Team of the Fitzgibbon Cup 1 year ago

Team of the Fitzgibbon Cup

UCC reign supreme.

After a month of tremendous midweek hurling, the Electric Ireland Fitzgibbon Cup all came down to a weekend clash between UCC and Mary I in a splendid Waterford IT setting.

The competition's most successful ever college won handily to bridge a five year gap and that's why they dominate this team of the competition. They are hard pushed by by the beaten finalists Mary I though and ever harder by DCU, who were perhaps the unluckiest team of the lot in that semi-final clash with UCC.

Anyway, all is said and done now, UCC are the champs and here's our team of the competition.

If you'd told us a month ago that UCC were the winners and neither Darragh Fitzgibbon and Mark Coleman would make this team, we wouldn't have believed you but that's the beauty of the Electric Ireland Fitgibbon Cup that it throws up new heroes every year.

1 Oisín Foley (DCU, Wexford)

The Crossabeg Ballymurn club man was ultra-reliable between the sticks for DCU the whole way through the competition. Got down for a brilliant save from UCC late on in extra-time only for his team to be unluckily undone moments later by a harsh penalty call.

Has some strike of the ball of the left and that was the perfect kickstart for so many DCU attacks.

2 Niall O'Leary (UCC, Cork)

Wore number 32 for the whole competition but played like the best number two in the land. Solid and reliable in defence, explosive in attack. Capped off a fine campaign with a lovely point in the final.

3 Eoghan O'Donnell (DCU, Dublin)

The Whitehall Colmcille man didn't let much past him and when he bursts out of the full back line he bursts out with purpose.

4 Jack Fitzpatrick (NUI Galway)

A tigerish presence in the last line of defence who guards his goalie like his life depends on it. Kept the big Colin Guilfoyle quiet in the semi and battled hard the whole way through this competition.

His displays with the college earned him a call up to the Galway seniors for the Offaly game at the weekend.

5 Chris O'Leary (UCC, Cork)

A towering presence in the half-back line, O'Leary is some man to win a high ball but he knows what way the forwards want it too. Buried so many long range frees too and of course, netted the crucial last gasp penalty that put DCU away.

6 Chris Crummey (DCU, Dublin)

Peerless in the air and once he catches the ball he's away. Has a good eye for a long range score then and that's how the half forward ends up doing more of the defending.

7 Thomas Grimes (Mary I, Limerick)

Didn't really get into the final but the Na Piarsaigh club man was faultless for Jamie Wall's side up until Saturday. Sharp running onto ball, his delivery was always drilled and direct.

Just how Aaron Gillane wanted it.

8 Conor Browne (UCC, Kilkenny)

Never has a man thundered into a second half quite like the James Stephen's club man in the final. The UCC captain led by example with a driving goal and a gorgeous point in the two minute spell that really finished the Mary I dream.

9 Rian McBride (DCU, Dublin)

If there was a GPS on the St Vincent's club man in his college's semi-final loss to UCC, it would never have seen numbers like it before. He was absolutely everywhere for Eoin Roche's team that day, getting in hooks, winning breaks and driving forward.

A powerhouse who's coming into his own with Dublin now too.

10 Luke Meade (Mary I, Cork)

A silky operator in the middle third, Meade had the goal of the competition wrapped up until Mark Kehoe came to town. Was brilliant that day against CIT but also impressed in the semi-final win over NUI Galway. He was up against it in the final, but the Newcestown man was again one of Mary I's best performers.

11 Aaron Gillane (Mary I, Limerick)

Delivered the performance of the tournament against NUI Galway to bring Mary I to yet another final. Didn't get much change in the final itself, but Mary I were just outclassed on the day.

12 Shane Kingston (UCC, Cork)

His semi-final display against DCU was one of the most economical and deadly performances this year. Rattled off 1-5 from play that game on a day the DCU backs couldn't get near him.

Has pace to burn and he knows how to use it too.

13 James Bergin (DCU, Kilkenny)

Was DCU's most consistent forward throughout. Stepped up with two nerveless frees - one to send the UCC game to extra-time and another boomer from miles out that looked like it would win it.

The Conahy Shamrocks club man was a threat from open play too and he constantly brought the fight for DCU.

14 Mark Kehoe (UCC, Tipperary)

The Kilsheelan Kilcash club man hit this Fitzgibbon Cup in fits and bursts but when he hits, he makes it count. Destoryed IT Carlow in the quarter final and then he lit up the decider with the goal of a generation.

Backed that up with four points from play in a man-of-the-match performance and he'll be some weapon for Liam Sheedy now too.

15 Shane Conway (UCC, Kerry)

Small in stature, but the Lixnaw club man makes up for it in heart, speed, skill and composure. So elusive when he gets on the ball, he was untouchable in the first round against UL all the way through to the semi-final against DCU. Didn't have as big an impact on the final, but he was still assured on the frees and he was one of the players of this tournament.