Colclough fires Marist into decider
Marist College 2-9 Offaly Schools 2-6
Goals from Eoghan Derwin and the outstanding Kieran Colclough propelled Marist College, Athlone to another Leinster senior football final as they proved too strong for 13-man Offaly Schools at Lakepoint Park in Mullingar on Saturday.
Derwin, a late replacement for Josh Beaumont (injured in the warm-up), scored a terrific goal after six minutes and, while Offaly Schools replied with three unanswered points during their best spell, they were held scoreless for the final 19 minutes of the first half.
Jack Watkins' point after 12 minutes came after a fine move and it seemed as if the Faithful County side were moving through the gears, but Marist took a grip as Colclough and the high-fielding Shane Cunnane impressed.
At half-time the Athlone side led by 1-5 to 0-4 and while Sean Flynn dragged Offaly schools back into the match with a penalty goal after 41 minutes, that was as close as they got.
Colclough completed a fine contribution when he found the net with a brilliantly-placed low drive in the 49th minute, giving his side a 2-7 to 1-5 lead.
With Kevin McDermott already dismissed on a second yellow card, Offaly Schools lost Jack O'Brien to a straight red moments after Colclough's goal, as this tetchy contest - not for the only time - boiled over.
Offaly Schools did have the consolation of a second goal in the fourth minute of added time when Dan Wyer slapped the ball to the net after Cathal Flynn's 45 wasn't dealt with, but Marist were emphatic winners.
Marist have lost four finals over the years, so a new name will be inscribed on the Bro Bosco Cup on March 10 when they face first-time finalists Naas CBS.
SCORERS - Marist: K Colclough 1-6 (0-6f), E Derwin 1-0, S Dowd 0-2, T O'Carroll 0-1. Offaly: S Flynn 1-2 (1-0 pen, 0-1f), D Wyer 1-0, C Johnson 0-3 (1f), J Watkins 0-1.
MARIST - C Dolan; S McGonagle, P Frost, K O'Connor; I O'Rourke, E Mulvihill, P McGettigan; K Colclough, S Allen; F Kelleher, T O'Carroll, S Dowd; E Derwin, S Cunnane, C Sugrue. Subs: D Prendergast for O'Connor (47), R Dempsey for McGonagle (53), A Johnson for Kelleher (57), B McDonnell for Dempsey (61).
OFFALY - J Cullinan; M Wren, C Doyle, C Egan; J O'Brien, C O'Meara, A Bracken; B Carroll, J Watkins; D Wyer, K McDermott, D Nally; C Johnson, B Fogarty, S Flynn. Subs: A Bolger for Egan (27), B Corcoran for Fogarty (h-t), E Dunne for Watkins (35), C Kenny for Flynn (41), C Flynn for Bracken (53), B Mullins for Nally (57).
REF - P Maguire (Longford).