Fitzgibbon in a race against time to recover for Charleville's All-Ireland final

Fitzgibbon in a race against time to recover for Charleville's All-Ireland final
Darragh Fitzgibbon. Picture: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

DARRAGH FITZGIBBON is still hoping to recover from a knee injury in time to line out for his club Charleville in Sunday week’s All-Ireland intermediate final.

In typical swashbuckling fashion, the 21-year-old landed six points in their recent semi-final win over Kilkenny’s Graigue-Ballycallan in Semple Stadium.

However, he damaged the medial ligament in his knee in the process and is battling to be available against Oranmore-Maree in Croke Park.

The North Cork club will certainly need their All-Star if they want to replicate Kanturk’s victory at the same stage last season as their Galway opponents can call on Gearóid McInerney and Niall Burke to fire their challenge.

“I did a bit of damage to my medial ligament but I suppose I’m working away with the physio now at the moment,” explained Fitzgibbon. “So I’ve another 10 days to get ready so hopefully I’ll be okay.

“I’d a collision over by the sideline and I just twisted my knee. I went back on and I made it worse. Just in the end I had to come off.”

As well as the Charleville contingent, the Cork hurling faithful were fearing the worst when they heard Fitzgibbon had damaged his knee.

“I suppose I shouldn’t have really come back on is what I was thinking at the start. I was worried it might have maybe been a longer-term injury. But I got a scan after and I was kind of relieved when I realised it would only be a couple of weeks so it could have been worse.

“The adrenaline kind of got me through it coming back on. But for a club like us to get the chance to play in Croke Park on an All-Ireland final day don’t come around a lot and you want to make the most of it.”

Fitzgibbon hasn’t been available to UCC due to the injury and Charleville’s All-Ireland journey, but the College haven’t needed him so far in the Fitzgibbon Cup.

Yesterday on the 4G pitch at Páirc Uí Chaoimh an early Shane Kingston goal set them on their way to a 1-19 to 0-15 victory over NUIG. It was their third win in a row which gave them a home quarter-final against Carlow IT.

Chris O’Leary from Valley Rovers shone for Tom Kingston’s side, who got plenty from Mark Coleman, Tipp’s Mark Kehoe and Shane Conway (Kerry). Robbie O’Flynn came on a sub while highly-rated forwards Evan Sheehan and Michael O’Halloran started. Defensive pair Eoghan Murphy and David Lowney were out through injury.

CIT are also through to the last eight, where they must travel to Mary I, after 0-15 to 0-9 defeat of WIT. Russell Rovers’ Josh Beausang converted nine placed-balls while Pa Collins was in goal.

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