Galway 3-13 Dublin 2-14
Supersub Leann Walsh netted in the eighth minute of stoppage time to clinch the All-Ireland Minor A Ladies Football title for Galway in Mullingar this evening.
Dublin had netted two last-gasp goals in a thrilling drawn encounter in Nenagh, but this time it was Galway who raised two green flags in additional time, to stun the champions in a superb replay.
Dublin’s dreams of back-to-back All-Ireland crowns were dashed in dramatic fashion in front of a bumper Cusack Park attendance.
Boosted by second half goals from Leah Mullins and Kate Dwyer, in the space of 20 seconds, the Sky Blues were in cruise control.
They led by seven points on three occasions in the second half but still Galway refused to yield as referee John Niland added on a huge amount of extra-time for stoppages.
The Tribeswomen needed a Ciana Ní Churraoin free to salvage a draw at the first time of asking and there was more late drama last night.
In the sixth minute of injury time, Louise Ward banged home her second goal for Galway to cut the gap back to just a single point, 2-13 to 2-14.
And there was still time for one more decisive twist as Walsh, introduced in the second minute of stoppage time for Reaney, struck gold with a low angled drive across the boughs of Emer Ní Éafa and into the bottom corner.
Walsh’s late heroics earned a fourth minor A crown for Galway - and their first since beating Donegal in the 2010 final.
In the battle of the sharpshooters, Dublin’s Carla Rowe finished with a tally of 0-11, as ten points from Olivia Divilly kept Galway in touch when they were struggling for long spells.
Like its predecessor, this was a game that had almost everything, with each team losing a player to the sin-bin in the second half.
The sides were level, 1-6 to 0-9, at the end of a first half that was level four times.
Inspired by Rowe, Dublin cruised into a 0-6 to 0-1 but Ward netted a superb 17th minute individual goal to haul Galway back into contention.
Three minutes later, Ward had a chance to raise another green flag but the influential centre forward screwed a penalty wide.
Divilly hauled Galway level, and put them ahead, with three unanswered points but three from player of the match Rowe had Dublin 0-9 to 1-4 clear.
That was before points from Megan Kelly and the lively Divilly hauled Galway level at the break.
Galway had Emilie Gavin cleared to play from the start – despite the fact that the Galway wing back was sent off in the Nenagh stalemate.
Scorers – Dublin: C Rowe 0-11 (7f), K Dwyer 1-1, L Mullins 1-0, M McGrath & M Davoren 0-1 each.
Scorers for Galway – O Divilly 0-10 (6f), L Ward 2-0, L Walsh 1-0, C Ni Churraoin 0-2, M Kelly 0-1.
DUBLIN – E Ni Eafa; A Curran, M Ni Scanaill, N Harney; O Carey, D Mullany, K Murray; A O’Brien, M Lamb; M Mohan, C Rowe, N Rickard; K Dwyer, L Mullins, M McGrath.
Subs: É Rutledge for Mohan (45), K Murphy for Rickard (55), M Davoren for McGrath (56), C McGuigan for Mullins (57), F Tuite for Lamb (60+2).
GALWAY – C Ni Laoi; A Meagher, S Gormally, M Joyce; E Gavin, N Ward, M Glynn; S Gavin, M Heneghan; O Divilly, L Ward, S Hynes; E Reaney, C Ni Churraoin, M Kelly.
Subs: A Hynes for Meagher (h.t.), S Ní Shuilleabháin for Joyce (44), L Walsh for Reaney (60+2).
Ref – J Niland (Sligo).