Monaghan forward Shane Carey hit 1-8 in Belfast yesterday to put Sigerson Cup holders DCU through to today’s final against Dublin rivals UCD.
DCU led from start to finish and managed to keep UUJ at bay, dropping bodies back to restrict the supply into the home side's dangerous forward line.
UUJ felt aggrieved over a few decisions by referee Padraig Hughes in the last quarter, but they only had themselves to blame after hitting nine wides, seven in the first half.
They also dropped half a dozen balls into the goalkeeper's hands. They couldn't penetrate a well-drilled DCU defence and coughed up too much possession, danger man Paddy McBrearty being starved of the ball for long spells.
DCU led by 1-5 to 0-5 at half-time, having scored the first three points through Ultan Harney, David Mannix and Carey inside six minutes. Fine long-range scores from Tyrone's Richie Donnelly and Monaghan's Kieran Hughes brought UUJ to within 0-4 to 0-2 behind.
However, a defensive lapse by Donnelly allowed Carey to net the only goal. The Tyrone midfielder lost possession inside his own '45 and Enda Smith burst forward and fed Carey who buried the ball low from close range. McBrearty kicked three frees in the opening half for UUJ, but the home side gave the ball away far too cheaply in a costly third quarter.
Carey punished their ill-discipline with unerring accuracy. DCU led by 1-11 to 0-8 midway through the second half, following two superb points inside 60 seconds from Davy Byrne and Stephen Attride.
Byrne cut across the ball for a fine long-range score and Attride nailed a superb point from the wing which looked set to break Jordanstown's resistance.
However, the home side mounted a spirited comeback and had their best spell in the last 10 minutes with four points in a row.
Monaghan's Kieran Hughes nailed two superb long-range scores into the wind, with Ryan McHugh also getting forward for a well-worked point and McBrearty landing a free. Richie Donnelly, anxious to atone for his earlier mistake, had a fine second half. However, with just two points between the teams, referee Padraig Hughes spotted an off-the-ball foul by Ricky Johnston, allowing Carey to halt UUJ's momentum with a vital free.
Scorers - UUJ: P McBrearty 0-5 (4f), K Hughes 0-4, R Donnelly 0-2, S Heavron, R McHugh 0-1 each. DCU: S Carey 1-8 (7f), E Smith 0-2 (1f), S Attride, D Mannix, D Byrne, U Harney 0-1 each.
UUJ - S Fox (Tyrone); R Johnston (Antrim), R McNamee (Tyrone), K Clarke (Cavan); R McHugh (Donegal), R Brennan (Tyrone), S Sheridan (Armagh); N McKeever (Antrim), R Donnelly (Tyrone); C Grugan (Tyrone), R McAnespie (Monaghan), M Argue (Cavan); P McBrearty (Donegal), K Hughes (Monaghan), C O'Boyle (Derry). Subs: E Regan (Mayo) for O'Boyle (40), G McKinless (Derry) for Grugan (43), S Heavron for Argue (48), P Hughes (Armagh) for Johnston (58).
DCU - P O'Donnell (Donegal); K Daly (Westmeath), K Feeley (Kildare), J Smyth (Dublin); S Attride (Laois), C Moynagh (Cavan), C Begley (Laois); S O'Brien (Tipperary), E Smith (Roscommon); D O'Connor (Mayo), M Quinn (Longford), D Byrne (Dublin); D Mannix (Kerry), U Harney (Roscommon), S Carey (Monaghan). Subs: C McGraynor (Wicklow) for Mannix (35), S Carthy (Dublin) for Smith (45), D Ward (Monaghan) for Byrne (51), S McCoey (Armagh) for O'Connor (BC, 54), C McGonagle (Donegal) for Harney (59), R Connor (Longford) for Harney (60).
Ref - P Hughes (Armagh).