Donaghmoyne (Monaghan) 1-8 Mourneabbey (Cork) 1-6
Reigning champions Donaghmoyne dug deep to overcome Mourneabbey in Fontenoy Park in a nail-biting encounter today, eventually decided by late Catriona McConnell and Cora Courtney points, writes Alan Gunn.
For the Cork side it was to be a third successive loss to Ulster opposition after losing out in last year’s final to the Monaghan side also and to Donegal outfit Termon in 2014.
The visitors had led at the break, 1-4 to 0-5, thanks to a goal from team captain Brid O’Sullivan after 16 minutes, Mourneabbey's only score from play.
But the home side battled their way back despite having both Fiona and Sharon Courtney sent to the sin bin in either half.
There were many key moments in this clash and the first was after just four minutes when Linda Martin dived full stretch to turn a Ciara O’Sullivan penalty around the post.
The sides were level on three occasions in the opening period, Doireann O’Sullivan with all four of Mourneabbey’s points from frees.
With Amanda Casey, Louise Kerley (2) and Cora Courtney on target Donaghmoyne led 0-4 to 0-3 after the opening 15 minutes before a great run and finish by Brid O’Sullivan yielded the opening goal.
Fiona Courtney was then yellow carded on 21 minutes but in that ten minute period Mourneabbey only registered a single point, that from the resultant free while Kerley was on target at the other end.
The home side got a dream start to the second half with last year’s final hero Hazel Kingham finding the net when her lobbing effort was misjudged by Meabh O’Sullivan in the Mourneabbey goal.
A minute later they had a big call for a penalty waved away for a foul on Kerley as they laid siege on the Cork side’s goal.
Doireann O’Sullivan and Kerley exchanged points as the game entered the final quarter.
Doireann O’Sullivan brought the sides level for the fifth time 12 minutes from time, a free that saw Sharon Courtney sent to the sin bin.
However, like in the first half that was to be the only score the Fontenoy’s were to conceded despite the numerical disadvantage.
They dug deep and with McConnell, her first of the day a minute into added time followed by a Cora Courtney point they secured yet another place in the decider.
For Mourneabbey who had Cathy Ann Stack sin binned in added time it was to be another disappointment on the All-Ireland stage.
Scorers: Donaghmoyne: Louise Kerley 0-4 (3f), Hazel Kingham 1-0, Cora Courtney 0-2, Catriona McConnell 0-1, Amanda Casey 0-1
Mourneabbey: Doireann O’Sullivan 0-6f, Brid O’Sullivan 1-0
Donaghmoyne: Linda Martin; Joanne Geogehan, Sharon Courtney, Aine McElroy; Hazel Kingham, Fiona Courtney, Joanne Courtney; Amanda Casey, Cora Courtney; Catriona McConnell, Eileen McElroy, Rosemary Courtney; Louise Kerley, Niamh Callan, Lauren Garland.
Sub: Roisin Finnegan for Garland (39).
Morneabbey: Meabh O’Sullivan; Eimear Harrington, Cathy Ann Stack, Aisling O’Callaghan; Emma Coakley, Eoisin O’Sullivan, Eimear Meaney; Marie O’Callaghan, Aisling O’Sullivan; Kathryn Coakley, Brid O’Sullivan, Ciara O’Sullivan; Ellie Jack, Doireann O’Sullivan, Sile O’Callaghan.
Subs: Emily Land for Aisling O’Callaghan (42), Niamh O’Sullivan for Jack (55).