Having been denied victory in normal time when Eoghan Murray converted an injury-time free to earn UL a draw, DCU looked to have missed their chance when they fell three points behind in the first period of extra-time and then UL sub Mark Hughes’ second point gave them a lead of four on the resumption.
However, UL – who had 19 wides – wouldn’t score again and DCU pushed on again. Corner-back Darren Mullen gave them hope with an inspirational point and then Colin Currie levelled with a rasping ground shot.
When they won a free on the halfway line, Donal Burke was on hand to convert the free, his sixth of the evening, and then wing-back Daire Gray was on hand to push them two in front.
As UL sought a game-winning goal, it took a great interception from Conor Doheny to deny Michael Mackey a chance and then, at the death, Oisín Foley pulled off a great save after Aaron Shanagher had won a delivery well and created space.
While a 65 resulted from that, DCU were able to hold out and referee Alan Kelly’s whistle brought rapturous scenes. DCU thought they had done enough to earn victory in the 60 regulation minutes, as they went toe-to-toe throughout, with neither side leading by more than two points at any stage in the first-half.
DCU got a boost as consecutive points from Currie, Edmond Delaney and Fergal Whitely – a missed Shanagher penalty for UL in the midst of them – put them 0-6 to 0-5 ahead as half-time neared.
Ross Malone struck for a UL goal just before the whistle to give them the lead and they would score two of the first three points of the second-half but from there it was all DCU. After Ciarán Dowling went close with a goal chance, Currie’s point was followed by three Burke frees and they could smell victory.
When an Eoghan Murray free hit the post, Foley saved well from Mackey, but there was time for another UL chance and Murray did the needful. He was to the fore as they pushed on in extra-time, but DCU had one last critical surge in them.
D Burke (0-6, frees), C Currie (1-2), E Delaney (0-2, frees), C Dowling (0-2), D Mullen, D Gray, F Whitely (0-1 each).
E Murray (0-7, frees), R Malone (1-0), M O’Shea, M Hughes (0-2 each), M Mackey, R Hardiman (0-1 each).
K Foley (Crossabeg/Ballymurn, Wexford); J Curran (Dungarvan, Waterford), D Byrne (Blackwater, Wexford), D Mullen (Ballyhale Shamrocks, Kilkenny); D Gray (Whitehall Colmcilles), S Howard (Fingallians), O Lanigan (St Vincent’s); C Dowling (Lucan Sarsfields), F Whitely (Kilmacud Crokes); C Burke (St Vincent’s), C Hearne (Shelmaliers, Wexford), D Burke (Na Fianna); C Currie (Na Fianna), J Donnelly (Thomastown, Kilkenny), E Delaney (Conahy Shamrocks, Kilkenny).
B Crowdle (James Stephens, Kilkenny) for Donnelly (21, injured), C Byrne (James Stephens, Kilkenny) for Delaney (44), J Mullally (Danesfort, Kilkenny) for Hearne (52), B King (Ballina, Tipperary) for Dowling (full-time), D Lynch (Faythe Harriers, Wexford) for C Burke (75).
P O’Loughlin (Clonlara, Clare); G Dunne (Holycross-Ballycahill, Tipperary), N Fox (Parteen, Clare), M Kearns (Mooncoin, Kilkenny); C Doheny (Dicksboro, Kilkenny), K Hayes (Kildimo-Pallaskenry, Limerick), C Noonan (Killanena, Clare); R Hardiman (Athenry, Galway), C O’Connor (Kilmallock, Limerick); R Malone (Oranmore-Maree, Galway), A Shanagher (Wolfe Tones na Sionna, Clare), E Murray (Cappoquin, Waterford); M Mackey (Adare, Limerick), M O’Shea (Smith O’Briens, Clare), J Kenny (Kilnadeema-Leitrim, Galway).
M Hughes (Liam Mellows, Galway) for O’Connor (43), J Flynn (Patrickswell, Limerick) for Kenny (51), E Scriven (John Lockes, Kilkenny) for Malone (56), Kenny for Murray (74).
A Kelly (Galway).