Andrew Gaffney’s 64th-minute free rescued victory for Maynooth University as they just about withstood Trinity College’s massive late rally in this Fitzgibbon Cup Group A opener.
Maynooth were in cruise control when Gaffney’s 10th score stretched out an eight-point lead on a heavy surface at Santry Avenue.
But, switching the hulking figure of Andy Kavanagh from midfield to full-forward, Trinity hit eight unanswered points between the 43rd and 61st minutes.
Tom Aherne — who landed 10 points — nervelessly struck two tricky frees from distance in injury-time to level it up at 15 each, putting them in the frame for a remarkable comeback draw.
In the final play, however, Conor Browne drew a foul in front of the posts and Trinity dissent made the chance that bit easier.
Referee David Hughes moved it up to the 21-metre line where former Kilkenny Under-21 man Gaffney eased over the bar, sparking a gleeful pitch invasion from his teammates seconds later.
Scorers for TCD: T. Aherne (0-10, 10 frees), C. O’Sullivan, A. Kavanagh (0-2 each), D. Duggan (0-1)
Scorers for Maynooth: A. Gaffney (0-11, 11 frees), C. Stakelum (0-2), S. Clerkin, C. Browne, C. Drennan (0-1 each)
TRINITY COLLEGE DUBLIN: J. Banks; M. Conroy, L. Corcoran, P. Skelly; J. Kenny, D. Ryan, D. Phelan; A. Kavanagh, J. Walsh; J. O’Neill, C. O’Sullivan, C. McCarthy; A. O’Riain, D. Butler, T. Aherne
Subs: D. Duggan for McCarthy (27), E. O’Callaghan for O Riain (38)
MAYNOOTH UNIVERSITY: S. Buggy; D. D. Kehoe, C. Byrne, D. Comerford; J. Cullen, E. Molloy, C. Moloney; R. Buckley, E. Ahearn; C. Stakelum, C. Browne, A. Gaffney; C. Drennan, S. Clerkin, J. Buggy
Subs: L. Hogan for Ahearn (37), J. Dwyer for J. Buggy (37), F. Hynes for Drennan (58)
Referee: David Hughes (Kilkenny).