DUBLIN Institute of Technology justified their status as second favourites for this year's title with a comfortable nine-point victory over 2012 runners-up NUI Maynooth.
But DIT may have to get through holders Dublin City University to reach a second final, and first since 2009, as they will play the winners of today's last-eight clash between DCU and UCD in the semi-finals.
Dublin Institute stars Darran O'Sullivan and Aidan O'Shea are among the players who will sample finals weekend for the very first time at Athlone IT.
It's O'Shea's final year as a DIT student and while he's anxious to leave his mark on the Sigerson Cup, he admitted that a hectic schedule of games could take its toll.
"I think that's four games in 10 or 11 days for most guys that are playing inter-county football," O'Shea said.
"It's tough and you have inter-provincials at the weekend, then the Sigerson finals the following weekend.
"It's tough at the moment, being pulled all over the place, but it's my first finals weekend in my last year in college and I'm delighted to get there."
DIT eventually saw off dogged NUI Maynooth resistance to advance on the all-weather pitch at Bray Emmets.
"Obviously the preference would be to play on grass, but the weather in Dublin hasn't been too good," O'Shea added.
"It's the best we could have done and we're glad to have the game out of the way to be honest."
Jason Doherty was the star turn for DIT in attack as the Mayo corner-forward bagged 0-8, including four from play.
Eight DIT players registered scores from play in total, as NUI Maynooth managed just four points from play during the entire game.
Nicky Devereaux scored a 20th-minute goal as DIT, who played against the wind in the opening half, led by 1-6 to 0-5 at half-time.
But spirited Maynooth were just a point behind before DIT made the game safe with a run of 1-5 without reply in the closing minutes.
Offaly-corner forward Bernard Allen came off the bench to score 1-1 late on.
Scorers – DIT: J Doherty 0-8 (4f), B Allen 1-1, N Devereaux 1-0, M Collins 0-2, C Reddin, D O'Sullivan, T O'Connor, C Walshe 0-1 each. NUI Maynooth: S Hurley 0-5 (3f, 1 '45'), P O'Griofa 0-5 (4f), S Mattimoe, A Walsh 0-1 each.
DIT: R Lambert; K O'Brien, B Menton, G O'Hare; A Nestor, N Devereaux, C Walshe; A O'Shea, D Givney; M Reilly, M Collins, C Reddin; D O'Sullivan, T O'Connor, J Doherty. Subs: B Allen for Reddin (49), P Maguire for Reilly (51), O McGinty for Givney (52), J McGrath for O'Connor (57).
NUI Maynooth: M Donnellan; D Dalton, A McCarrick, J Gonoud; T Johnson, D Cash, E Rigney; E O'Conghaile, T Moolick; S Hurley, R Kennedy, F Toolan; S Mattimoe, F Barry, P O'Griofa. Subs: A Walsh for Kennedy (h-t), D McNicholas for Toolan (36), J Califf for Cash (40), C Berrigan for Barry (56), C Gaynor for Johnson (58).
Ref – C Lane (Cork).