NUIG are into the Fitzgibbon Cup semi finals after a dramatic 1-15 to 2-10 victory over LIT in Moylish.
LIT will rue missed chances especially the two penalties that were missed – Peter Duggan’s was well saved by Shane Hennessey in the first half, while Diarmaid Byrnes drove his effort wide in added time.
NUIG were full value for their victory, however, with Evan Niland unerring from placed balls.
He finished the game with 0-9, seven of which came from frees.
After the game NUIG manager Jeff Lynskey said he was a proud man to lead the team to victory in the lion’s den.
“We didn’t do ourselves justice against UCC last time out. We started better today and showed a huge amount of character to get over the line.
“We probably should have been up by six or seven at half time but got caught for a goal. Tactically we were spot on and we knew that running at them would cause problems. Second half they came back but we fronted it the whole time.”
NUIG made a flying start to lead 0-4 to 0-1 after just six minutes with Nilan firing over three and Conor Sheedy tapping over their first point.
The dominance continued in the closing stages of the opening quarter with Niland helping himself to two more points and that stretched the lead to five.
LIT were struggling with NUIG’s hunger in that period and weren’t helped by the misfiring Duggan. The Clare forward missed two frees and had his penalty well saved by Hennessey after eight minutes.
Eventually, Duggan did hit the target with a long range free but Brian Concannon responded with a superb score from the right wing.
Concannon and Niland scored again after a fine Robert Byrnes effort for LIT but the home side grabbed a lifeline before the break when Peter Casey fired to the net after good work by Oisin O’Reilly.
That left the score at 0-10 to 1-3 in NUIG’s favour at half time.
LIT needed a good start to the second half and that’s exactly what they got when Byrnes landed his second point and then forced home a goal to put his side a point up on 40 minutes.
However, NUIG’s response was swift and deadly. Sheedy raced onto a long ball into the full forward line and fired low through Killian Nugent’s legs to restore their advantage.
The side’s were level three more times as a pulsating second half draw to a close.
LIT had the glorious chance to win it at the death through Byrnes’ penalty that was whiskers wide of the left post with NUIG leading by one.
NUIG won a free on the puckout and Niland compounded the damage with a superb strike to seal their spot against Mary Immaculate College Limerick next week.
Action shots from today’s HE Electric Ireland Fitzgibbon Cup Quarter Final game when NUI Galway defeated LIT Sport by 1-15 to 2-10 pic.twitter.com/QoUevhz8Wx— Limerick GAA (@LimerickCLG) February 7, 2019
Scorers for NUIG: E Niland 0-9 (7f), C Sheedy 1-1, B Concannon 0-3, C Whelan and S Loftus 0-1 each.
Scorers for LIT: P Casey 1-3, R Byrnes 1-2, P Duggan 0-3 (1f, 2 ‘65s), D Dempsey and J Conway 0-1 each.
NUIG: S Hennessey (Nenagh Eire Og, Tipperary); S Kennedy (Kilmaley, Clare), J Fitzpatrick (Killimordaly, Galway), D Connolly (Killimordaly, Sligo); C Caulfield (Kilconieron, Galway), P Hoban (Loughrea, Galway), A Greaney (Craughwell, Galway); S Loftus (Turloughmore, Galway), I Fox (Sarsfields, Galway); B Concannon (Killimordaly, Galway), M Lynch (Kilndeema-Leitrim, Galway), L Forde (Ardrahan, Galway); C Sheedy (Roscrea, Tipperary), C Whelan (Kinvara, Galway), E Niland (Clarinbridge, Galway).
Subs: S Fletcher (Roscrea, Tipperary) for Forde (49), B Corry (Sixmilebridge, Clare) for Sheedy (52), S McArdle (Clarinbridge, Galway) for Caulfield (54).
LIT: K Nugent (O’Callaghan’s Mills, Clare); P Delaney (Kinnity, Offaly), J McCarthy (Inagh/Kilnamona, Clare), D Moran (Kiladangan, Tipperary); D Byrnes (Patrickswell, Limerick), S Ryan (Sean Treacy’s Tipperary), R Byrnes (Portroe, Tipperary); D Dempsey (Na Piarsaigh, Limerick), E Boyce (Cratloe, Clare); P Duggan (Clooney/Quinn, Clare), B Fanning (Pallasgreean, Limerick), R Doody (Cappawhite, Tipperary); P Casey (Na Piarsaigh, Limerick), O Kelly (Ferbane/Belmont, Offaly), D Reidy (Eire Og Ennis, Clare).
Subs: O O’Reilly (Kilmallock, Limerick) for Doody (24), C Cooney (O’Callaghan’s Mills, Clare) for Delaney (43), J Conway (Crotta O’Neills, Kerry) for Fanning (44), R Murphy (Tommie Larkins, Galway) for Moran (57).
Ref: J Ryan (Tipperary).