Rebelettes reign supreme again

Valerie Mulcahy kicked a match-winning 3-02 as Cork claimed their fourth All-Ireland Senior Ladies Football title in succession, following a 4-13 to 0-11 victory over Monaghan.

Valerie Mulcahy kicked a match-winning 3-02 as Cork claimed their fourth All-Ireland Senior Ladies Football title in succession, following a 4-13 to 0-11 victory over Monaghan.

In ideal conditions, an attendance of 20,015 watched what is unquestionably the team of the decade, as Cork romped to a 14-point victory.

Despite the Rebelettes being in mixed form in this game and amassing 12 wides, their sheer experience carried them through to ensure an unblemished Championship record spanning four years, during which they have won 11 of the 12 titles on offer – across league and Championship and just losing one match.

Cork only led by 1-08 to 0-08 at the interval thanks to a Mulcahy penalty goal, with Caitriona McConnell, and Edel Byrne keeping Monaghan in touch.

However Mulcahy again produced the goods at the start of the second half, when with four minutes played she penetrated the Monaghan rear-guard for a second time.

Although Cork led by six points at this stage, Monaghan managed to claw into the Rebelettes lead thanks to scores from Niamh Kindlon and Edel Byrne.

This was as close as the Ulster Champions could get to the reigning champions however, and although Monaghan goalkeeper Linda Martin pulled off a fine save following a Amy O'Shea 40th minute goal opportunity, Cork reigned supreme.

A Ciara O'Sullivan goal within 30 seconds of her introduction and a similar super sub impact from Rhona Buckley who kicked two points when she replaced Amanda Murphy; paved the way for a Cork success.

As Valerie Mulcahy finished the game as she started it, another well struck penalty goal, this time following a foul on Mary O'Connor which ensured the Brendan Martin Cup remains on Leeside for the fourth year in succession.

Intermediate honours went to Tipperary who claimed their first adult Ladies Football All-Ireland Championship title since 1980 following an inspired second half display which paved the way for a 0-14 to 1-8 win over neighbours Clare.

In a game which kept both sets of supporters on the edge of their seats until the final whistle, the Premier County muscled out a victory after they managed to hold Clare scoreless in the final 19 minutes, despite trailing by four points with just five minutes played in the second half.

It was a goal from Majella Griffin which paved the way to Clare holding a 1-7 to 0-6 lead at that stage but Tipperary inspired by their free-taker Edel Hanley ensured they weren't to be denied silverware.

The sides had been level at 0-5 apiece at the interval, one of four occasions in the opening half which saw the teams deadlocked on the scoreboard.

However Tipperary were not to be denied and with superb scores from Hanley (who scored 10 points) and half-back Siobhan Costello they earned their right to become only the second county to lift the Mary Quinn Memorial Cup, after Leitrim took honours last year.

Meanwhile in the Junior decider, first-half goals from Deirdre O'Riordain and Player of the Match Linda Lodge (2) paved the way for London to take their first All-Ireland Ladies JFC title since 1993 following a 5-5 to 1-11 victory over Derry at Croke Park.

Holding a 3-3 to 0-5 interval lead the Exiles were in superb form, but Derry were still very much in contention thanks to the efforts of Shauna McCallion and Kathy Conway who kept the Oak Leafers in touch.

Despite substitute Sinead Cassidy claiming a Derry second half goal with 13 minutes remaining, it was quickly cancelled out by Hannah Noonan, as London took a second ever crown.

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