Gaffney gives Marist final say
Marist Athlone 3-1 Good Counsel 0-8
Marist College taught holders Good Counsel a harsh lesson, with three second-half goals sealing a two-point victory in Athy.
In driving rain and strong cross-field wind, points from Ian Carty and Mikie Dwyer gave the Wexford school a 0-2 to 0-1 interval lead as both sides found it difficult to cope with the elements.
When further points from Dwyer and Jamie Meyler increased their lead to three points within three minutes of the restart, Good Counsel looked set to take control.
However, Marist responded with an opportunist goal from Emmett Nally goal on 37 minutes and they hit the back of the net again nine minutes later courtesy of a Ryan Gaffney penalty.
And it was Gaffney who proved to the matchwinner four minutes from the end when he pounced from close range after two Counsel defenders collided under a high ball.
Good Counsel had a chance to snatch victory in additional time but sub Luke Sinnott had his shot deflected away for a fruitless 45 by the outstretched leg of goalkeeper Conor Devaney.
SCORERS - Marist College: R Gaffney 2-0 (1 pen), E Nally 1-0, B Derwin 0-1. Good Counsel: M Dwyer 0-3, J Meyler (1f), I Carty 0-2 each, M Rossiter 0-1.
MARIST COLLEGE - C Devaney; D Carroll, E Nally, S Furey, E Mulhall, J Curley, F Dowd, C Reid, D Reid, R Gaffney, C McCormack, C Mannion; S Dowd, B Derwin, K Rigney. Subs: M Egan for Rigney; Rigney for McCormack.
GOOD COUNSEL - D O'Connor; E Porter, M O'Neill, I Carty, T Cody, R Waters, J Sutton; J Roche, D Lyons, M Rossiter, M Dwyer, A Mansfield, J Meyler, S Wall, M Fitzharris. Subs: L Stafford for Lyons (inj); L Sinnott for Fitzharris; A Walsh for Sutton (black card 45).
REF - J Hickey (Carlow).