TRINITY COLLEGE finished strongest in extra-time to claim the title in Darver yesterday.
Trinity, who enjoyed a numerical advantage for most of the game after Louth's Derek Horan was red-carded in the 19th minute, looked set to prevail in normal time when leading by four points with the 70 minutes up.
However, supersub Gerard Smyth blasted a close-in free to the net in injury-time and followed the goal with a pointed free from half-way to bring the Wee County level at 0-17 to 2-11.
The teams were tied on three further occasions in extra-time before top-scorer Colm Coughlan notched a goal to edge TCD clear with four minutes left and then Colm Gleeson claimed an insurance point.
SCORERS -- TCD: C Coughlan 1-9 (9f), J Kelly 0-3 (1f, 1 '65'), K Fitzgerald, L Sexton, P Ryan 0-2 each, I Kavanagh, D Sutcliffe, C Gleeson 0-1 each. Louth: D Murphy 0-8 (6f, 1 '65'), G Smyth 1-3 (1-0f, 3f), Diarmuid O'Sullivan 1-1, D Dunne, D Kettle 0-1 each.
TCD -- M Doyle; M Phelan, S Walsh, O Daly; J Kelly, I Kavanagh, E Sheehy; J O'Malley, K Fitzgerald; L Sexton, E O'Gorman, K Murphy; C Coughlan, C Murphy, P Ryan. Subs: D Sutcliffe for K Murphy (h-t), C Donegan for O'Malley (46), C Gleeson for C Murphy (68), D Kennedy for Sheehy (70), J O'Malley for Kavanagh (e-t).
LOUTH -- J Connolly; M Wallace, C Kerrigan, A Wallace; D Rafferty, R Byrne, D Murphy; Donagh O'Sullivan, S Callan; D Horan, D Dunne, S Fennell; B Corcoran, D Kettle, Diarmuid O'Sullivan. Subs: D McArdle for M Wallace (57), G Smyth for Fennell (61), D O'Hanrahan for Rafferty (66), A Callan for Corcoran (68), Paddy McCormack for Donagh O'Sullivan (e-t).
Ref -- E Mac Suibhne (Dublin).