Simonstown left Moynalvey in their slipstream at Pairc Tailteann on Thursday evening as they recorded their second win in defence of their crown.
Simonstown ....... 2-17
Moynalvey ......... 0-11
In the end a twelve point win for the defending champions but a rather misleading scoreline as Moynalvey gave as good as they got during the opening half and for the early periods of the second.
The scores were tied for the fifth time in the 36th minute, 1-6 to 0-9, before Colm O'Rourke's charges upped a couple of gears to outscore Moynalvey by 1-11 to 0-2 in the time remaining.
Padraig McKeever registered his seven points in that time and got his sequence going in the 37th minute with help from Sean Tobin. By the 41st minute the champions were 1-9 to 0-9 clear.
A Cillian O'Sullivan effort temporarily halted Simonstown's surge. When the same player scored in the 50th minute just four points separated the teams, 1-12 to 0-11.
The champions therafter enhanced their score difference with 1-5 without reply. Moynalvey might have got close but O'Sullivan's point was followed by Padraig Harnan's 50th minute goal attempt that crashed off the post. Had it gone in just the minimum would have separated the teams.
Joe Lyons and Mark McCabe played supporting roles for sub Michael Brennan to net at the town end in the 57th minute. By the end the champions had seven different scorers.
Simonstown lost Brian Conlon to a second yellow card, in stoppage time at the end of the hour.
Moynalvey won by a point when the sides met in the round robin phase last year. Here they hit the front three times in the opening quarter and were level four times in the opening 20 minutes.
The side in white and maroon recovered from the concession of the opening goal, with the sides locked at 0-5-each, to regain parity early in the second-half.
The best Moynalvey could offer in the final third was that brace of Cillian O'Sullivan points.
On a slippery surface, the opening half yielded seven scores for each side. Joe Lyons' 24th minute goal was the crucial score of the first 30 minutes and arrived with assistance from the impressive Nathan O'Brien. It left the board reading 1-5 to 0-5.
Cathal McCabe gave Moynalvey a third minute lead with help from Padraig Harnan. Simonstown countered through Niall Kane. Two David McLoughlin points (one free) moved Moynalvey 0-3 to 0-1 clear after eight minutes.
Another McLoughlin point left it 0-5 to 0-4 to Moynalvey after 19 minutes. It was countered by a Sean Tobin 45. Nathan O'Brien was then denied a possible score as the Simonstown number 15 lost his footing on the slippery surface.
Moments late came the opening goal for which O'Brien assisted. He also set up a Sean Tobin point that moved the holders a goal clear. A Dan Treacy score left Moynalvey just two points off the pace at the break, 0-7 to 1-6, on a night when the wind wasn't significant.
Moynalvey posted the first two points - Anthony Forde and McLoughlin (free) - of the second-half to revive hopes of a second win of the campaign. However, they had no response to the Simonstown surge.
Simonstown - Robbie Burlingham; Stephen Gallagher, Stephen Moran, Stephen O'Reilly; Brian McGrath, Brian Conlon, Niall Kane (0-1); Shane O'Rourke, Rory O'Connor; Joe Lyons (1-1), Sean Tobin (0-5, 1f 1 45), Mark McCabe (0-1); Mark Gardiner, Padraig McKeever (0-7, 3fs), Nathan O'Brien (0-2). Subs - Niall McMahon for O'Reilly (37), Michael Brennan (1-0) for O'Connor (44), Eanna Donoghue for McGrath (52).
Moynalvey - Ray Ryan; Conor Harnan, Robert Lawless, Darren Brennan; Stephen Donoghue, Mark O'Sullivan, Anthony Forde (0-1); Padraig Harnan, Donal Smith; Cathal McCabe (0-1), Dan Treacy (0-1), Fearghal McCabe; Adam Murphy, David McLoughlin (0-5, 3fs), Cillian O'Sullivan (0-3). Subs - James Kelly for C Harnan (26), Eamon Walsh for Smith (48), Shane Lenehan for F McCabe (48), Brian O'Reilly for Murphy (54).
Referee - Liam O'Brien (Duleek-Bellewstown)