A goal from Alex Connaire and Jack O’Meara, allied to a 12-point haul from chief marksman Evan Niland helped University of Galway account for SETU Waterford and advance to the quarter-finals of the Fitzgibbon Cup.
he winners included 14 Galway clubmen in their starting line-up along with Darren O’Brien from Eire Óg Ennis, and the team captain struck the pick of the scores as last year’s beaten finalists raced out to a 0-9 to 0-2 lead inside the opening quarter.
SETU Waterford struggled to stay in touch and were cut adrift in the 29th minute when Greg Thomas fed Connaire and the midfielder jinked inside the cover to finish the game’s opening goal.
Ruben Halloran accounted for all of the visitors’ first half scores as Jeffrey Lynskey’s side moved 1-14 to 0-6 clear at the break with two points apiece coming from Galway panellists Tiernan Killeen and Brian Concannon.
The third quarter was all about another member of Henry Shefflin’s squad as Evan Niland took centre-stage and reeled off a string of terrific scores as University of Galway increased their advantage to a high of 14 points.
SETU Waterford did rally when a well-taken Halloran goal on 50 minutes was followed by a magnificent sideline cut from Shane Bennett.
University of Galway kept the door firmly shut on a comeback however, with O’Meara racing clear to tuck away the winners’ second goal late on.
They progress to the last eight in fine fettle, while Fintan O’Connor’s team meet MTU Cork next week to determine who also emerges from the three-team group.
Scorers – University of Galway: E Niland 0-12 (0-7f, 0-1 65); A Connaire 1-1; D O’Brien 0-3; J O’Meara 1-0; T Killeen, B Concannon, G Thomas 0-2 each; N Collins 0-1. SETU Waterford: R Halloran 1-9 (8f); P Cody 0-2; J Harkin, S Walsh 0-1 each.
University of Galway: L O’Reilly; K Hanrahan, O Salmon, M Hardiman; T Killeen, E Lawless, C Cunningham; A Connaire, I McGlynn; B Concannon, E Niland, D O’Brien; O Flannery, G Thomas, N Collins. Subs: J Barrett for Cunningham (44), J O’Meara for Flannery (55), R Davitt for Collins (55) C Lawless for Connaire (60).
SETU Waterford: B Hennessy; C Ryan, S Purcell, J Fitzgerald; G Fives, S Bennett, J Harkin; M O’Brien, S Walsh; S Lawlor, S Fitzgerald, J Prendergast; P Fitzgerald, A Kirwin, R Halloran. Sub: P Cody for Lawlor (34).
Referee: R McGann (Clare).