Trinity set Fitzgibbon Cup alight on first day but this week looks even tastier 7 months ago

Trinity set Fitzgibbon Cup alight on first day but this week looks even tastier

And it's ramping up already.

Last year's champions UL are already up against it, Trinity College are motoring and Mary Immaculate are back in business.

They say Fitzgibbon hurling is the next thing to senior and on Sunday's evidence it's pushing that close too. Because we were reminded, like we are on every first Fitzgibbon Sunday, that the best hurlers in this island are playing in this great competition for colleges we didn't even know they were in.

You know that's the case when lads who are on their county teams can't make it onto their college's Fitzgibbon Cup team. UL for one again have an embarrassment of riches at this grade and against UCC they started with Tipperary's second choice goalkeeper Barry Hogan, fellow panellist Cian Darcy and the Young Hurler of the year Kyle Hayes in reserve.

And they were still beaten by six points.

DCU are similarly well stocked and after beating Waterford IT in their pipe opener, they'll welcome back Kilkenny senior Billy Ryan after his club Graigue Ballycallan were beaten and Patrick Curran on his way back from injury.

See every college's Fitzgibbon panel here.

Reigning champs beaten, Trinity pull off first Fitzgibbon win and Limerick IT edge it

It's Fitzgibbon Cup time. All of the big dogs got their 2019 Fitzgibbon Cup campaigns underway on...

Those two are still the favourites, but UCC will be pushing them hard - Kerry's most gifted hurler Shane Conway lording it over UL for them with Mark Coleman, Shane Kingston and Robbie O'Flynn also on hand. When Darragh Fitzgibbon returns, they'll be even more of a force.

UCD and NUIG look decent too while IT Carlow, Limerick IT, Mary I and Waterford IT can never be written off.

It was Trinity's day though.

Far away from the big smoke and down in the boggy fields of North Tipperary, their hurlers did what they've been threatening to do for a while now.

Despite a rocky start against the Guards in Borrisoleigh, Cian O'Sullivan's excellence and Fionn Ó Riain Broin's nerve shone through and with sub Mark Corry pouncing for a goal late on, that was enough to see them over the line and to hand the college their first Fitzgibbon win in recent history.

Having been promoted from the Ryan Cup in 2016, they've had a few educating years at this grade but they're far from whipping boys and after serving their time at the foot of tables, they're joining the big boys now.

Their 1-15 to 0-13 win over the Guards of Templemore was a historic one and their Twitter account, which has garnered a fair reputation since 2016, enjoyed every minute of it.

This one didn't take off but it wasn't far off.

Getting there...

The Gardaí aren't used to this...

Brilliant...

And the money shot...

Sweet glory

Next up for them is Limerick IT and though that will be a far steeper challenge, Trinity will be up for it.

Fixtures for this week

Group A

University College Cork v University College Dublin, Mardyke, 2.30 Wednesday.

N.U.I. Galway v University of Limerick, UL, 2.00 Thursday.

Group B

LIT v Garda College, LIT, 2.30 Thursday

Trinity College Dublin v IT Carlow, Santry Avenue, 7.00 Thursday

Group C

DCU Dóchas Éireann v Cork Institute of Technology, DCU, 5.00 Thursday.