WIT 1-18; DIT 0-4
Fitzgibbon Cup holders WIT maintained their interest in this year’s competition after a facile win over a spirited DIT side at Ballygunner’s McGinn Park on Wednesday last.
A blistering scoring flurry in the opening minutes of the second half turned the tie decisively in Waterford’s favour, having led by just four points at the break.
Barely a minute into the second period, Kieran Grehan latched onto a superb lofted pass from centre-back Shane Fives before hammering the ball beyond DIT goalkeeper Kieran Brennan, nephew of GAA President Nickey Brennan.
Spearheaded by the outstanding TJ Reid, WIT relentlessly added to their tally during a half hour in which the Dublin unit could muster just a single point via a John Walsh 65′.
Ballyhale’s Reid, who contributed two points, was a joy to watch – a frightening reminder of the strength-in-depth at Kilkenny manager Brian Cody’s disposal.
Reid’s opening point, which saw him effortlessly jink past a couple of would-be challengers before firing a 30-metre shot between the uprights, drew an audible gasp from onlookers. It was one of several moments of class produced by a quality practitioner.
WIT boss Colm Bonnar was pleased with his team’s performance on a day when they dominated every sector of play, with his attack, featuring Cork’s Fintan Good and Tipperary duo Timmy Hammersely and Ray McLoughney all prominent.
“Ray McLoughney really proved his worth from frees today, especially when you consider DIT missed three frees from decent scoring positions during the first half,” said Bonnar, who also manages Wexford.
“Kieran Grehan took his goal very well and it was a very important score in the context of the whole match. He didn’t start in our previous game and I thought he worked very hard throughout the game.”
Added Bonnar: “We’re happy with today’s result, but we won’t be getting carried away with it. We know we’ve got an awful lot of hard work to do if we’re going to retain our title.”
For the visitors, Mullinavat’s Willie O’Dwyer and Laois centre-back John Walsh gamely fought against the onrushing tide on an excellent playing surface.
WIT: Adrian Power; Brendan Kenny, Ritchie McCarthy, Conor Cooney; James Ryan, Shane Fives, Enda Barrett; Stephen Lillis, Martin Dunne; Fintan O’Leary, TJ Reid, Ronan Good; Ray McLoughney, Timmy Hammersley, Kieran Grehan. Subs: Rowe for Dunne (40 mins), Moloney for Good (50 mins), Murphy for Hammersley (52 mins), Gahan for Reid (55 mins).
Scorers: McLoughney (0-6f), Grehan (1-0), Hammersley (0-3), Reid, Good, O’Leary (0-2 each), Lillis (0-1f), Gahan and Dunne (0-1 each)
DIT: Kieran Brennan; Paul Schutte, Trevor Corcoran, Eoin Costelloe; Peter Kelly, John Walsh, Paul Lynch; Ciaran O’Shaughnessy, Willie O’Dwyer; Michael Burke, Robert Butler, Joe Clarke; Kevin O’Reilly, Eamon Clarke, Paul Ryan. Subs: Kelly for Clarke (34mins), McInerney for O’Reilly (39 mins), D O’Dwyer for Schutte (50 mins), Burke for Ryan (51 mins).
Scorers: Walsh (0-1 65′), Ryan (0-1f), O’Dwyer and Butler (0-1 each).
Referee: Dickie Murphy (Wexford).