Caulfield completes Mercy mission
Mercy Colleges Galway 2-12 Ulster Colleges 1-14
Former Galway manager Cyril Farrell was an interested spectator at the Donaghmore-Ashbourne grounds as Mercy Colleges secured a dramatic quarter-final win over the Ulster Colleges.
The Ulster Colleges were on top for long periods of the game with Conor Costello at wing-back particularly impressive in the first half, while Tomas O Ciaren was another driving force for Sean McGourty's team.
The Ulster side posted three unanswered frees through Mattie Lennon before Galway minor Jason Flynn pointed from the right-hand side to open Mercy's account on 12 minutes.
And while Martin O'Brien drew Mercy level with 10 minutes remaining in the first half, the Ulster Colleges rediscovered their shooting form, with Eamon Kearns particularly prominent up front as they raced into a 0-10 to 0-5 lead at the interval.
Domhnall Nugent then found the back of the net for Ulster after the restart but Mercy got back into the game on 45 minutes when Flynn beat the 'keeper with an angled strike into the opposite corner of the net.
Mercy were further lifted by a point from just inside the right-hand touchline by O'Brien.
Scores at each end left a goal between the sides but Mercy were then awarded a short free after Eoin Morrissey had been pulled back by a defender.
Flynn duly fired into the back of the net and then, with the referee about to blow full-time, Mercy's captain Shane Caulfield drove over a magnificent winning point from halfway.
Scorers – Mercy Colleges: S Flynn 2-9 (1-7f, 1 '65'), M O'Brien 0-2, S Caulfield 0-1. Ulster Colleges: M Lennon 0-11 (10f, 1 '65'), D Nugent 1-0, C Egan, E Kearns, L McMullan 0-1 each).
Mercy Colleges – C Tuohy; S Pierce, C Nevin, R Fahy; S Caulfield, P English, M O'Brien; L Uniacke, D Sweeney; J Flynn, G Loughhnane, E Morrisey; C Dillon, K McHugh, S Flynn. Subs: C Kelly for Dillon (15), Dillon for Fahy (31), C Gardiner for Loughnane (40), Loughnane for Dillon (55).
Ulster Colleges – C Hayden; T O Ciaren, R Brannigan, M Connolly; C Costello, C O'Neill, P Burke; L McMullen, C Egan; C Johnson, R McCambridge, E Campbell; M Lennon, D Nugent, E Kearns. Subs: E Sands for Nugent (43), J McManus for Burke (52).
Ref – D Hughes (Carlow)