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17th, Jun, 2013
Cork clinch U21 Aishling McGIng All Ireland crown with dramatic late rally
Cork 0-13 Galway 0-11
Cork were crowned the inaugural U21 Aishling McGing All Ireland Champions when their dramatic late rally broke Galway hearts as the Rebels snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in what was a thrilling contest befitting the historic occasion of the first ever U21 All Ireland Championship Final.
Galway won the toss and elected to play against the wind in the opening half and immediately took the game to Cork who found it more difficult to master the greasy conditions. A pointed free from corner forward Tracy Leonard opened Galway’s account in the first minute, this was soon followed by another free from full forward Róisín Leonard as the Galway girls capitalised on their dominance in the early exchanges.
Cork’s opening score came in the 6th minute when Tara Maguire got on the end of a fine move to register their first point. Bit by bit Cork began to find their rhythm and were back on level terms when the dynamic Orla Farmer pointed. Corner forward Aine Cott added another to give the Rebels the lead for the first time at the end of the first quarter. With the pendulum swinging in Cork’s favour as they began to exert control around the middle sector Galway deployed a sweeper to counteract the threat from an increasingly dangerous Cork forward division. With full forward Emma Farmer proving a handful for the Galway defence Orla Finn added two points from the resultant frees to give Cork a grip on the scoreboard. The running game of the hardworking Orlagh Farmer continued to cause problems for the Galway defence as she added her second point to extend Cork’s lead to five.
A point from centre forward Shaunagh Jackson in the 28th minute gave the Galway girls a huge boost as the half time whistle approached and it took an outstanding save from Lisa Crowley to deny them the first goal of the day. This was massive moment in the context of the game as a goal at this juncture would have seen Cork head to the half time break all square with the Galway girls despite dominating the opening half instead the Cork girls capitalised on the their keeper’s super save to break up field and fire over another point from the boot of Orla Finn to bring the half time score to 0-7 to 0-3.
Another Orla Finn point extended Cork’s lead as the second half got underway however this was to signal a turning point in the game as Galway took control surging forward in wave after wave of attack. Cork keeper Lisa Crowley produced another top drawer save to deny Galway a goal opportunity in the 5th minute but this was followed by points from Tara Hession and Tracy Leonard cut Cork’s lead to three points.
Cork introduced Aine Terry Ó Sullivan for Katie Ó Dea as they struggled to regain a foothold in the game. With the wind at their backs and the momentum firmly in their favour Galway turned up the pressure on the Cork defence another great save from inspired “Player of the Match” Lisa Crowley and some tigerish defending from the Cork backs led by a defiant Jessica O’ Shea who gave a display in the art of blocking kept the Galway tide at bay for a while before three more unanswered points had the game all square by the midway point of the second half.
A Tracy Leonard point in the 17th minute gave Galway the lead for the first time since the 2nd minute of the game as they now had Cork on the ropes. When the need was greatest Cork dug deep into their reserves of character and determination responding with a point from Tara Maguire to level matters. Tracy Leonard and Tara Maguire swapped points as the teams went toe to blow in a pulsating battle of wills with the finishing line in sight.
With time almost up Galway capitalised on a defensive error from Cork to edge in front once again but an inspirational score from midfielder Sarah Harrington who surged through the Galway defence before firing over a great point from distance to level. Having withstood the Galway onslaught and inspired by the Harrington score Cork pushed forward once more and to the delight of their supporters injury time points from Orla Finn and Aine Terry O’ Sullivan set on their way however in a dramatic last ditch effort Galway broke up the field only for Lisa Crowley to produce another great save to break Galway hearts.
Referee Seamus Mulvihill sounded the final whistle to signal the end of a dramatic first ever U21 Aishling McGing All Ireland Final with Cork victorious over a gallant Galway team both teams and their management deserving great credit for what was an outstanding game of football.
L. Crowley (Liscarroll), A. Walsh (Inch Rovers), K. Harrington(Inch Rovers), M. Dineen (Naomh Abhan), A. Hayes (Rosscarbery), J Ó Shea (Inch Rovers), G. Ó Sullivan (Rosscarbery), B. Ó Sullivan Capt. (Mourneabbey), S. Harrington (Inch Rovers), K. Ó Dea (Dromtarriffe), O. Farmer (Midleton), O. Finn (Kinsale), T. Maguire (Rosscarbery), E. Farmer (Aghada), A. Cott (Castlemagner), S. Duggan (Douglas), N. Hickey (Glanmire), P. Dunne (Beara), M. Murphy (Dromtarriffe), E. Coakley (Mourneabbey), R. Mullins (Glanmire), S. Hellen (Gabriel Rangers), D. Downey (Naomh Abhan), C. Dilworth (Dromtarriffe), E. Kearns (Dromtarriffe), E. Murphy (Naomh Abhan), M. Flynn (Ballincollig), A. O’ Driscoll (Clann Na Gael), A. T. Ó Sullivan (Beara), L. Williams (Inch Rovers0
Management – N. Carroll, N. Ní Chaoimh, A. Dardis, B. Leamy
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