UCD's bid for back-to-back Sigerson Cup successes remains firmly on course after they claimed the bragging rights over local rivals DCU in tonight's quarter-final at Belfield.
John Divilly's champions emerged as deserved winners on a scoreline of 2-16 to 1-9 - a repeat of their Dublin derby victory at the same stage twelve months ago.
The writing was on the wall as early as the fifth minute for DCU, when Con O'Callaghan was hauled down for a penalty, which Evan O'Carroll duly dispatched to make it 1-3 to 0-1.
Although the visitors recovered well from that early concession with a quick-fire 1-2 from David Garland, and trailed by two at the break (1-8 to 1-6), it was all DCU in the second half.
O'Carroll and O'Callaghan added points for DCU on the resumption before the latter teed up Kilmacud Crokes clubman Cian O'Connor who finished to Evan Comerford's net for their second goal.
Impressive midfielder Darren Gavin rounded off the scoring for the holders at Billings Park.
Elsewhere tonight, there were last-eight victories for UCC and NUIG against IT Carlow and UU, respectively.
Considered by many as the biggest challengers to UCD's title, UCC were totally dominant at home in the Mardyke where they recorded a 4-21 to 0-5 success at the expense of the Carlow college.
Meanwhile, at the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown, a late Peter Cooke point saw last year's beaten finalists NUIG dig out a 1-8 to 1-7 win over the Belfast students.
Here's the line-up for the Sigerson Cup semi-finals which will take place at the Mallow GAA complex on Saturday, 16 February:
UCD v St Mary's
UCC v NUIG
UCD - T O'Brien; B Byrne, M Dempsey, M O'Connor; C O'Connor (1-0), C O'Shea, L Silke; D Gavin (0-4), S Coen; C Meyler, C McCarthy (0-1f), L Fortune; C O'Callaghan (0-2), E O'Carroll (1-8, 1-0pen, 0-6f), B McGinn (0-1). Subs: B O Seanachain for C Meyler, F Clifford for B McGinn, D Kennedy for L Fortune, B D O'Sullivan for L Silke, F Connolly for M O'Connor.
DCU - E Comerford; C Morrison, B McCole, J Bambrick; S Akram, C McManus, D Reynolds; T Galligan (0-1), M Ruane (0-1); D Rooney, L Towey, P Smith; M Bannigan (0-1), B Reape (0-4f), D Garland (1-2, 0-2f). Subs: S Bugler for P Smith, J Morrissey for S Akram, S Smith for D Rooney, M Corcoran for L Towey.
Referee - B Cawley.
UCC - M White; L O’Donovan, K Flahive, G O’Sullivan; J McEntee, B O Beaglaoich, C Kiely (0-3); P Lucey, J Kennedy; P Clifford (1-5, 0-1f), S O’Shea (0-7, 2f, 1'45), C Horgan; G Murphy (1-1), C Geaney (1-4, 0-2f), E Courtney (1-1). Subs: J Naughton for G Murphy (BC), K Ryan for K Flahive, R Forde for J McEntee, R Buckley for C Kiely, C O Hanafin for J Kennedy, M Flood for S O’Shea.
IT Carlow - D Campbell; J Mitchell, R Hitchcock, J Casey; C O’Toole, E Buggie, D O’Sullivan (0-1); T Griffin, S Ryan; N Doyle, J Walsh, S Maughan; N Gately (0-1), M Hurley (0-3, 2f), D Whelan. Subs: P O’Toole for T Griffin, D McKenna for S Ryan, S Crowley for M Hurley, K Healy for S Maughan.
Referee - J Griffin.
NUIG - A Brady; S Brennan (0-1), S Mulkerrin, K McDonnell; K Molloy (1-0), R Greene, P O’Donnell; P Cooke (0-4, 3f), C Darcy; N Mullen, E Tierney (0-1), J Maher; R Finnerty (0-1f), J Robinson (0-1), O Gallagher. Subs: G Canavan for O Gallagher, E McGrath for P O’Donnell.
UU - B Gallen; E Ban Gallagher, M McKernan (0-1), K McKaigue; P Durcan (0-3), M McEvoy, G McKinless; B Kennedy (1-0), B McDonnell; C Doherty (0-1), J Doherty, D Gallagher; L Brennan (0-2), T O’Brien, R McHugh. Subs: F Burns for B Kennedy, D Kerr for T O’Brien, N Donnelly for J Doherty, J Duffy for D Gallagher, L Harney for C Doherty.
Referee - A Nolan.