limerick players registered across nine different Third Level Colleges as the Fitzgibbon Cup commences this weekend.
The prestigious senior hurling championship has returned to Limerick in each of the last four years and once again the trio of local colleges are among the favourites to lift the title in Waterford on Saturday February 23.
Holders UL, Mary Immaculate, and LIT are all kept apart in the group stages but there could be a local derby in the February 6/7/ quarter finals or February 12 semi finals.
Sixteen different local clubs will supply hurlers to varying college teams with Limerick representation in all bar five of the declared Fitzgibbon Cup panels.
The Limerick contingent includes 14 members of John Kiely’s 2018 All-Ireland winning panel - five August 19 starters - Diarmaid Byrnes, Aaron Gillane, Tom Morrissey, Seamus Flanagan and Kyle Hayes.
Gary Kirby will attempt to defend the title in his second season at the helm in UL. There are nine locals in the UL panel - Tom Morrissey (Ahane), Kyle Hayes (Kildimo-Pallaskenry), Barry Murphy (Doon), Barry Nash (South Liberties), Jamie Power (Monaleen), Ronan Lynch (Na Piarsaigh), Lorcan Lyons (Monaleen), Dan Joy (Kilmallock) and Kevin O’Brien (Patrickswell).
UL have three group games but just their round one tie on Sunday will be at home.
On Sunday they face a UCC side that will have Paddy O’Loughlin (Kilmallock) in their panel and in round three UL will be in Dublin to play a UCD side that will have Seamus Flanagan (Feohanagh-Castlemahon) in their ranks.
Like UL, LIT also have nine locals in their ranks - Diarmaid Byrnes (Patrickswell), Peter Casey (Na Piarsaigh), David Dempsey (Na Piarsaigh), Oisin O’Reilly (Kilmallock), William O’Meara (Askeaton), Darren O’Connell (Kildimo-Pallaskenry), Brian Fanning (Pallasgreen), Bryan Curtin (Adare), James O’Riordan (Bruff).
For the first time in 16 years, LIT aren’t managed by Davy Fitzgerald. Their new manager is Clare senior hurling selector Jimmy Browne. The management team is completed by John Fitzgerald (Na Piarsaigh), Mikey Kiely (Ballybrown) Shane McGrath (Ballinahinch, Tipperary); John Carey (Clare) and Donnacha McNamara (Monaleen).
LIT also have three group games - two at home to the Garda College and Trinity College. Garda will have former LIT defender Barry O’Connell (Kildimo-Pallaskenry) in their ranks; along with Doon’s Darragh Stapleton, Murroe-Boher duo Dylan Sheehan and Barry Cusack, Anthony Harnett (Tournafulla) and Stephen Foley (Croagh-Kilfinny). Trinity College have Eoghan McNamara (Doon), Daniel Long (Na Piarsaigh) and John Noonan (South Liberties) in their panel.
Mary Immaculate are again managed by Jamie Wall. They have just two group games - away to DIT and home to Maynooth.
MIC have three locals - Aaron Gillane (Patrickswell), Thomas Grimes (Na Piarsaigh) and Sean Hogan (Adare).
Management: Gary Kirby (manager), Declan Fitzgerald, Shane Hassett, Kieran McDermott, Ger Cunningham.
Last year: Champions.
Roll of honour: Winners in 1989, 1994, 2002, 2011, 2015, 2018.
Limerick players: Tom Morrissey, Barry Nash, Ronan Lynch, Kyle Hayes, Lorcan Lyons, Dan Joy, Barry Murphy, Kevin O’Brien, Jamie Power.
County men: Brian McGrath, Barry Hogan, Jake Morris (Tipperary), Conor Cleary, Rory Hayes, Ian Galvin (Clare).
Management: Jimmy Browne (manager); John Fitzgerald, Mikey Kiely, Shane McGrath, John Carey and Donnacha McNamara.
Last year: Lost quarter final to IT Carlow.
Roll of honour: Winners in 2005 & 2007.
Limerick players: Diarmaid Byrnes, Peter Casey, William O’Meara, David Dempsey, Darren O’Connell, Oisin O’Reilly, Brian Fanning, Bryan Curtin, James O’Riordan.
County men: David Reidy, Jason McCarthy, Peter Duggan (Clare), Oisin Kelly and Ben Conneely (Offaly).
Management: Jamie Wall (manager), Cormac McGrath and Denis Ferncombe.
Last year: Lost quarter final to DCU.
Roll of honour: Winners in 2016 and 2017.
Limerick players: Thomas Grimes, Sean Hogan, Aaron Gillane.
County men: Luke Meade (Cork), Thomas Monaghan (Galway), Gary Cooney and Colin Guilfoyle (Clare), Colin English (Tipperary).
Group A: UCC, UL, NUIG, UCD.
Group B: LIT, IT Carlow, Trinity, Garda.
Group C: WIT, DCU, CIT.
Group D: DIT, Mary I, Maynooth.
Sunday January 20
UL v UCC in UL at 2.30; Carlow IT v LIT in Carlow at 2.00; DIT v Mary I at 4pm in Dublin.
Wednesday-Thursday January 23-24
NUIG v UL in Galway; LIT v Garda in Limerick; Mary I v Maynooth in Limerick.
Wednesday-Thursday January 30-31
UCD v UL in Dublin; LIT v Trinity in Limerick.
DCU 11/8, UL 15/8, UCC 7/1, Mary I 10/1, UCD 12/1, LIT 12/1, NUIG 16/1, IT Carlow 16/1, CIT 20/1, DIT 20/1, WIT 50/1, Trinity 100/1, Garda 100/1, Maynooth 200/1.
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