Having surprised St Patrick’s-Mater Dei, GMIT were forced to deal with a gutsy UUJ display. The Galway students were struggling to contain a lively Jordanstown forward line who benefited from a shoot on sight policy as they opened up a 0-7 to 0-3 lead by the 19th minute.
Corner-forward Paddy Henry was especially effective for the underdogs, while bustling centre-forward Frank Corvan was accurate too.
Despite Jordanstown’s initial burst, GMIT remained cool and they struck for a crucial 19th minute goal when Daniel Loughnane dashed clear to trim the deficit. Man-of-the-match Colin Egan and Henry then traded points, but GMIT finished the half strongly which vexed Jordanstown.
Kenny Feeney drilled over a routine free to restore parity and then an opportunistic goal from James Liddy in the last minute of the first half gave GMIT a 2-5 to 0-8 advantage.
Considering the determined manner in which UUJ had hurled, the scoreline at that stage was a tad unjust, but after the restart GMIT really seized the initiative. Egan was a central figure as they enjoyed sustained spells of supremacy, with Feeney sharp from frees and Jason O’Gorman providing a genuine threat inside.
In the third quarter GMIT outscored their northern opponents 0-7 to 0-2 as they moved eight points clear and it seemed as they would canter to a facile victory. Jordanstown summoned a brief rally and when GMIT’s excellent goalkeeper Joe Keane was adjudged to have picked the sliothar from the deck in the 50th minute referee Brian Gavin awarded a penalty.
Wing back Simon McCrory rattled the GMIT net with a venomous drive and Jordanstown were given an injection of hope.
GMIT weren’t too bothered, though, and within a couple of minutes normal service had been restored. Inevitably a brace of splendid efforts from Egan put GMIT on their way again and substitute Tomas Flannery, and O’Gorman sealed the match.
GMIT may lack the marquee names of the other Fitzgibbon pretenders, but any team containing Galway’s Ger Mahon, Limerick’s Wayne McNamara, and Offaly’s Colin Egan deserve to be respected as UCC prepare to hit the west on Tuesday.
Scorers for GMIT: K Feeney (0-6, 4fs), C Egan (0-4), J O’Gorman (0-3), D Loughnane (1-0), J Liddy (1-0), A Lawless, T Flannery, C Flannery (0-1) each.
Scorers for UUJ: P Henry (0-4, 3fs), F Corvan (0-3), S McCrory (1-0, pen), B Cashman, O McCloskey, D Hamill (0-1) each.
GMIT: J Keane (Galway); T Martin (Offaly), C Flannery (Offaly), K Waters (Offaly; C Duggan (Tipperary), G Mahon (Galway, S Hynes (Galway); A Lawless (Galway), W McNamara (Limerick); C Egan (Offaly), A Lynch (Clare), D Loughnane (Galway); K Feeney (Mayo), J O’Gorman (Galway), J Liddy (Clare).
Subs: G O’Halloran (Galway) for Waters (41 mins), T Flannery (Galway) for Liddy (47 mins), D Maher (Tipperary) for Mahon (49 mins).
UUJ: E Gillan (Antrim); S Dobbin (Antrim), F Neeson (Antrim), N McAuley (Antrim); S McCrory (Antrim), N Curry (Armagh), J Downey (Antrim); O McCloskey (Derry), P Murphy (Wexford); B Ennis (Down), F Corvan (Armagh), D Hamill (Antrim); P Henry (Derry), B Cashman (Cork), A Clarke (Down).
Subs: C Rocks (Antrim) for Clarke (41 mins).
Referee: B Gavin (Offaly).