Cavan 1-14 Tipperary 1-12
Bronagh Sheridan’s late penalty sealed Cavan’s victory in today’s TG4 All-Ireland ladies intermediate football championship final at Croke Park.
The Breffni County, beaten finalists two years ago, defeated 2008 champions Tipperary in an entertaining final at GAA HQ.
In the process, Cavan won their first All-Ireland title since their one and only senior success back in 1977.
Sheridan slammed home a crucial penalty goal with five minutes left, after Tipperary goalkeeper Patricia Hickey was sin-binned after fouling player of the match Aisling Doonan.
Tipp were forced into a reshuffle, with leading scorer Edel Hanley taken off and replaced by replacement goalkeeper Helen Kennedy.
Cavan would finish the game with 14 players themselves, when Mona Sheridan received a late yellow card.
The sides were level four times before Cavan found the crucial scores to get over the line by just two points.
The penalty was a dagger to Tipperary hearts and the pre-match underdogs can consider themselves unfortunate after squandering some good chances, particularly in the first half.
Tipp got off to a flying start and led by 0-3 to 0-0, before Cavan responded to haul themselves level.
But the big score of the first half was provided by Tipp forward Mairead Morrissey, who crashed home a superb solo goal in the 13th minute.
That goal opened up a 1-3 to 0-4 lead for Tipp and at half-time, the beaten Munster finalists led by just a point, 1-7 to 0-9.
In their All-Ireland semi-final victory over Fermanagh, Tipp had scored 1-2 in the final minute to stun Fermanagh.
But despite the best efforts of Hanley and Sheelagh Carew, there would be no late heroics here.
Gillian O’Brien enjoyed a productive first half for Tipp but Cavan were driven by the hurt of losing the final against Westmeath two years ago, after a replay.
This time, they would not be denied as deadly forwards Sheridan and Doonan drove them to victory.
Cavan had the aid of a stiff breeze in the opening half but Tipp made little of that and had carved out that narrow interval lead.
But Cavan, who blew a five-point lead against Westmeath in 2011, were in no mood for more big-day misery and a landmark victory was secured with that priceless late penalty from Sheridan at the Hill 16 end.
Tipp cut the gap back to just two points with scores from Morrissey and Carew but Cavan held on to claim the Mary Quinn memorial cup, and senior championship status for 2014.
Scorers for Cavan: B Sheridan 1-4 (1-0 pen, 0-2f), A Doonan 0-4 (3f), G Smith 0-3, R Crowe, C O’Reilly & M Sheridan 0-1 each.
Scorers for Tipperary: E Hanley 0-5 (2f), M Morrissey 1-1, G O’Brien 0-3, S Carew 0-2 (1f), C Walsh 0-1.
CAVAN: C Fay; P Lynch, G McGlade, J Moore; S Greene, A Cornyn, R Jordan; R Crowe, D English; C O’Reilly, R O’Keeffe, M Sheridan; G Smith, B Sheridan, A Doonan.
Sub: C Smith for O’Reilly (40).
TIPPERARY: P Hickey; B Condon, S Lambert, R Kenneally; A O’Dwyer, C Carroll, B Ryan; J Grant, S Carew; L O’Shea, M Morrissey, C Walsh; N Lonergan, G O’Brien, E Hanley.
Subs: K Hackett for Walsh (40), A McCarthy for Hackett (53), H Kennedy for Hanley (55).
Referee: G Chapman (Sligo)