An upset looked very much on the cards when IT Tralee held a three points over Ulster University early in the second half of this Sigerson Cup Rd; 1 game played at the John Mitchels grounds Tralee, when the visitors outstanding centre back Gareth McKinless was shown a second yellow.
Despite playing against the wind, Tralee were a man up and when they were awarded a 38 th minute free in front of goal, Jack Savage looked certain to put the Tralee side 0-8 to 0-4 in front and the home supporters began to dream.
But Tralee midfielder Greg Horan reacted to some handbags that was going on, and he not alone received a straight red but the free was cancelled out and from that point onwards, there was always only going to be one winner.
IT Tralee with David Clifford unable to line-out (he was on water boy duties), were excellent in the opening half with the wind to their backs, they led 0-7 to 0-4 at the interval with Michael Potts doing well on the marauding Ryan McHugh.
After Horan’s red card, Mayo’s Patrick Durcan punished Tralee with 1-2 in a ten minute spell as the visitors move 1-10 to 0-7 clear with Lee Brennan also adding two more.
But Tralee refused to give up and they got their only point of the second half from Jack Savage in the 60 th minute and this was quickly followed by a Mark O’Shea goal that reduced the deficit to just two points.
However Ulster University closed the game out with three unanswered points from Nathan Donnelly, Michael McEvoy and Durcan again, to qualify for the quarters on February 6 .
Scorers for University of Ulster: P Durcan (1-3), L Brennan (0-4, 3 frees), D Gallagher and M McEvoy (0-2 each), N Donnelly and D Kerr (0-1 each)
Scorers for IT Tralee: J Savage (0-5 frees), M O’Shea (1-1), G Horan and J Duggan (0-1 each)
University of Ulster: B Gallen (Aghyaran) ; J Duffy (Cullyhanna), M McKernan (Coalisland), K McKaigue (Slaughtneil); M McEvoy (Magherafelt ), G McKinless (Ballinderry), P Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels); B McDonnell (Errigal), S Fegan (Burren ); Ryan McHugh (Kicar), J Doherty (Watty Grahams Glen ), D Gallagher (Trillick); L Brennan (Trillick ,T O’Brien (Loup ), Ceilum Doherty (Kilcoo)
Subs: D Kerr (Galbally) for Gallagher (46), F Burns (Pomeroy) for Jack Doherty (58), N Donnelly (Killyclogher) for C Doherty (59), E Murray (Tattyreagh) for Duffy (60)
IT Tralee: C Hurley ( John Mitchels);T Kearns ( Ashford ) , G Crowley (Templenoe), B Fitzgerald ( Dr Crokes ); D J Murphy ( Gneeveguilla), J Morgan (Austin Stacks), M Potts ( Dr Crokes ); L Kearney ( Spa ) , G Horan ( Austin Stacks ); D Moynihan (Spa ), J Savage (Kerins O’Rahilly’s ) , A McCarthy (Listry ); J Duggan (John Mitchels), M O’Shea (Dr Crokes ),C Keane (Legion )
Subs: C Ferris ( Ballysteen ) for Potts ( 44), C Smith ( Knockbride ) for Kearns ( 44) , D O’Keeffe ( Dromtarriffe ) for Duggan ( 48), C Byrne (Avondale ) for McCarthy ( 48), D Kennedy ( Monaleen) for D J Murphy (60)
Referee: Rory Hickey (Clare)