NUIG had an outside chance of reaching the final, but they never looked like achieving the required landslide win at the Connacht Centre of Excellence at Ballyhaunis yesterday.
There was little between the sides for much of the opening half, but Sligo had most of the possession and points from Donegal star Ryan McHugh and Stuart Johnson put them two ahead by the end of the opening quarter.
However, this quickly changed. After McHugh was clear on goal only to see NUIG custodian Paddy Sweeney pull off a wonderful save, Sligo IT lost influential Galway wing-back Paul Varley with a black card.
The closing stages of the half saw Galway score three unanswered points through Niall Lee, Cian Connolly and Christopher Davey to leave the sides level at half-time.
The second period turned out to be a damp squib, and it took 11 minutes for the opening score.
The sides traded points, then Peadar O Griofa put the Galway students ahead with a minute left, before Cian Clinton levelled with a free.
Scorers - IT Sligo: C Clinton 0-4 (2fs), R McHugh (f), S Johnson, C Mulryan, D Quinn 0-1 each. NUI Galway: C Connolly 0-3 (2fs), C Davey, N Lee, C Brennan, C Costello, P O Griofa 0-1 each.
IT Sligo - A McCallig; S Doak, M McWeeney, D McConnon; S Johnson, M Ford, P Varley; R Connolly, S McManus; R McHugh, E Jordan, C Mulryan; S Henry, J Boyce, C Clinton. Subs: N Crowe for Varley (BC 21), D Quinn for Boyce (30), M Rock for Jordan (59).
NUI Galway - P Sweeney; B Walsh, D Cunnane, L Cullen; A Nolan, R Kiely, J Kennedy; E O hEochaidh, N Hickey; C Connolly, C Davey, S Conroy; N Lee, C Brennan, C Costello. Subs: R Feeney for O hEochaidh (33), P O Griofa for Davey (40).
Ref -J Fitzpatrick (New York).
Galway 1-13 GMIT 0-5
Galway kept up the momentum as they easily disposed of GMIT in Moycullen yesterday.
The Tribesmen charged into a 0-8 to 0-1 lead by half-time in another game where new manager Kevin Walsh experimented.
There were standout performances from midfielder Tom Flynn, goalkeeper Thomas Dolan and wing-back Johnny Heaney as Galway progressed to Sunday's final against Roscommon.
The Tribesmen got an early foothold with points from full-forward Oisin O'Brien and Keith Kelly and they never looked back.
Eventually, substitute Alan Meenaghan notched GMIT's first score with the final kick of the first-half but Galway went in seven points up.
Galway made five changes at half-time but still dominated after the break, and when Cathal Sweeney found the net from a flowing move which saw Ferdie Breathnach assist, it was effectively game over with 17 minutes left to play.
Scorers - Galway: S Walsh 0-4 (3f); P Sweeney 1-0; M Martin 0-2 (1f), P Whelehan 0-2; O O'Brien, C Sweeney, K Kelly, J Heaney & S Denvir 0-1 each. GMIT: A Meenaghan 0-2 (1f); C Donoghue, S Burke & S Mellett 0-1 each.
Galway - T Dolan; G Sweeney, J Shaughnessy, C Sweeney; P Naughton, G Bradshaw, K Kelly; S O Cuirrin, T Flynn; S Walsh, F Breathnach, M Coady; M Martin, O O'Brien, P Whelehan. Subs: J Egan for Dolan (30), S Denvir for Coady (30), G O'Donnell for Bradshaw (30), P Sweeney for Martin (30), J Heaney for Naughton (30), D Cummins for O'Brien (57).
GMIT - C Nolan; E Egan, B O'Farrell, D Moran; K Nally, P Holloway, S Burke; M O'Brien, S McDonnell; S Mellett, C Donoghue, D Styles; D Joyce, M Shaughnessy, R Geraghty. Subs: A Meenaghan for Styles (21), R Sweeney for Nally (30), A Coyne for Joyce (45), J Madden for Geraghty (53).
ref - Shane Hehir (Galway).
Good Counsel 1-11 Marist College 2-5
Leinster post-primary schools SFC 'A' q-final
A brilliant 44th-minute goal from Darragh Joyce proved the difference as Good Counsel qualified for the semi-final with victory over Marist College, Athlone, at Dr Cullen Park yesterday.
Joyce's goal was excellently constructed as the Wexford side moved the ball from their own kick-out, the full length of the field, before centre forward Mikie Dwyer offloaded to the midfielder, who beat Conor Devaney in the Marist goal with a superb finish.
Counsel were the dominant team for most of the hour, but fell victim to Marist goals at the start and end of the first half from half-forward Luke Carty and full-forward Aaron Roarke.
The midlanders led 2-2 to 0-6 at the break and Counsel appeared to be in trouble.
But Counsel took complete control in the third quarter and edged 0-10 to 2-2 in front when Joyce found the Marist net.
Marist applied late pressure with points from substitute Cathal Mannion, but the game had slipped away from them.
Scorers - Good Counsel: J Sheily 0-5 (4fs), D Joyce 1-0, S Bardon, M Dwyer, T Coady, B Whitty, T O'Connor (f), J Meyler 0-1 each. Marist College: A Roarke 1-1, L Carty 1-0, C Mannion 0-2 (1f), R Cooper (f), C Gleeson (f) 0-1 each.
Good Counsel- C O'Connor; D Kelly, D O'Connor, S Bardon; E Porter, J Sutton, B Power; D Lyons, D Joyce; J Sheily, M Dwyer, T Coady; A Swan, B Whitty, T O'Connor. Subs: J Meyler for Coady (h/t), I Carthy for Kelly (h/t).
Marist College - C Devaney; M Nolan, E Nally, A Daly; M McGloin, E McCormack, J Curley; R Cooper, D Reid; C Quinn, J McDonnell, L Carthy; C Gleeson, A Roarke, B Stack. Sub: C Mannion for McDonnell (46).
Ref - P Moran (Laois).