All-Ireland Ladies IFC club final

TIPPERARY outfit Brian Boru’s held on for victory in a thrilling Tesco All-Ireland Ladies IFC club final yesterday.

The game was switched from Kilkenny’s Nowlan Park to the capital but Brian Boru’s claimed the title in the club’s maiden All-Ireland final appearance at St Peregrine’s GAA club in Dublin.

The match venue is situated just a couple of kilometres from the home of St Brigid’s but that mattered little to gutsy Brian Boru’s as they held off a spirited second half fightback from the Dublin and Leinster champions.

The Premier girls played with the aid of a gale in the first half and before 500 spectators, established a 1-8 to 0-0 half-time lead against their fellow first-time finalists.

With the wind advantage after the break, and boosted by a goal within a minute of the restart, St Brigid’s came roaring back into contention and with eight minutes remaining, they were within a point, 1-7 to 1-8 of the Munster girls

A minute later, a rare foray into enemy territory yielded a crucial point for Trisha Hickey, the only point of the second half for Brian Boru’s.

St Brigid’s Captain Elaine Kelly cut the deficit back to the minimum with five minutes remaining but Brian Boru’s held out until the final whistle.

In the first half, Brian Boru’s had scores from five players, including the hugely-influential Eimear Myles, as former All-Ireland camogie medallist Claire Grogan bagged an 18th minute goal.

Grogan’s speculative shot from 30 yards dropped into the net over the head of goalkeeper Ciara Lowry as the Dublin team was held scoreless before the break.

Brian Boru’s lost the services of sin-binned Aishling Kenneally for a 10-minute spell but she returned early in the second half.

Kenneally rejoined a major battle as Noelle Healy’s fisted finish just 35 seconds after half-time sparked the St Brigid’s revival which ultimately finished just short.

Nora Noonan was safe between the posts for Brian Boru’s in front of a hard-working defence while the newly-crowned champions had some breathing space in the 44th minute when Áine Cullen was yellow carded and sin-binned for 10 minutes.

Scorers for Brian Boru’s: C Grogan 1-2, E Myles & M Morrissey 0-2 each, J Grant, C O’Dwyer & T Hickey 0-1 each.

Scorers for St Brigid’s: N Healy 1-1, E Kelly 0-4 (2f), C Barrett, A Burke & A Kelly 0-1 each.

BRIAN BORU’S: N Noonan; N Gilmore, A O’Dwyer, J Peters; K Sweeney, C Condon, A Kenneally; O Fleming, J Grant; E Myles, C Grogan, C O’Dwyer; T Hickey, L Grogan, M Morrissey.

Subs: C Ryan for Gilmore (40), M Slattery for L Grogan (46), K Barry for Kenneally (56).

ST BRIGID’S: C Lowry; P Bruen, S Barrett, A Cullen; C Barrett, A Molloy, A McKenna; R Kelly, S Furlong; K Murphy, E Kelly, O Brennan; A Burke, N Healy, A Kelly.

Subs: E Sweeney for Burke (51), S Fay for A Kelly (59).

Referee: G Corrigan (Down).

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