Limerick IT 0-16 Waterford IT 0-8 Neither side could manage a goal in this somewhat disappointing game at the LIT grounds and the Davy Fitzgerald-managed winning side will have to play better if they are to make the final when they face local Limerick rivals, Mary Immaculate, in the penultimate round at the end of the month in Cork.
Waterford had the benefit of the breeze in the first-half but it was LIT who made the better start with points inside five minutes from Peter Duggan and David Dempsey.
Shane McNulty and a Tom Fox free tied it up but LIT pushed on to be in front 0-8 to 0-5 by half-time.
Waterford suffered a major setback after 18 minutes when their inter-county player Austin Gleeson was shown a straight red card for an off the ball incident.
Backed by the breeze in the second half and with an extra man it was always going the way of LIT and in the final quarter they scored 0-5 without reply thanks to two frees by Diarmuid Byrnes, Michael O'Malley, David Reidy and Cathal Barrett to run out double-score winners.
Byrnes shone at centre-back for LIT and he contributed five of their points, all from frees, and all from long range.
Clare star Duggan also hit five points for the winners and they all came from frees as well while David Dempsey of Na Piarsaigh had three points from play.
LIMERICK IT: E Quilligan; N O'Connor, K Bennett, C Nolan; W Ryan, D Byrnes (0-5, five frees), O O'Brien,; C Barrett (0-1), J Shanahan; D Dempsey (0-3), P Killeen, M O'Malley (0-1); D Reidy (0-1), N Maher, P Duggan (0-5, five frees). Subs: W Connors for Nolan (half-time), A Dempsey for Shanahan (inj, 32 mins), J Ryan for Bennett (54 mins), S Gleeson for Killeen (57 mins), K Sweeney for Duggan (59 mins).
WATERFORD IT: M Fanning; W Hahessy, G Teehan, J Maher; T Fox (0-1, free), S McNulty (0-2), C Guiry; J Langton, J O'Dwyer ( 0-2, one free); E McGrath (0-1), A Gleeson, J Hayes (0-2, one free); E Ryan, S Ryan, C O'Brien. Subs: Lynch (Ryan, 33 mins), J Doyle (Guiry, 42 mins), J Henderson (O'Brien, 50 mins), J Lane for Dwyer (57 mins).
Referee: C McAllister (Cork).
University of Limerick 2-19 Cork IT 3-11
Limerick will supply three semi-finalists after the holders UL overcame a dogged Cork IT on their own patch on Wednesday night.
Some magnificent long-range points from John McGrath, Tom Morrissey and Conor Martin highlighted one of their main differences between the sides as CIT lost out on appearing in the finals which they host the weekend after next.
And a couple of crucial goals from Kevin O’Brien also impacted in the champions’ favour, though CIT made them battle right to the end, including four minutes of injury time.
The critical score came entering the closing quarter, when O’Brien pounced on a loose ball in the home goalmouth to steer in his second goal and kill the home side’s momentum after they came within a point of the champions.
A magnificent goal from Cork’s Bill Cooper following a penetrating run through the centre just a couple of minutes earlier reduced UL’s lead to 1-14 to 3-7 but O’Brien responded almost immediately.
CIT never gave up and were awarded a penalty following a foul on substitute John Cashman in the 57th minute only for referee Johnny Ryan to reverse his decision after retaliation. Yet, in the subsequent clash-ball, UL goalkeeper Paul Maher saved brilliantly from Michael Kearney.
There were goals at either end in the opening seven minutes. A strong run by David Fitzgerald set-up O’Brien for his first before Jamie Coughlan batted in a rebound for CIT.
UL’s ability to pick off a succession of points created a gap between the sides until CIT struck for their second goal in the 23rd minute, when Kearney finished John Cronin’s long delivery to the net, 1-9 to 2-5.
The holders, though, tacked on four points without response and it needed a brilliant save from home goalkeeper Gary Minihane to deny McGrath in stoppage time.
CIT started the second-half impressively, taking the game to their opponents, who were grateful for O’Brien’s timely intervention with his second killer goal.
UL: P Maher; M Casey, J Brown, A McGuane; G Hegarty, J Forde (0-1, free), B Stapleton (0-1); B Heffernan, K Hehir (0-1); D Fitzgerald (0-1), C Martin (0-4), J McGrath (0-6, two frees); T Heffernan, T Morrissey (0-4), K O'Brien (2-1).
Subs: C McInerney for Heffernan (40 mins), P Ryan for Hegarty (58 mins), B Maher for O'Brien (59 mins).
CIT: G Minihane; S Murphy, M Russell, C Hammersley; R Barry (0-3, two frees), M Ellis, D Noonan; K O'Neill, B Cooper (1-1); P White, J Cronin , A Coffey (0-1); J Coughlan (1-3, three frees), N McNamara, M Kearney (1-2, one free). Subs: K Kavanagh for Noonan (18 mins), R Hanley (0-1) for O'Neill (28 mins), S O'Donovan for Russell (injured, 29 mins), J Cashman for McNamara (44 mins), B Reddin for White (51 mins).
Referee: J Ryan (Tipperary).