Fitzpatrick the hero for St. Mary's with late goal
St Mary's 1-10 NUI Galway 1-7
Tyrone's Conor Clarke made a successful return to action following his cruciate ligament injury as St Mary's, Belfast set up a Sigerson quarter-final tussle with DCU.
Matthew Fitzpatrick's well-taken goal eight minutes from time finally hauled in NUI Galway after Aidan Forker inspired the Belfast side to a memorable comeback against the Galway side.
"Whoever we have now I don't care: it's DCU and we'll take it. We'll take DCU next week. But we'll have to improve an awful lot," said St Mary's manager Paddy Tally.
NUIG took a 1-6 to 0-5 lead into the interval after Robbie Kiely goaled in the 28th minute, but he also picked up a black card midway through the second half when his side led by three points.
Ray Connellan had earlier missed two simple frees for NUIG to put them well clear, but after a series of Tommy Canavan and Forker points, Fitzpatrick's goal gave St Mary's the lead they never relinquished.
Clarke came on for his first action since last June, which will be a welcome sight for his county manager Mickey Harte, but NUIG's lack of ruthlessness cost them dearly.
Scorers - St Mary's: A Forker, T Canavan (3f) 0-4 each; M Fitzpatrick 1-0, J Grugan, K McKiernan 0-1 each. NUI Galway: R Kiely 1-1, C Connolly 0-4 (1f), R Connellan 0-2 (2f).
St Mary's College - R Burns; A Beattie, D McBride, D Morrow; P McBride, A Forker, K McCooey; B Og McGilligan, C McCann; J Johnston, C McGeary, R Johnston; T Canavan, J Grugan, K McKiernan. Subs: M Fitzpatrick for J Johnston (10 BC), N McNicholl for McGilligan (h-t), H Loughran for Morrow (h-t), E Bradley for McCann (35), B O'Hagan for McGeary (39), C Clarke for Grugan (49).
NUI Galway - D O'Sullivan; J Kennedy, D Murray, L Cullen; R Kiely, J McManus, A Nolan; E O hEochaigh, D Cunnane; R Feeney, A Varley, C Davey; R Connellan, S Moran, C Connolly.
Subs: F Reilly for Kiely (44 BC), C Brennan for Connellan (46), C O'Shea for O hEochaidh (49), E Lavin for Davey (56).
Ref - D O'Mahoney (Tipperary)