A resurgent NUI Galway shocked group favourites UCC in a gripping Fitzgibbon Cup encounter at Dangan.
Hammered by UL in their first outing, the Galway boys got their act together in some style as they repelled the star-studded visitors and kept their hopes alive in the competition.
They have sharpshooter Bobby Duggan to thank as he racked up a personal tally of 0-12, with seven of his points coming from placed balls.
The young Clarecastle man was on fire in the second half as he found the range from all angles. His free from 70 yards in the 58th minute was the score of the match.
The visitors, now coached by Dublin manager, Ger Cunningham were worth their 0-11 to 0-10 lead at the break and could have been further ahead but for some wayward shooting.
They had stretched two points clear with 20 minutes to play, but the Galway lads roared back and a rejigging of their forces around the centre of the field made a huge difference.
Duggan took the game by the scruff of the neck and accounted for six of his side’s last seven scores.
Cork inter-county star, Conor Lehane kept UCC in touch and the outcome could have been very different had his rasping shot in the 59th minute been a fraction lower instead of hitting the crossbar and trailing away to safety.
It was left to Westmeath student, Niall O’Brien to wrap up the points with a fine insurance score before the end.
The result blows the group wide open with NUIG set for a derby clash in the final series against GMIT and a chastened UCC facing a major challenge in the shape of table toppers UL.
Scorers – NUIG: B Duggan 0-12 (0-7f); N O'Brien 0-4; E Brannigan, K Ryan, G Hennelly, C Mannion & B O'Connor 0-1 each
UCC: C Lehane 0-9 (0-5f, 1 sl, 1'65); J Power 0-4; B Lawton 0-3 (0-3f), S O'Donnell, A Cadogan & A Spillane 0-1 each.
NUIG: J Griffey; C Diviney, J Hanbury, R Lane; S Cooney, C Cleary, S Hynes; E Brannigan, P Mannion; K Ryan, N O'Brien, B Duggan; G Hennelly, C Mannion, S Ward.
Subs: G Fennelly for Lane (33), S Dooley for Ryan (35), B O'Connor for Ward (40).
UCC: D O'Gorman; K Burke, D Glynn, M Breen; T Devine, T Burke, S Roche; D Roche, R O'Shea; J Barron, B Lawton, C Lehane; J Power, S O'Donnell, A Cadogan.
Subs: A Spillane for Lawton (h-t), C Murphy for Glynn (h-t), M Collins for Roche (54), DJ Foran for O'Shea (57).
Referee: Paudi O'Dwyer (Carlow).
Independent.ie HE GAA Fitzgibbon Cup Round 2 Results
University of Limerick 0-21 GMIT 1-11
NUI Galway 0-21 UCC 0-19
CIT 1-19 St Pat's-Mater Dei 1-14
UCD 2-16 DCU 1-14
LIT 1-18 DIT 1-13
Mary I 2-19 WIT 0-10
Maynooth University 1-3 IT Carlow 9-24