DCU needed extra-time before seeing NUI Maynooth 1-17 to 0-14.
The game was tightly balanced in the first-half with DCU edging ahead, 0-6 to 0-5, at the interval. Offaly duo Colm Coughlan and Diarmuid Horan were to the fore for DCU, while Tipperary’s Kevin Walzer and Thomas McGrath shone for NUI Maynooth in front of goal.
Two points by Walzer after the break pushed Maynooth ahead, but DCU responded, thanks to strong play by Coughlan, Horan and James Mulrooney that left them 0-13 to 0-12 ahead nearing full-time.
However, a last-gasp Jamie Winters point rescued Maynooth and sent the match into extra-time. The action remained tight in the opening-half of extra-time with DCU just in front 0-15 to 0-14 midway through. But DCU sub Phillip Murphy pounced for a crucial goal in the second period to clinch victory.
Both sides were reduced to 14 men before the final whistle with Winters (NUI Maynooth) and Eoin O’Mahoney (Wexford) both seeing red.
In the second semi-final Carlow IT proved worthy victors 2-11 to 1-10 over IT Tralee. The Leinster college dominated the opening-half and led 2-7 to 0-4 at the interval.
The goals arrived from Patrick Walsh in the sixth minute and on 25 minutes by Martin Howley.
IT Tralee started brightly after the break and a four-point burst brought them right back into contention. But Carlow’s response was impressive as they fired three points on the trot to surge 2-10 to 0-8 in front by the 45th minute.
IT Tralee threw everything forward in the closing stages but captain Eoin Ryan saw his penalty effort brilliantly saved by Kilkenny senior PJ Ryan in the Carlow IT goal. The Kerry college did find the net at the death from Limerick senior Nicky Quaid but it proved too late.