Douglas strikes to spoil home debut for O Flatharta
NUIG, managed by former Mayo boss John Maughan and ex-Galway star Tomas Tierney, qualified for the final with a merited win at Tuam Stadium.
It was a disappointing display from Galway in Tomas O Flatharta's first home match in charge as the under-strength Tribesmen were put to the sword.
NUIG were on top in the first half when backed by the strong wind. They were four points to the good before Galway managed their first score after 18 minutes, but the Tribesmen then hit 1-3 without reply with the experienced Matthew Clancy getting the goal.
But NUIG steadied themselves and Fiachra Deasmhumnaigh hit 0-3 and Neil Douglas blasted to the net at the end of move that started with his own goalkeeper. That helped them to lead by 1-7 to 1-3 at the interval but Galway hit back after the restart.
Points from Fiachra Breatnach and Jonathan Ryan reduced the deficit but NUIG responded and Jason Doherty got his third point after 35 minutes.
The crucial score came 19 minutes from the end when Aidan Mullen finished superbly. While Sean Armstrong hit a brace and Ryan got another, Galway never looked like getting in for an equalising goal.
Scorers -- NUIG: N Douglas 1-1, J Doherty 0-3 (2f), F Deasmhumnaigh 0-3, A Mullen 1-0, P Gardiner 0-1. Galway: S Armstrong (2f), J Ryan (2f) 0-3 each, M Clancy 1-0, F Breathnach, C Bane 0-1 each.
NUIG -- N King; C McDonald, K O'Connor, K Conlon; P Gardiner, C Conroy, J Moore; S Gilmartin, D Coroon; F Deasmhumhaigh, C Mimnagh, D Wynne; N Douglas, G Higgins, J Doherty. Subs: A Mullen for Wynne (30), M McHugh for Mimnagh (30), S McHale for Conlon (48), S Nally for Moore (50), D Newcombe for Deasmhumhaigh (60).
Galway -- E O Conghaile; A Glynn, F Hanley, K McGrath; G O'Donnell, N Coyne, P Naughton; E Hoare, N Coleman; M Clancy, F Breathnach, M Boyle; J Ryan, C Bane, S Armstrong.
Subs: F O Curraoin for Boyle (30), D O'Neill for Glynn (30), A Burke for Naughton (39), C O Cualain for Breathnach (42), G Sice for Clancy (47).
Ref -- M Parker (Roscommon).