Joseph Cooney landed two late points to deny Mary Immaculate a winning return to the competition after a decade out of it at Dangan.
The Limerick college seemed poised for victory, but Cooney produced the goods to snatch a draw with a brace of superb long-range scores.
John Conlon, who scored the winning point for NUIG to win the Fitzgibbon Cup three years ago, struck a dozen points against his old college. He hit three directly after the restart against the wind to open up a 0-14 to 0-11 lead.
Galway star Niall Burke kept NUIG in it, but Conlon nudged his side ahead going into the final stages.
Cooney, though, saved the day for NUIG.
Scorers – NUIG: N Burke 0-14 (13f, 1 '65'), J Cooney, B Lane 0-2 each. Mary Immaculate College: J Conlon 0-12 (10f), K Fitzgerald 0-2, D Hannon, C Galvin, L Considine, E Hogan 0-1 each.
NUIG – D Tuohy; D Magner, B Flaherty, C Diviney; S McCormack, K Moynihan, L Markham; E Glynn, D Higgins; N Burke, J Cooney, K Downes; G Donoghue, A Cunningham, B Lane. Subs: D Burke for Higgins (37), B Daly for Moynihan (49), N Deasy for Glynn (51).
Mary Immaculate College – S Nolan; C Fennessy, R O'Donnell, D O'Carroll; Eanna Hogan, D Hannon, N O'Mara; J Wall, K Fitzgerald; C Galvin, W Hickey, S Curran; B O'Halloran, J Conlon, L O'Farrell. Subs: M O'Connell for O'Carroll (30), Eoin Hogan for Hickey (46), L Considine for Fitzgerald (54).
Ref – G Chapman (Sligo).