St Mary’s College 1-10 NUI Galway 1-7
St Mary's College manager Paddy Tally called on his side to up their performance next week in the Sigerson Cup quarter-final with DCU after a composed second half saw them defeat NUI Galway at Dangan.
Galway looked in total control at half-time when they led 1-6 to 0-5, but a black card for goalscorer Robbie Kiely midway through the second half when his side led by three points proved to be costly.
Two missed frees from NUI Galway's Ray Connellan early in the third quarter gave St Mary's a glimmer of hope and after a pair of points from Aidan Forker and another from Tommy Canavan, substitute Matthew Fitzpatrick flicked home a vital goal eight minutes from time to seal victory.
“Whoever we have now I don’t care: it’s DCU and we’ll take it,” said Tally. “We’ll take DCU next week. But we’ll have to improve an awful lot.”
After those wides it seemed just a matter of time before St Mary’s pegged back that four-point lead. Tommy Canavan’s free got them up and running before Kiely was black carded.
Forker kicked two points from play in a five-minute spell to put the minimum between the sides, but when Fitzpatrick flicked Paddy McBride’s pass to the net, there was no doubt about the winners.
The return of Conor Clarke is a major plus for both St Mary's Sigerson Cup campaign and Tyrone's national league ambitions. He lined out at full forward after replacing Jack Grugan with 11 minutes remaining.
In the first half St Mary's and Down's Jerome Johnston was black carded when he pulled Kiely to the ground.
A minute after Kiely goaled Seán Moran rattled the post with a goal attempt.
ST MARY'S COLLEGE: R Burns; A Beattie, D McBride, D Morrow; P McBride, A Forker (0-4), K McCooey; B Óg McGilligan, C McCann; J Johnston, C McGeary, R Johnston; T Canavan (0-4, three frees), J Grugan (0-1), K McKiernan (0-1).
Subs: M Fitzpatrick (1-0) for J Johnston (BC, 10 mins), N McNicholl for McGilligan (half-time), H Loughran for Morrow (half-time), E Bradley for McCann (35 mins), B O'Hagan for McGeary (39 mins), C Clarke for Grugan (49 mins).
NUI GALWAY: D O'Sullivan Limerick; J Kennedy, D Murray, L Cullen; R Kiely (1-1), J McManus, A Nolan; E Ó hEochaigh, D Cunnane; R Feeney, A Varley, C Davey; R Connellan (0-2, two frees), S Moran, C Connolly (0-4, one free).
Subs: F Reilly for Kiely (44 mins), C Brennan for Connellan (46 mins), C O'Shea for Ó hEochaidh (49 mins), E Lavin for Davey (56 mins).
Referee: Derek O'Mahoney