Donoughmore (Cork) 1-8 Donaghmoyne (Monaghan) 2-7
Donaghmoyne were crowned Tesco All-Ireland Ladies senior club football champions for the second time in four seasons as they saw off Cork opponents Donoughmore by two points in a gripping decider.
The Monaghan and Ulster standard bearers held on for victory at the home of St Rynagh’s GAA club in the Offaly town of Banagher as Donoughmore suffered defeat in the final for the second time in six years.
Donaghmoyne did much of the hard work in before half-time as they recovered from a sluggish start to lead by 2-2 to 1-3 at the break, having played against a strong and icy first half breeze.
Donaghmoyne, who also won the title in 2006, found themselves 1-2 to 0-1 behind after just seven minutes as Donoughmore piled on the pressure from the start in front of an estimated attendance of 1,500.
Patrice Kearney scored an excellent goal in the seventh minute for Donoughmore as she finished a flowing move which also involved Rena Buckley and Louise Murphy.
Juliet Murphy claimed the player of the match award despite finishing on the losing side and she was a massive influence on the game in the early stages.
The Cork midfield ace and team captain drove her team forward but ten minutes before half-time, Donaghmoyne were handed a route back into the game from a penalty.
Donoughmore full-back Linda Barrett was sin-binned for a foul on Donaghmoyne midfielder Cora Courtney and from the resultant penalty, Catriona McConnell shot high into the net.
Monaghan county star McConnell, who finished as top scorer for her team with 2-3, netted again with the game’s next score, just a minute before half-time.
Centre back Sharon Courtney was the creator with a driving run from the middle of the field and when McConnell took the pass, the full-forward made no mistake with a low finish.
2001 and 2003 champions Donoughmore turned to face the breeze two points in adrift and they fell further behind just six seconds after the restart when the inspirational Courtney stormed forward for a point.
Donoughmore hit back to within a point but Hazel Kingham replied for Donaghmoyne with arguably the score of the game in the 41st minute, a magnificent long range point.
Kingham was harshly sin-binned soon after but Donaghmoyne coped well with her absence and led by 2-6 to 1-6 with six minutes remaining.
Murphy cut the gap back to the bare minimum with a brace of frees and in stoppage time, Donaghmoyne were hanging on for victory before McConnell made sure of the win in the sixth minute of stoppage time with a nerveless free.
Scorers for Donaghmoyne: C McConnell 2-3 (1-0 pen, 0-3f), H Kingham, S Courtney, M Woods & G McGowan 0-1 each.
Scorers for Donoughmore: J Murphy 0-6 (4f), P Kearney 1-0, R Curtin & A O’Connor 0-1 each.
DONAGHMOYNE: L Martin; J Geoghegan, F Courtney, N Lynch; H Kingham, S Courtney, J Courtney; A Casey, C Courtney; E McElroy, M Woods, L Kingham; G McGowan, C McConnell, M Grimes.
Subs: A Lennon for L Kingham (44), L Daly for A Lennon (inj, 50).
DONOUGHMORE: C O’Connell; E Walsh, L Barrett, R O’Mahony; A Barrett, V Sheehan, A.M. O’Shea; R Buckley, J Murphy; O Healy, R Curtin, P Kearney; Y Twomey, L Murphy, A O’Connor.
Sub: R Barrett for O’Connor (53).
Referee: D McEnery (Westmeath).