WIT 2-16 GMIT 1-5
WIT got their 2010 Fitzgibbon cup campaign off to the best possible start when they enjoyed a comprehensive 14-point victory over a subdued GMIT outfit at Ballygunner on Thursday last.
Despite the concession of an early goal, the outcome was never in doubt as even when they trailed WIT looked the more likely side to get the desired result.
WIT opened up an early two-point lead when Tipperary man Timmy Hammersley fired over two frees. GMIT had the cheek to take the lead in the 12th minute when a completely mishit free from Jimmy Gelston bounced around the square before corner-forward Ronan Madden pulled on it to lash it to the back of Adrian Power’s net.
This was as good as it got for the Western college as another free from Hammersley had WIT back on level terms before a excellent finish on the run from Willie O’Dwyer put WIT in front.
This lead was further extended in the 17th minute when a superb pass from Hammersley picked out the excellent Kieran Grehan who was left with the simple task of finding the back of the GMIT net.
A further point from Fitzgibbon Cup veteran Ray McLoughney put the home side further in front.
Playing with the assistance of the strong breeze, GMIT finished the half strongly and scored four more points before the break, three of them coming from Jimmy Gelston placed balls and the other per Ronan Madden.
At the change of ends, WIT led by 1-7 to 1-4. Another point from the impressive Madden at the beginning of the second half narrowed the deficit to two points, but this proved to be their final score of the game.
Now playing with the wind, WIT used the wind to their advantage and played good, early ball into their dangerous full-forward line which terrorised the GMIT defence all afternoon.
McLoughney, Hammersley and Grehan were in terrific form and between them scored 2-13 out of WIT’s total of 2-16. However, WIT were far from reliant on the terrific trio as they employed a tactic of getting the ball into the full-forward line at every opportunity.
Looking at this group beforehand, it was obvious that WIT needed a big performance in this game. With the threats of LIT and UCC coming down the line, a win was an absolute must and WIT played with an intensity that reflected this.
In defence, Shane Fives, Noel Connors, Wayne Hutchinson and particularly Enda Barrett were magnificent, while the hard-working Mark Molloy and Willie O’Dwyer had the upper hand in the midfield battle.
As already stated, the full-forward line trio of Hammersley, Grehan and McLoughney were a key to the winning of this game but they were ably assisted by Fintan O’Leary who proved a reliable ball winner in the half-forward line.
This was a disappointing day at the office for GMIT who were forced to field without star centre-back Ger Mahon who was controversially suspended after being sent off in the Walsh Cup.
However, I don’t think that even he would have been enough to curb the threat of WIT. On the day, GMIT were best served by centre-back Donagh Maher, a brother of Tipperary star Shane, and corner-forward Ronan Madden who was dangerous throughout.
WIT: A Power (Waterford), B Kenny (Galway), S Fives (Waterford), N Connors (Waterford), W Hutchinson (Waterford), E Barrett (Clare), PJ Rowe (Kilkenny), M Molloy (Wexford), W O’Dwyer (Tipperary), F O’Leary (Cork), K Reade (Tipperary), R Goode (Cork), T Hammersley (Tipperary), K Grehan (Kilkenny), R McLoughney (Tipperary). Subs: R McCarthy (Limerick) for K Reade, J Gahan (Wexford), for R Goode, B O’Meara (Tipperary) for W O’Dwyer, S Power (Waterford) for R McLoughney, M Kearney (Cork) for PJ Rowe.
Scorers: T Hammersley 1-7 (0-6f), K Grehan 1-2, R McLoughney 0-4, W O’Dwyer 0-1, R McCarthy 0-1, J Gahan 0-1
GMIT: A Ryan (Galway), S Hynes (Galway), C Flannery (Offaly), G O’Halloran (Galway), P Sheehan (Galway), D Maher (Tipperary), N Rogers (Offaly), T Flannery (Galway), A O’Shaughnessy (Limerick), L Hands (Galway), C Egan (Offaly), J Gelston (Galway), E Feeney (Galway), D Burke (Galway), R Madden (Galway). Subs: J Liddy (Clare) for L Hands, J O’Gorman (Galway) for D Burke, L Halpin (Limerick) for P Sheehan.
Scorers: R Madden 1-2, J Gelston 0-3f.
Referee: M Wadding (Waterford).