A Limerick school (Árd Scoil Rís) is now odds on to win the Croke Cup, the main price for secondary schools’ hurling in the country, while at third level, Limerick IT go into this weekend’s Fitzgibbon Cup semi-final meeting with Waterford IT as the second favourites to be crowned kingpins of third level hurling in Ireland.
Last week, in the immediate aftermath of their quarter-final win over UL, LIT manager David Fitzgerald spoke about how his team weren’t given “a snowballs chance in hell”, which was of course a complete exaggeration. This week his side start as the strong favourites at 1/2 with Paddy Power, while Waterford IT can be backed at 15/8 and the draw is a 10/1 shot. We don’t expect any snowball references from Davie after this tie.
Normally we like to be as optimistic as possible when it comes to Limerick teams in any sport, but at those odds, there is no way we’d advise a bet on LIT. The Waterford students were pushed to the pin of their collar by DIT in the quarter final round and many perceived that as a sign of weakness in Colm Bonnar’s team, but it should have been seen as a reflection of how strong DIT were. There was a lot to be proud of in that result and while LIT will certainly progress if they can reproduce their form from last week, we wouldn’t like to depend on that happening. They are favourites, but not 1/2 favourites.
In the second of Friday’s semi-finals, UCC are almost unbackable with Powers at 1/3, yet there is plenty of cause for optimism for Cork IT supporters in this one. They’ve looked very capable in this competition so far and while they don’t have the same level of star quality in their ranks, that was no barrier to them as they put NUIG to the sword in the previous round. UCC are worthy champions and their outright odds of 4/6 have been well backed, but in this instance, 13/5 about an upset might be worth a small nibble. Anyone who attended the Limerick derby last week will have seen that the underdogs always have to be considered in these situations, and any team that’s capable of putting NUIG and previously Carlow IT to the sword as CIT have done, has to be given serious consideration.
This Sunday Limerick’s footballers will also carry the underdog mantle when they travel to Kiltoom to take on Roscommon. Sadly, again here we’ll swerve the patriotic betting option. Roscommon have looked very good so far this year and their comfortable home win over Wexford was as impressive as any result in this division. Limerick could cause the home side problems, but it would be a huge upset if they were good enough to win this one, and certainly we’d prefer to back CIT at 13/5 than the Limerick footballers at 2/1.