With St Flannan’s leading by two points , St Colman’s were awarded a 25-metre free seconds from the end of normal time. Team captain Patrick Roche’s attempt was blocked but in the ensuing scramble, Ahern got the vital touch to win it for his side.
It was a dream victory for Colman’s who were inspired by the heroics of stylish full-back Thomas Condon, towering centre-back Nathan Byrne and elegant wing- forward Roche, who accounted for six points of his side’s total.
But it was a heartbreak for St Flannan’s who led all through, thanks mainly to outstanding midfielder Tony Kelly, who scored five points.
It was tit-for-tat early on with Kelly and Roche exchanging points. But then St Flannan’s, with the aid of a strong wind, began to dominate and opened up a six- point lead, thanks to a splendid opportunist goal from Robbie O’Loughlin in the 20th minute.
Two points in succession from Roche left it 1-5 to 0-5 in favour of St Flannan’s at the break and when the outstanding Colman’s captain converted another free three minutes after the resumption to narrow the gap to a goal, the game was in the melting pot.
However, dogged St Colman’s came good at the death with Ahern’s match-winning strike.
Scorers — St Colman’s: C Ahern (1-1), P Roche (0-6, 0-2 frees), E O’Maigh (0-1).
St Flannan’s: R O’Loughlin (1-0), T Kelly (0-5, 0-3 frees; 0-1 65), J Colleran (0-2, 0-1 free).
ST COLMAN’S: E Barry, M Brennan, T Condon, P Blackburn, P de Roiste, N Byrne, E O’Maigh, J Mullins, M Pyne, P Roche, C O’Leary, D Lawlor, N McNamara, C Ahern, D Cronin.
Sub: R O’Connor for Cronin.
ST FLANNAN’S: J Ryan, B Clancy, G O’Connell, J Browne, R Halpin, M Melican, A O’Neill, T Kelly, E Enright, J Sweeney, J Colleran, R O’Loughlin, J Hanna, C Cleary, P Kennedy.
Subs: N Deasy for Melican (knee injury).
Referee: R O’Connor (Tipperary).