By Oisin Brennan
With the group stage of the Higher Education Hurling League coming to a climax, many colleges still remain in the hunt for a spot in the knockout rounds.
This week saw some of the final group fixtures taking place up and down the country.
With such a high quality prize at stake, there was certainly set to a number of intriguing battles in store for all spectators.
Despite the main aim of this competition being to build a stronger squad and welcome new panel members to the fore, all third level managers also seek early season glory.
Lets take a recap on this weeks results and further see where certain teams now lie in their pursuit of early college glory in 2023.
TUS Midwest 2-16 2-17 Mary Immaculate College Limerick
In a tightly contested encounter, Mary Immaculate College took the spoils over arch rivals TUS Midwest on Thursday 9 November.
The Mary Immaculate College side on the night displayed some top inter county talent which bodes well for their chances in both the league and Fitzgibbon Cup.
TUS Midwest will feel hard done by with the outcome of the game having led for large spells of the tie. They will be of the belief that they certainly also have what it takes to reach the top level in college hurling.
The fast paced nature of the game was a key aspect for both squads. They will both feel as if a nip and tuck affair will benefit them massively further down the line.
Perhaps both sides may meet each other again come January or even in the latter stages of this competition.
University of Limerick 2-28 1-9 ATU Galway
Following ATU Galway’s emphatic loss in the previous round to University of Galway, there was hope on the horizon that an improvement would be seen in their next fixture versus Fitzgibbon Cup champions UL.
However, this was not to be the case as it was business as usual for the Limerick side who left no hesitance regarding the outcome of the result of the game.
From the very off, key University of Limerick tallismen came to the fore destructing ATU Galway’s slim hopes of a knockout stage berth.
By halfway through the first half, the University of Limerick held a commanding lead and did not take their foot off the gas.
With UL seeking to win a third Fitzgibbon Cup title on the spin, league glory is also well within their reach.
University of Galway V TUS Midwest, Monday 20 November, Dangan at 8pm
This Monday will see the final fixture of the group stage taking place, with University of Galway entertaining TUS Midwest at the Dangan Sportsgrounds in Galway.
Both sides come into the affair on the back of confident displays which will boost the confidence of both managers and players.
University of Galway recorded a comprehensive victory of city rivals ATU Galway while TUS Midwest were narrowly edged out by Mary Immaculate College.
An array of talented inter county and college hurlers will take to the playing field in order to scramble for the final knockout spots up for grabs.
Knockout Pairings So Far
Fixtures taking place on Thursday 23 November:
MTU Cork v TBC
Maynooth University v TBC
SETU Waterford v Dublin City University
University of Limerick v TBC