A goal eight minutes from time from sub Matthew Fitzpatrick gave St Mary’s the lead after a patient performance after the restart, conduced by Armagh’s Aidan Forker, who landed three points after the break.
Tyrone senior Conor Clarke also returned for his first game since his cruciate ligament injury last summer, and played his part in a powerful second period to set up a last-eight tie with the Dublin powerhouse.
“Whoever we have now, I don’t care: it’s DCU and we’ll take it. But we’ll have to improve a lot,” said Tally.
“It was an amazing second half. They played a lot of good football to bring themselves back. They were controlled and tagged it back point by point. They were full value for their victory,” said Tally, who side held their hosts to one point after the break.
NUI Galway deserved their 1-6 to 0-5 interval lead after a blistering finish to the first half saw them kick an unanswered 1-3 from the 28th minute. Jerome Johnston was earlier black carded for St Mary’s, but Robbie Kiely linked up well with Cristoir Davey to find the net in the 28th minute, while three points from Cian Connolly before half-time also gave NUI Galway a nice cushion.
Crucially though, Westmeath’s Ray Connellan missed two easy frees in the 31st and 34th minutes which would have put two goals between the sides. Tommy Canavan’s free got St Mary’s up and running before Kiely was black carded for the hosts. Forker kicked two points from play in five minutes to put a point between the sides, and when Neil McNicholl freed Paddy McBride down the right and Fitzpatrick flicked his pinpoint pass to the net, there was no doubt about the winners.
Scorers for St Mary’s College: A Forker 0-4, T Canavan 0-4 (3f), M Fitzpatrick 1-0, J Grugan, K McKiernan 0-1.
Scorers for NUI Galway: R Kiely 1-1, C Connolly 0-4 (1f), R Connellan 0-2 (2f).
ST MARY’S COLLEGE: R Burns (Down); A Beattie (Down), D McBride (Tyrone), D Morrow (Derry); P McBride (Antrim), A Forker (Armagh), K McCooey (Armagh); B Og McGilligan (Derry), C McCann (Tyrone); J Johnston (Derry), C McGeary (Tyrone), R Johnston (Down); T Canavan (Tyrone), J Grugan (Armagh), K McKiernan (Antrim).
Subs: M Fitzpatrick (Antrim) for J Johnston (10 BC), N McNicholl (Derry) for McGilligan (ht), H Loughran (Tyrone) for Morrow (ht), E Bradley (Derry) for McCann (35), B O’Hagan (Down) for McGeary (39), C Clarke (Tyrone) for Grugan (49).
NUI GALWAY: D O’Sullivan (Limerick); J Kennedy (Galway), D Murray (Roscommon), L Cullen (Fermanagh); R Kiely (Tipperary), J McManus (Roscommon), A Nolan (Galway); E O hEochaigh (Galway), D Cunnane (Galway); R Feeney (Mayo), A Varley (Galway), C Davey (Sligo); R Connellan (Westmeath), S Moran (Galway), C Connolly (Roscommon).
Subs: F Reilly (Longford) for Kiely (44 BC), C Brennan (Sligo) for Connellan (46), C O’Shea (Mayo) for O hEochaidh (49), E Lavin (Mayo) for Davey (56).
Referee: Derek O’Mahoney