IT CARLOW................................................. 2
COLAISTE IDE FINGLAS.................................. 1
Two superb first half goals from Bowie Dee and Tom Elmes did all the damage as IT Carlow overcame Colaiste Ide to claim their first Colleges FAI Umbro Cup success since 2003 in an absorbing final at Cork IT.
Although they did concede late on through a deflected free kick and had to withstand some concerted pressure from the Finglas side in the dying minutes Ger Bickerstaff's boys held on.
It would have been rough justice if they had let this one slip as overall Carlow were the better side and might have won by a larger margain had their finishing been more clinical.
Despite a shaky start during which they found themselves on the back foot for most of the opening quarter with Sean O'Reilly looking threatening for Ide, Carlow finally got into their stride and were well in front by the half hour mark.
Dee's goal to put Carlow ahead was something of a cracker. A pinpoint crossfield ball from left-back Jamie Carr found him in space on the right and cutting into the box he gave Conor Hurley no chance with a cleverly executed half-volley.
Elmes then doubled the lead 10 minutes later with a brilliant solo effort. A quickly taken throw in by Aaron Mullins found the imposing centre forward in the clear and he did well to get past Ide defenders Erick Browne and Alan McCann before rifling a fierce drive past Hurley.
Elmes came close to grabbing a second shortly after but Hurley did well to deny him with a superb save.
With Richie Newport it top form at the back and Bobby Tier controlling midfield, Carlow remained on top in the second half as Íde hardly troubled Michael Schlingermann in goal except for a fine Niall McCabe effort went over the bar.
Near the finish the Finglas college were given some hope when a Shane Keely free kick was deflected to the net. Unfortunately they could not find the equaliser despite injury-time pressure as Carlow's defence held firm.
IT CARLOW: Michael Schlingermann, Aaron Mullins, Jamie Carr, Richie Newport , James Scallan, Shane Harris, Bowie Dee , Bobby Tier, Tom Elmes, Jimmy Keoghane, Danny Ledwith. Subs: Darren Kavanagh (for Dee 57), Eoin Clerkin (for Newport 90), Gary Feery, Alan Last, Jeff Moran.
COLAISTE IDE FINGLAS: Conor Hurley, Shaun Kane, Alan McGrath, Erick Browne, Alan McCann, Shane Keely, Dean McNevin, Niall McCabe, Daniel Murphy, Anthony Hewitt, Sean O'Reilly . Subs:Darragh Mooney (for O'Reilly 66),Cillian Timmons (for Kane 77), Daniel Sage , Kevin Keenan, Jonathan Savage, Alan Kavanagh.
Referee: J Lyne (Cork).
New boys O'Fiaich College Dundalk were celebrating after a stylish Bob Eustace Cup win over Inchicore College in their first year competing. Double strikes from Tom McShane and Paul Adeniyi plus a Gary Clarke header saw them take their first ever Colleges FAI trophy.
The other finals turned out to be all-Munster successes. First up, local side Cork College of Commerce claimed the Umbro Plate with a well-taken Mark Cronin effort in a tight decider against Enniskillen's South West College proving the difference.
While a Keith Conway strike was enough to send the B Team Cup to the Kingdom when IT Tralee just managed to edge out Athlone IT in another close game.