IT Tralee To Take Part In Cup Action This Weekend

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Eamon Fitzgerald, GAA Games Development Officer at IT Tralee, previews IT Tralee hurling team’s cup ambitions this coming weekend…

IT Tralee hurlers are in action this weekend.

IT Tralee Senior Hurling team will travel to Mallow this Friday to take part in the Fitzgibbon/Ryan Cup Finals weekend.

The IT Tralee team are managed by former Kerry hurling manager/coach Eddie Murphy and he is assisted by Mick Mangan and Tadhg Flynn.

Eddie last managed the IT Tralee Hurling team back in the late 1990’s and was manager of the team when they won the Ryan Cup in 1997. He then had IT Tralee play in the Fitzgibbon Cup for a number of years where they were very competitive.

This year, the team reached the Division 2 League final before Christmas where they were defeated by Fitzgibbon Cup outfit Trinity College Dublin. IT Tralee topped their Ryan Cup group and as a result will meet a strong NUI Maynooth side in the semi-final at 3pm on Friday.

Continued below…


IT Tralee have qualified for this weekend the hard way. During the group stages they travelled to Ballykelly, Co. Kildare for the opening game where they were defeated by Ulster University on a scoreline of IT Tralee 1-11 Ulster University 1-16.

This was a disappointing start but they regrouped and travelled to Cork to play Cork College of Further Education where they had a huge 7-23 to 1-09 victory, and then defeated Athlone IT at home on a scoreline of IT Tralee 3-11 Athlone IT 3-08.

Unfortunately, Cork College of Further Education gave Ulster University a walkover in round 3 which meant IT Tralee, Athlone IT and Ulster University all finished on 4 points from 3 games played. As a result of the walkover, scoring difference did not count.

This was disappointing for the IT Tralee lads as they sat top of the table on +31 points scored with Athone IT on +25 and Ulster University on -1 with a game less played.

It was decided that a 3 way Play-off would take place and so IT Tralee were drawn to play Ulster University for top spot in the group.

After a tough game last Monday night (February 12th) in Stradbally, Co. Laois, IT Tralee eventually defeated Ulster University on a scoreline of IT Tralee 2-11 Ulster University 1-12 to seal top spot.

Ulster University then played Athlone IT 3 days later whom they defeated to take the second semi-final spot.

IT Tralee will go in to the semi-final as underdogs as NUI Maynooth, who dropped down from Fitzgibbon Cup level this year, can call on the services of Kilkenny’s Padraig Walsh, Kildare’s Frank Bass, Tipperary u21s Brian Hogan and Emmet Moloney along with a host of Intercounty minors.

IT Tralee will be looking to Kerry Senior panelists Shane Nolan – team captain – (Crotta O’Neills), Adam O’Sullivan (Crotta O’Neills) and Evan Murphy (Causeway) along with Clare u21 Ronan Monahan and Limerick u21 All Ireland winners Josh Adams and Darragh Kennedy to lead them to glory.

Other Kerry players involved are Cathal Kearney (Ballyduff), Fionan Mackessy (St. Brendans), Jordan Brick (Kilmoyley), Colin Sheehy (Lixnaw) and Ronan O’Donovan (Abbeydorney).

If IT Tralee are victorius on Friday they will then play the winners of the other semi-final between Ulster University and GMIT on Saturday at 1pm. This game will precede the Fitzgibbon Cup final between UL and DCU.

Although it is going to take two big wins in consecutive days against very strong opposition, Eddie Murphy along with his management team and panel of players are quietly confident that they can come away from Mallow with the Ryan Cup championship won come Saturday evening.

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