Tipperary All-Star John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer fired eight points for Cork IT, as they became the first team to book a place in the semi-finals of the Independent.ie Fitzgibbon Cup, with a comfortable home win over NUIG.
CIT never trailed this game, and despite firing nine second half wides, had enough in the tank to advance to a last-four date.
The sides traded points in the opening two minutes, but once O’Dwyer fired his second score soon-after CIT took a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
With scores from O’Dwyer, Dave Lordan and Kevin Kavanagh CIT pushed 0-6 to 0-1 ahead in the 11th minute.
NUIG fired three wides at this stage, but they responded with two quick points, including one from former London Senior Hurler Ger Hennelly.
NUIG were dominant at this stage, with good work by Shane Cooney and Conor Cleary at the back.
A fourth unanswered score from the Galway University cut the gap to the minimum in the 21st minute, but the visitors had lost the influential Cooney at this stage through a leg injury.
Tipperary’s Conor Hammersley fired CIT’s first score for 13 minutes, following a fine solo-run, with further scores from John Cronin and O’Dwyer opening up a 0-9 to 0-5 lead approaching the interval.
A Bobby Duggan pointed 65 cut the gap to three points, but Cronin had time for a score in the third minute of injury-time, to ensure a 0-10 to 0-6 half-time lead.
CIT began brightly on the restart with a point from Noel McNamara, but they struggled for accuracy in the second half.
The hosts fired five wides in the third quarter, three in quick succession, after pulling 0-13 to 0-8 ahead following a score from substitute Pa White.
Duggan and Stephen Ward were on target for NUIG during this period, with a Cathal Mannion pointed free leaving a four-point gap with 13 minutes remaining.
But NUIG could only manage one further point from Duggan, as O’Dwyer, Kevin Kavanagh, Hammersley and Cronin registered points, with the latter bringing his tally to three points in injury-time, to confirm a nine-point win.
CORK IT: Gary Minihane; Stephen Murphy, Alan Dennehy, Tomas Lawrence; Jack Herlihy, Mark Ellis, Cian Buckley; Conor Hammersley (0-2), William Murphy; Daire Lordan (0-2), John Cronin (0-3), Aidan Walsh; John O’Dwyer (0-8), Noel McNamara (0-1), Kevin Kavanagh (0-2). Subs: Pa White (0-1) for Lordan (36); Michael Russell for W Murphy (46); John Cashman for Walsh (56).
NUI GALWAY: Jonathan Griffey; Cormac Diviney, John Hanbury, Robbie Lane; Shane Cooney, Conor Cleary, Stephen Hynes; Ger Fennelly, Ger Hennelly (0-1); Kieran Ryan, Niall O’Brien (0-1), Bobby Duggan (0-5); Brendan O’Connor, Cathal Mannion (0-2), Stephen Ward (0-1). Subs: Cathal Hardiman for S Cooney (20); Shane Dooley for Diviney (58).
REFEREE: Brian Gavin (Offaly)