UL were crowned Fitzgibbon Cup Champions in Pairc Uí Rinn on Wednesday evening and there was a sizeable Clare involvement intertwined in the success of the Limerick College.
Tulla’s David McInerney bridged an eighty one year gap by becoming the second man from the windswept hill to raise aloft the Fitzgibbon Cup as captain. His predecessor was Dr Tommy Daly, the man to whom the GAA pitch in Tulla is named after. Provided McInerney keeps continuing putting in the performances he has become renowned for, he too will receive similar honours to maintain his legacy for years to come.
Prior to McInerney the last Clareman to captain a Fitzgibbon Cup winning team was Frank Lohan when he led UCC to victory in 1996. Coincidentally his brother, Clare great Brian Lohan served as manager of this UL side. Joining Lohan in the management team was Clarecastle resident Ken Ralph a former trainer of the Inagh/Kilnamona senior hurlers and Clonlara based Tony O’Sullivan.
On the field, Ballyea’s Tony Kelly picked up the man of the match accolade as he gave quiet the display hitting six points over the hour. His clubmate Jack Browne lined out at corner back and his presence proved to make a huge difference. Browne was joined in the full-back line by Clarecastle’s Gearóid Ryan.
Captain McInerney ruled the roost at centre back and his namesake Cratloe’s Cathal McInerney started at corner-forward and chipped in with a point during the tie. Although he featured in the drawn game, Kilmaley’s Aidan McGuane got no run out in the replay. Sixmilebridge duo Pa Sheehan and Kevin Lynch along with Clooney/Quin’s Keith Hogan also picked up medals as a result of the 2-18 to 1-14 victory over WIT.