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Electric Ireland Fitzgibbon Cup Quarter-Final
SETU Waterford 3-16 DCU Dchas ireann 2-16
By Paul Keane at DCU Sports Grounds, Dublin
SETU Waterford are the first team through to this season's Electric Ireland Fitzgibbon Cup semi-finals after knocking out 2018 finalists DCU Dchas ireann on their own turf.
Reuben Halloran's eight-point haul, taking his tournament tally to an impressive 1-28, was significant though it was stoppage time goalscorer Alan Kirwan who set the seal on a landmark win.
There has been frustration in recent seasons for the nine-time tournament champions who were knocked out at this stage in the last two campaigns, including by DCU in 2020.
But they made no mistake this time and were grateful too for first-half goals from Padraig Fitzgerald and Gavin Fives.
There was a strong showing at centre-back also from Billy Nolan while Sean Walsh came thundering into the game in the third quarter and struck five points in total.
Fitzgerald's sixth minute goal following a surging solo run gave SETU Waterford a great start but DCU soon settled and when Conor Hennessy controlled a clever pass from Kildare's Rian Boran and volleyed to the net in the 21st minute, the hosts led 1-7 to 1-4.
Fives was fortunate with SETU Waterford's second goal as his shot deflected in but he deserved the stroke of luck after a brilliant pick up and spin away to find space initially.
Two Ross Banville scores, both from frees, brought DCU back to level terms by half-time, 1-9 to 2-6.
SETU Waterford took control of the game after the restart with six points in a row, three of those coming from Cork man Walsh.
They looked primed to kick on but only scored one more point in the next 17 minutes as DCU again rallied, picking off a series of scores themselves through the impressive Banville, Martin O'Connell and Boran.
When stoppage time was included, the second-half extended out to 68 minutes and it was a thrilling finale.
DCU got the margin back to a point following that comeback but three Halloran points in response, and then Kirwan's goal, when he tapped the ball over the goalkeeper's head and pulled on it to the empty net, left six in it again.
To their credit, DCU refused to relent and a bundled Conor Kehoe goal cut the deficit in half before Banville went close to grabbing a dramatic equaliser with a 68th minute free. It tailed wide and SETU Waterford burst into celebration as the final whistle then sounded, securing their place in next week's semi-finals ahead of tomorrow's remaining three quarter-final ties.
Scorers for SETU Waterford: Reuben Halloran 0-8 0-8f, Sean Walsh 0-5, Padraig Fitzgerald 1-0, Gavin Fives 1-0, Alan Kirwan 1-0, Billy Nolan 0-1, Paul Cody 0-1, Jamie Harkin 0-1.
Scorers for DCU Dchas ireann: Ross Banville 0-10 0-8f, Conor Hennessy 1-1, Conor Kehoe 1-0, Martin O'Connell 0-2, Conall Clancy 0-1, Darragh Power 0-1, Rian Boran 0-1.
SETU Waterford all Waterford unless stated: Barry Hennessy Limerick; Josh Fitzgerald, Sam Fitzgerald, Conor Ryan; Mark O'Brien, Billy Nolan, Sean Purcell Kilkenny; Jamie Harkin Kilkenny, Jack Prendergast; Sean Walsh Cork, Gavin Fives, Alan Kirwan; Paul Cody Kilkenny, Padraig Fitzgerald, Reuben Halloran.
Subs: Billy O'Callaghan Kilkenny for Kirwan 65.
DCU Dchas ireann: Eddie Gibbons Dublin; Simon Lacey Kildare, Niall Murphy Wexford, Andrew Dunphy Dublin; Harry Walsh Kilkenny, Conor Murphy Kilkenny, Padraig Moylan Kilkenny; Darragh Power Dublin, Rian Boran Kildare; Eoin Daly Westmeath, Ross Banville Wexford, Martin O'Connell Kilkenny; Brian Duignan Offaly, Conor Hennessy Kilkenny, Jim Ryan Kilkenny.
Subs: Conall Clancy Wexford for Forbes h/t, Conor Kehoe Carlow for Daly 41, Ciaran Brennan Kilkenny for Hennessy 53, Fiachra Fitzpatrick Carlow for Ryan 60.
Referee: Kevin Brady Louth.
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