The Belfast university’s dreams of playing in the finals they host on February 21/22 ended with a whimper at the Dub with two goals in the last ten minutes from GMIT substitutes Shane Hennelly and Aineas Lawless.
Despite having home advantage, Queen’s never looked convincing at any stage. They started badly, GMIT setting the tone scoring the first four points of the game, John Duane scoring from play and from a 45.
The Galway-Mayo IT should have been further ahead but Steede blazed wide in front of goal after five minutes and the visitors kicked six first-half wides.
Eighteen minutes elapsed before Queen’s got their first score through Down player Ryan Mallon.
Michael Farragher got the last two points of the half to stretch the visitors’ lead to 0-6 to 0-2 at half-time.
Queen’s rallied in the third quarter and scored three points without reply to close the gap to a point, including two points in two minutes from Ryan Murray and a great long-distance score from Louth’s Darren O’Hanlon.
But that was as close as they got. Although they played with more urgency and purpose in the second-half, they struggled to penetrate and too often played themselves into trouble up the middle.
GMIT failed to score any points in the second-half but scored a goal against the run of play in the 52nd minute when substitute Shane Hennelly palmed a Michael Lundy fist pass to the net.
Queen’s responded with two quick scores from sub Ross McGarry (1-6 to 0-7) but Queen’s then missed two easy chances to cut deficit further.
GMIT made the most of those misses when Lundy, acting as creator again, slipped the ball to substitute Aineas Lawless and he blasted to the net to kill the game off and dump the hosts out of this year’s competition.
Scorers for Queens: R McGarry (0-3, 1f), R Murray (0-2), R Mallon, D O’Hanlon, R Grugan (f) (0-1 each).
Scorers for GMIT: S Hennelly, A Lawless (1-0 each), J Duane (1 45), M Farragher (0-2 each), M Lundy, R Steede (0-1 each).
QUEEN’S: M Cunningham (Down); P Quinn (Derry), C Cullen (Fermanagh), C McNulty (Tyrone); R Mallon (Down), D O’Hanlon (Louth), C McCartan (Down); M McElhinney (Donegal), H Óg Conlon (Tyrone); C Maginn (Down), R Grugan (Armagh), R Jones (Fermanagh); R Murray (Antrim), G McGovern (Down), R Rafferty (Armagh).
Subs: T Donnelly (Armagh for Conlon, BC 15), O Costello (Down) for McGovern (17), R McGarry (Down, 0-3, 1f) for Grugan (43), S Warnock (Tyrone) for Quinn (49), S McArdle (Down) for Rafferty (53), D McAleese (Antrim) for Donnelly (60).
GMIT: G Shiels (Roscommon); N Sheridan (Offaly), C Sweeney (Galway), A Wynne (Leitrim); J Duane (Galway), P Holloway (Westmeath), R Shanahan (Kerry); S Tighe (Mayo), A McCormack (Roscommon); M Lundy (Galway), G Ó Ceallaigh (Clare), Michael Farragher (Galway); S Walsh (Galway), R Steede (Galway), E Monahan (Galway).
Subs: A Lawless (Galway) for Shanahan (BC, 45), M Farragher (Galway) for Steede (47), S Hennelly (Mayo) for Monahan (49), J Walsh (Galway) for Tighe (57).
Referee: Ciaran Branagan (Down).