By Oisín Brennan
The 2023 Higher Education Hurling League is now back in full swing, with a number of round two fixtures taking place over the course of this week. The 2022 league champions, the University of Galway, were keen to get back to winning ways in their pursuit of retaining the title they won not so long ago.
When Cian Lynch lifted the league title following a dramatic victory over DCU in Dangan in January 2022, the University of Galway were regarded as one of the most highly rated third level hurling sides in the country.
This year, the side who are littered with inter county stars aspire to win both the Higher Education Hurling League as well as the prestigious Fitzgibbon Cup which will commence in January 2024.
University of Galway 4-28 0-18 Mary Immaculate College
On a foggy Thursday evening in Dangan, the University of Galway eased past the renowned Mary Immaculate College in a not so pulsating affair.
From the very beginning of the encounter, UG took control of the game with early goals from key forwards. They did not look back and proceeded to tag on scores throughout the duration of the first half from all angles.
The second half somewhat petered out, with many new faces entering the fray aiming to make an impression on the manager before he selects his Fitzgibbon Cup squad. The University of Galway side will be happy with the win and will seek to bring his form into next week’s ‘battle of Galway’ against rivals ATU Galway.
ATU Galway 1-20 3-23 TUS Midwest
Also on Thursday, the University of Galway’s rivals ATU Galway took on TUS Midwest in Liam Mellows GAA club in Galway City.
These two sides are rather familiar with one another, with their most recent meeting taking place in the Quarter Final of the Fitzgibbon Cup in 2022. That day, ATU Galway who were then known as GMIT emerged victorious.
This time however, the result went in favor of TUS Midwest. In a largely contested battled over the duration of the sixty minutes, both sides fought exceptionally well in wintery weather conditions.
It was not until the third quarter of the game that TUS Midwest began to build a lead and eventually came away with the spoils. Similar to the other game, many less experienced players showcased their skills in a bid to impress their fellow managers.
Higher Education Hurling League Results To Date:
Thursday 19th October, University of Limerick 0-23 0-18 University of Galway
Thursday 26th October, University College Cork 1-16 2-16 MTU Cork
Next week, ATU Galway will take on the University of Galway in the ‘Battle of Galway’ in ATU’s home ground in Carnmore. The sides last met in the Fitzgibbon Cup semi final in 2022 in Pearse Stadium in Salthill. That day, the University of Galway emerged victorious following extra time.
Also taking place next Thursday is the battle between Limerick rivals, University of Limerick and TUS Midwest. Two feisty fixtures lay ahead with both teams set on owning the bragging rights over their nearest rivals.