Dunbar and Kelly set Fitzgibbon Cup ablaze as IT Carlow goal rush continues 3 months ago

Dunbar and Kelly set Fitzgibbon Cup ablaze as IT Carlow goal rush continues

IT Carlow 5-14 Mary I 0-15

Goals win games and IT Carlow go for the jugular.

Having raised five green flags in their quarter final win over NUIG, IT Carlow continued their goal blitz of the Fitzgibbon Cup with another five in a semi-final win over Mary I here, to make their way to the college's second ever final in this grade.

DJ Carey was one of hurling's great goalscorers in his time, and 'the dodger' is teaching his IT Carlow team a thing or two about finding the back of the net. These boys are quick learners too, and there's no-one learning as much as Wexford's Cathal Dunbar.

With Mary I roaring into the game early on, the Naomh Eanna club man settled the favourites into it with a bullet to Jason Gillane's net after being found in space by Podge Delaney.

That didn't deter Mary I, with Cathal Bourke nailing his frees and with Shane Ryan and Eanna McBride showing well from open play to send them into the break leading by one.

But you always felt that if any team were going to explode, it would be the Carlow men. It took a while, with Jamie Wall's team defending with typical aggression and spirit but as soon as Richie Leahy stretched the legs, last year's finalists had no answer.

Kilkenny's Leahy is a joy to watch when on form, and his whirlwind of energy and skill turned the tide in IT Carlow's favour. Leahy picked off a few points before Borris-Ileigh's Jerry Kelly made his presence felt.

There's plenty of firepower in this IT Carlow team. Sub Stephen Bergin tapped home the second goal after Dunbar's effort was saved, and that was a real spirit breaker for Mary I.

The final scoreline ended up an unjust reflection of the the Limerick college's showing, as Blanchfield, Chris Nolan and Dunbar again hammered home quickfire goals but that's how IT Carlow kill you, and either DCU or UCC will have their work cut out.

Dunbar's second was the score of the game, after the influential Jerry Kelly made a sky-scraping catch to set him free, and he just doesn't miss from there.

2017 was the only other time IT Carlow made it to a Fitzgibbon decider. They've never won the competition, but they'll take some stopping here.

Mary I

Jason Gillane, Eanna McBride, Darren Browne, David Prendergast, Craig Morgan,  Josh Considine, Ray McCormack, Diarmuid Ryan, Eoghan Cahill, Gary Cooney (0-2), Cathal Bourke (0-9, 0-8f, 0-1 65), Shane Ryan (0-1), Andrew Ormond, Tim O'Mahony (0-3, 0-2f), Colin O'Brien.

Subs:

Adam Ennis for Colin O’Brien (54), Philip Wall for Cathal Bourke (55), Michael O’Loughlin for Eoghan Cahill (59)

IT Carlow

Enda Rowland (0-2f), Fergal Hayes, Sean Downey, Shane Reck, Podge Delaney, Jason Cleere, Michael Harney, Richie Leahy (0-2), Luke Scanlon, Jerry Kelly (0-2), Cathal Dunbar (2-0), Chris Nolan (1-1), Ruairi Higgins (0-1), Liam Blanchfield (1-0), Seamus Casey (0-6, 0-4f).

Subs:

Stephen Bergin (1-0) for Ruari Higgins (42), Eoin Gaughan (0-1) for Michael Harney, Dion Wall for Seamus Casey (58)