Mary I, runners-up in 2013, did enough to finish top of the pool, edging Limerick rivals and holders UL into second.
It means Mary I will now host GMIT in the quarter-finals next week and they had a trio of Limerick stars to thank for victory along with Clare’s Darragh Corry.
Limerick ace Declan Hannon hit 0-9 for the winners a haul including six frees, while promising young midfielder Darragh O’Donovan chipped in with five points.
Cian Lynch also scored two points and produced a typically audacious, over the shoulder handpass in the build-up to Corry’s second-half goal.
With an icy breeze backing them from the start at Parnell’s GAA club in Coolock, Mary I got down to business and led 0-10 to 0-3 at the break. Hannon had four of those against a DIT side that registered six first half wides.
Eoin Brislane’s outfit were reliant on placed balls, with Wexford’s Jack Guiney hitting two frees and Westmeath forward Derek McNicholas adding another.
DIT went into battle with a remote chance of progressing, but they needed to run up a big score while also relying on NUI Galway to hammer UL.
Neither of those scenarios were likely and Mary I quickly signalled their second-half intent as O’Donovan nailed a brilliant 65 into the wind before Corry lashed home a 35th minute goal.
Ultimately, it was a run of 1-12 without reply either side of half-time that put Mary I into an unassailable position.
The sides had been level at 0-3 apiece in the first-half but Mary I turned up the heat before Guiney opened DIT’s second-half account with a free.
DIT managed just a single point from play in the entire game – a Conor Sheehan effort with six minutes left.
D Hannon 0-9 (6f), D Corry 1-2, D O’Donovan 0-5 (1f, 1 65), C Lynch 0-2, S Cahill & C Galvin 0-1 each.
J Guiney 0-3f, C Sheehan & D McNicholas (f) 0-1 each.
M O’Conghaile; E Quirke, R English, A Ryan; R Maher, T Stapleton, J Meagher; S Cahill, D O’Donovan; C Galvin, N O’Meara, D Corry; D Reidy, D Hannon, C Lynch.
S Linnane for O’Meara (45), A Flynn for Quirke (50), M O’Neill for Reidy (52).
P McKenna; S McClelland, T Doyle, C Robinson; S Barrett, L Chin, D Guinan; J Henderson, G Whelan; J Guiney, C Sheehan, R Greville; D McNicholas, J Sweeney, AJ Murphy.
C O’Donoghue for McClelland (29), B Kelly for McNicholas (50).
M Murtagh (Westmeath).