Maynooth struck for the game’s only goal on the stroke of half-time when full-forward Michael Newman volleyed a loose ball to the net to put his side for the first time (1-4 to 0-5).
However, UCC midfielder Jamie O’Sullivan kicked his side level from a 55m free and a 45.
Entering the final 10 minutes, Maynooth looked to be heading for victory as they led 1-7 to 0-8. But it was UCC who finished stronger. An inspirational point from right half back and captain Peter Crowley was quickly followed the leveller from a free by centre forward Mark Collins who then grabbed the limelight with two superb points from play in the space of a minute to put his side 0-12 to 1-7 in front.
Michael Newman replied with a Maynooth point but further points from the reigning Cork county senior football champions and Munster Club finalists by Barry O’Driscoll (free) and Kevin O’Driscoll ensured UCC would advance to a league final meeting with IT Carlow, seven-point winners over IT Cork on Wednesday night.
Scorers for UCC: M Collins 0-6 (3fs), J O’Sullivan (Kerry) 0-3 (2fs, 1 45), B O’Driscoll 0-2 (1f, 1 45), G O’Grady, P Crowley, K O’Driscoll 0-1 each.
Scorers for Maynooth: M Newman 1-1, E O’Flaherty 0-2 (1f), P Cahalane 0-2 (1f), T Mollick, C Brophy, J Calliff 0-1 each.
UCC: D Farry (Cork); Jamie O’Sullivan (Cork), E O’Mahony (Cork), S Enright (Kerry); P Crowley (Kerry), N Daly (Roscommon), B Daley (Cork); B Moran (Kerry), Jamie O’Sullivan (Kerry); K O’Driscoll (Cork), M Collins (Cork), M Reen (Kerry); G O’Grady (Kerry), B O’Driscoll (Cork), B Coughlan (Cork).
Subs: S Beston (Cork) for Coughlan (46), A Greany (Kerry) for Moran (46).
MAYNOOTH: C McHugh (Meath); W Ryan (Meath), C Lynch (Meath), K O’Brien (Kildare); T Moolick (Kildare), C Brophy (Kildare), S Denvir (Galway); J Calliff (Louth), K Berrigan (Meath); G McIntyre (Dublin), E O’Flaherty (Kildare), C Mullins (Dublin); P Cahalane (Laois), M Newman (Meath), D Quinn (Dublin).
Subs: A Walsh (Kerry) for Mullins (ht); D Dalton (Meath) for McIntyre (ht); David Quinn (Lucan Sarsfields) for Quinn (Na Fianna) (44), T Johnson (Meath) for Moolick (48), F Barry (Kildare) for Brophy (54).
Referee: B Hickey (Kildare).