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06th Feb 2020

Dream team and fact file of the final four in Fitzgibbon Cup

Niall McIntyre

The weekend is no longer, but there’s a Super Saturday of Electric Ireland Fitzgibbon Cup hurling only just around the corner.

Glasnevin is the destination and the Fitzgibbon Cup is the attraction. It’s semi-final time, as some of the brightest young hurlers in the country head for north Dublin with a coveted college’s medal in their sights.

Henry Shefflin. Eoin Kelly. JJ Delaney. Nicky English. Joe Deane. Frank Lohan. Hurling legends one and all, what unites them?

Each player has won a Fitzgibbon Cup in their time, with the competition considered a stepping stone and indeed, the next most competitive thing to top level inter-county hurling.

Four teams remain, with reigning champions UCC the bookies’ favourites to do back to back titles. A consistent DCU side stand in their way and on home turf, will represent one hell of a challenge for Tom Kingston’s team. Mary I and IT Carlow are no slouches either, with a grandstand finish in store.

Both semi-finals will be live on the Electric Ireland stream.

The four teams are vying for a place in next Wednesday night’s final, which will take place in DCU Sportsgrounds at 7.30.

Semi-final draw (DCU Sportsgrounds, Sat, Feb 8)

Mary I v IT Carlow, 2.00.

Mary I panel

IT Carlow panel

DCU v UCC, 4.00.

DCU panel


UCC starting team v UCD in quarter final.

Shane Hurley; David Lowney, Robert Downey, Killian O’Dwyer; Billy Hennessey, Niall O’Leary, David Griffin; Mark Coleman, Darragh Fitzgibbon; Robbie O’Flynn, Shane Conway, Conor Boylan; Paddy O’Loughlin, Shane Kingston, Mark Kehoe.

Subs used: Brian Turnbull, Paddy Cadell, Neil Montgomery, Michael O’Halloran.

Dream team

From the list of star-studded panels, we have whittled it down to a select 15 to showcase the talent the competition boasts this weekend.

1 Enda Rowland (IT Carlow)

County/club: Laois/Abbeyleix

School: Heywood, Laois

Age: 25

Honours: Joe McDonagh Cup 2019, Represented Ireland at numerous Shinty internationals.

2 Evan Shefflin (DCU)

County/club: Kilkenny/Ballyhalee

School: St Kieran’s College

Age: 20

Honours: Two All-Ireland, Leinster and Kilkenny titles with Ballyhale. Leinster under-20 and minor titles with Kilkenny, Leinster schools with St Kieran’s College and freshers title DCU.

3 Robert Downey (UCC)

County/club: Cork/Glen Rovers

School: CBC, Cork

Age: 20

Honours: Cork senior hurling championship with Glen Rovers 2016, Munster minor with Cork 2017.

4 Craig Morgan (Mary I)

County/club: Tipperary/Kilruane MacDonagh’s

School: Nenagh CBS

Age: 20

Honours: Munster and All-Ireland under-20 titles as Tipperary captain, North Championship 2018 with Kilruane MacDonagh’s.

5 Jason Cleere (IT Carlow)

County/club: Kilkenny/Bennettsbridge

School: St Kieran’s College

Age: 23

Honours: All-Ireland, Leinster and Kilkenny junior and intermediate titles with Bennettsbridge. Two All-Ireland schools with St Kieran’s. All-Ireland minor, intermediate titles with Kilkenny and one Leinster under-21 title.

6 Tim O’Mahony (Mary I)

County/club: Cork/Newtownshandrum

School: CBS Charleville

Age: 23

Honours: Fitzgibbon Cup with Mary I in 2017. Munster senior and under-21 championships with Cork in 2018.

7 Mark Coleman (UCC)

County/club: Cork/Blarney

School: Scoil Muire Blarney

Age: 21

Honours: One All-Star award, one Fitzgibbon Cup and Munster senior and under-20 titles with Cork in 2018.

8 Darragh Fitzgibbon (UCC)

County/club: Cork/Charleville

School: CBS Charleville

Age: 22

Honours: One All-Star award, one Fitzgibbon Cup, Munster senior and under-21 titles with Cork 2018. Cork and Munster intermediate titles with Charleville 2018.

9 Diarmuid Ryan (Mary I)

County/club: Clare/Cratloe

School: Ard Scoil Rís, Limerick

Age: 21

Honours: One Harty Cup with Ard Scoil Rís.

10 Shane Conway (UCC)

County/club: Kerry/Lixnaw

School: Causeway Comprehensive

Age: 21

Honours: One Fitzgibbon Cup, Fitzgibbon Cup Player of the Year 2019, Kerry senior, U21 and minor championships with Lixnaw, All-Ireland under-21 and minor B with Kerry.

11 Rory O’Connor (DCU)

County/club: Wexford/St Martin’s

School: St Peter’s Wexford

Age: 21

Honours: One Leinster championship with Wexford, Leinster schools football with St Peter’s, Freshers title DCU, two Wexford senior championships with St Martin’s.

12 John Donnelly (DCU)

County/club: Kilkenny/Thomastown

School: Thomastown

Age: 21

Honours: One National League, Kilkenny, Leinster minor and under-21 with Kilkenny and freshers title.

13 Cathal Dunbar (IT Carlow)

County/club: Wexford/Naomh Eanna

School: Gorey

Age: 23

Honours: One Wexford senior championship with Naomh Eanna, Leinster senior and under-21 titles with Wexford.

14 Donal Burke (DCU)

County/club: Dublin/Na Fianna

School: St Declan’s College

Age: 21

Honours: Leinster minor with Dublin in 2016.

15 Shane Kingston (UCC)

County/club: Cork/Douglas

School: St Francis’ College

Age: 22

Honours: One Fitzgibbon Cup with UCC, Munster senior and under-21 titles with Cork in 2018.

While Adrian and Darren Mullen haven’t yet started a game for DCU due to their club run with Ballyhale, they could also be in action this weekend. Players like Mark Kehoe (UCC and Tipperary), Richie Leahy, Luke Scanlon, Niall Brassil and Liam Blanchfield (Kilkenny and IT Carlow) will also be on view.

Bring it on.

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