Gillane, scorer of 3-9 against DIT in Mary I’s final group game, bagged 2-10 to send NUI Galway, hosts of finals weekend, to an eleven-point defeat.
Gillane, who was recently cut from the Limerick senior panel, had eight points on the board by half-time – including four from play – before bagging two classy second half goals.
But the best goal of the game was knocked home by Cork’s rising star Luke Meade, who brilliantly controlled Tadhg Gallagher’s delivery from the right touchline on his stick before batting home from close range, all in one, fluid movement.
That was Mary I’s second goal of the game, in the 20th minute, after Gallagher had found the net himself in the fourth minute, pouncing from close range after Colm Galvin rattled the crossbar with a fierce shot.
NUIG were heavily reliant on Gerry Hennelly’s free-taking to remain in touch and they were six points behind at half-time – 0-11 to 2-11.
There was a consolation goal for NUIG three minutes from time when Gearoid Loughnane pounced after Hennelly’s free was blocked.
Mary I march on and will play Limerick IT or UCD in the last four.
A Gillane 2-10 (0-4f, 0-2 65s), L Meade 1-2, T Gallagher 1-0, M O’Neill 0-3, D O’Donovan 0-2, T Monaghan 0-1.
G Hennelly 0-9 (6f, 1 65), G Loughnane 1-0, C Whelan 0-3 (1f, 1 sl), C Cleary (f), I Fox, O Donnellan & S Conlon 0-1 each.
C Barrett (Tipperary); D Sweeney (Tipperary), R English (Limerick), E Quirke (capt. – Clare); C Twomey (Cork), R Maher (Tipperary), A Flynn (Tipperary); C Galvin (Clare), S Cahill (Tipperary); D O’Donovan (Limerick), M O’Neill (Clare), A Gillane (Limerick); T Gallagher (Tipperary), C Lynch (Limerick), L Meade (Cork).
T Monaghan (Galway) for Gallagher (39), T Grimes (Limerick) for Gillane (45), C Stapleton (Laois) for Twomey (49), T O’Mahony (Cork) for Lynch (51), P O’Connell (Clare) for O’Donovan (55).
C Tuohy (Galway); C Ryan (Tipperary), G Fennelly (Tipperary), G Forde (Galway); S Moloney (Galway), C Cleary (capt. – Clare), M Connelly (Galway); I Fox (Galway), O Donnellan (Clare); G Loughnane (Galway), K McHugo (Galway), C Whelan (Galway); G Hennelly (Galway), S Conlon (Tipperary), A Helebert (Galway).
N Mitchell (Westmeath) for Helebert (39), J Commins (Galway) for McHugo (44), C Cosgrove (Galway) for Connelly (54), S Barrett (Galway) for Loughnane (57).
Fergal Horgan (Tipperary)