Appearing in their fourth final, the Tipperary girls built the foundation for victory in the opening half when aided by the driving wind and rain they built up a 1-5 to 0-3 lead by the break. And when Eimear Shanahan blasted home a second goal just after the break, there was no way back for Douglas. While this was essentially a team effort the magnificence of centre back Michelle Shortt, was hugely important.
Douglas were appearing in their first final and certainly lost no face in this defeat, but the 15 wides they struck will haunt them for some time. Forced to play into the elements in the first half, they hit eight wides, but given the strength of the wind and rain, the half time deficit of five points wasn’t insurmountable. However they continued to chalk up the wides and had a goal disallowed for a square infringement which would have left just a point between the teams with 10 minutes to go.
The driving wind and rain was clearly a factor and the Tipperary girls used the elements well in the opening half. With Shortt dominant at centre back, they stormed into a 0-4 to 0-1 lead after 15 minutes and when Eimear Shanahan goaled two minutes later, Drom and Inch were seven ahead.
However they weren’t to score again for the remainder of the half as Douglas began to get a grip. Amanda O’Regan and Pamela Mackey got on top in the half back line and with Julia White and Katriona Mackey giving the Drom and Inch defence a torrid time, they hit three points to trail by five at the break, 1-5 to 0-3.
Drom and Inch threw the gauntlet down to the Cork champions seconds after the restart when Shanahan billowed the net after a great run by Siobhan McGrath.
But the cheering had hardly died down when Douglas struck for their opening goal. A long delivery into the Drom and Inch defence caused panic and Rachel O’Donovan forced the sliothar over the line.
From there to the final whistle Douglas pinned Drom and Inch in their own half as Amanda O’Regan drove her side forward with some great clearances. Only some great play by Niamh Harkin and Michelle Shortt kept the Douglas forwards at bay. Julia White looked to have given the Cork champions a second goal when she rounded the Drom and Inch ‘keeper but her shot to the empty net was taken off the line by the magnificent Shortt.
Undeterred Douglas came again and when Joan White first timed Julia White’s cross to the net with five minutes to go, it looked as if it was going to be their day. But the referee blew for a square infringement and Douglas weren’t given any more chances as Drom and Inch finished with a brace of points by Joanne Ryan to claim victory at the fourth attempt.
Scorers for Drom and Inch: E Shanahan 2-1; J Ryan 0-3 (0-1f); M Looby, C Shortt, G Kinnane, T Shortt (45) 0-1 each.
Scorers for Douglas: K Mackey 0-3 (0-2f); R O’Donovan 1-0; J White, M Harkin (f) 0-1 each.
DROM AND INCH: R Kenneally; C Kennedy, N Harkin, P McGrath; S O’Meara, M Shortt, T Butler; T Shortt, G Kinnane; J Ryan, M Looby, S McGrath; E Shanahan, A Kennedy, C Shortt.
DOUGLAS: J Kavanagh; F McSweeney, M O’Donovan, E Jordan; P Mackey, A O’Regan, L O’Regan; H O’Mahony, H O’Connor; J White, M Harkin, K Mackey; E Morgan, R O’Sullivan, A O’Donovan.
Sub: A Barrett for O’Connor.
Referee: F McNamara (Clare).