Athlone Institute of Technology were relegated from the Sigerson Cup after an eight-point loss to IT Tralee in UL on Sunday afternoon.
IT Tralee joint-manager Liam Brosnan confirmed after the game that he is stepping down from his position and is hopeful that the Kerry college can continue to make progress in future years.
“Our campaign as a whole was no better than last year's," Brosnan said. "We’ve got to be realistic. When I took over the job two years ago we hadn’t won a game in 14 or 15 years.
“Our first win was only two years ago so we’ve been building throughout the last two years. Hopefully whoever’s in charge next year, that we can keep pushing it on,” Brosnan said.
IT Tralee were dominant in the opening half and held a 1-10 to 0-5 lead at the interval, with their goal coming from former Kerry player Barry John Keane.
Both sides scored goals shortly after half-time before Cathal Mannion found the net to leave seven between the sides with 43 minutes played and IT Tralee had two players in the sin-bin.
The Kerry side held on for an eight-point win however and will compete in next year's Sigerson Cup, while the Westmeath college are demoted to the Trench Cup.
Scorers for IT Tralee: B Keane (1-4, 2 frees); T Brosnan (0-6, 2 frees); B Sayeh “own goal” (1-0); E Horan (0-2), C Ferriter, M O’Shea, J Duggan and C Byrne (0-1 each).
Scorers for Athlone IT: C Mannion (1-2); D McManus (1-0); P McManus (0-3 frees); D McCabe, N Harte and G Russo (free) (0-1 each)
IT TRALEE: C Hurley (Kerry); M Fitzgerald (Kerry), M Gavin (Meath), J Morgan (Kerry); C Ferriter (Kerry), S Kelliher (Kerry), C Byrne (Wicklow); M O’Shea (Kerry), S O’Connell (Kerry); E Horan (Kerry), J Savage (Kerry), J Duggan (Kerry); T Brosnan (Kerry), C Keane (Kerry), B Keane (Kerry).
Subs: J Myers (Kerry) for Byrne (42), J O’Sullivan (Kerry) for Duggan (54), M Quigley (Kerry) for Gavin (60), P Clarke (Kerry) for Savage (60)
ATHLONE IT: E Geraghty (Westmeath); P Nestor (Westmeath), A Cregg (Kildare), E O’Connor (Clare); N Harte (Westmeath), B Sayeh (Westmeath), D McCabe (Meath); A Delaney (Offaly), K Higgins (Offaly); C Mannion (Westmeath), G Horan (Kerry), P McManus (Roscommon); D McManus (Roscommon), D McMahon (Clare), G Russo (Offaly).
Subs: E Lyons (Galway) for P McManus (59)
Referee: Derek O’Mahony (Tipperary)