In a thrilling contest in Kilmallock on Saturday, the Clare champions denied Cork’s St Val’s their first title, winning 1-13 to 1-12.
At half-time The Banner led 1-7 to 1-5, with player of the match and Banner captain Niamh O’Dea finding the net in the third minute as Val’s struggled with initial nerves.
However, when Caoimhe Creedon found her captain Jean Lucey in the 12th minute, she raised a green flag of her own to keep the Cork champions within distance.
Upon the restart the introduction of Fiona Crowley helped St Val’s cause, as Briege Corkery was given more opportunity to attack.
The Banner contined to pick off points, courtesy of Aoibhainn Malone and substitute Karen Roche, but the excellent Caoimhe Creedon — who finished with eight points — kicked two long distance points to tie the game for St Val’s on the stroke of full-time.
However, a missed free in injury-time saw The Banner gain possession and move downfield, where Katie Cahill kicked the winning point for the Clare champions.
Captain Niamh O’Dea — who finished with 1-6 — collected the Michael Ryan Cup, and with it the Player of the Match award.
Meanwhile, in the Munster Senior Plate final yesterday in Kilmallock, Cork’s Mourneabbey were far superior for Kerry champions Southern Gaels, winning 7-9 to 0-8, while Boherbue of Cork lifted their first Munster intermediate title, denying Aherlow of Tipperary on a 3-6 to 0-12 scoreline.
Scorers for The Banner: N O’Dea 1-6 (0-2 frees), O Lynch 0-2, A Malone, G Nolan, A Keane, K Roche and K Cahill 0-1 each.
Scorers for St Val’s: C Creedon 0-8 (0-4 frees), J Lucey 1-1, C Byrne, M Corkery, Louise Coholan and A Plunkett 0-1 each.
ST VAL’S: J O’Sullivan; S Cotter, M Ambrose, Liz Coholan; E Dunne, C Ambrose, V Foley; Louise Coholan, N Canty; C Byrne, J Lucey (C), B Corkery; M Corkery, C Creedon, A Plunkett.
Subs: F Crowley for N Canty and B Hennigan for C Byrne (35).
THE BANNER: E O’Driscoll; E O’Dea, L Ryan, N Cavanagh; L Woods, S Quinn, O Lynch; L Hency, N Keane; G Nolan, A Malone, N Carroll; K Cahill, N O’Dea (C), S Higgins.
Subs: A Keane for S Higgins (HT), K Roche for N Carroll (47).
Referee: K Delahunty (Tipperary)
Player of the match: N O’Dea (The Banner).