Niland on song as NUIG end UL's title defence
NUIG 1-19 UL 0-17
NUIG manager Jeff Lynskey was relieved after his players kept their Fitzgibbon Cup hopes alive and knocked out reigning champions UL at Dangan.
Michael Lynch scored the crucial goal and Evan Niland helped himself to 0-11 as the 2010 champions moved into a Group A decider against UCC.
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"We only properly got together two weeks ago," said Lynskey.
"We had a good week and should have beaten UCD. They really expressed themselves today and got some savage scores."
NUIG were 1-12 to 0-8 ahead at half-time after they played with the breeze at their backs.
Niland had already scored seven points by that juncture.
Lynch found the net in the 21st minute after some brilliant work by Liam Forde.
UL had the wind in the second half but received a big blow with 18 minutes remaining when Cleary was sent off for a second yellow card after hauling down Forde, who was through on goal.
And UL couldn't find a way back despite a stunning display from Limerick All-Ireland winner Barry Murphy.
Scorers - NUIG: E Niland 0-11 (9f); M Lynch 1-2; C Whelan 0-2; S Loftus, D Burke, C Sheedy, B Corry 0-1 each. UL: B Murphy 0-11 (10f); M Carey, J Shelly, J Morris, K O'Brien, J Goulding, T Morrissey 0-1 each.
NUIG - S Hennessy; M Lynch, J Fitzpatrick, D Connolly; C Caulfield, P Hoban, A Geaney; S Loftus, I Fox; D Burke, C Whelan, L Forde; C Sheedy, E Niland, B Concannon. Subs: S McArdle for Greaney (46), E Fahy for Forde (48), B Corry for Sheedy (50).
UL - B Hogan; A McGuane, E Cody, J Henley; M Carey, C Cleary, B Cody; R Lynch, J Shelly; I Galvin, K O'Brien, T Morrissey; J Morris, M Keoghan, B Murphy. Subs: B Nash for O'Brien (17, blood), O'Brien for Nash (18), Nash for Lynch (h-t), J Goulding for Morris (39), S Veale for Keoghan (47), JP Lucey for Veale (60).
Ref - F Horgan (Tipperary).