Australia-bound Cora Staunton scored 4-13 and yet it still wasn’t enough to secure another Connacht senior club title for holders Carnacon on Sunday,.
The Mayo superstar hit the high notes in Ballyhaunis but Carnacon and Galway opponents Kilkerrin-Clonberne will have to do it all over again following a magnificent provincial decider.
Ailish Morrissey put over a leveller in the 63rd minute for Kilkerrin-Clonberne, who were Connacht champions last in 2015, as the sides finished deadlocked at 5-17 to 6-14.
In an enthralling encounter, both teams had players red-carded, as Carnacon’s Claire Egan and Kilkerrin-Clonberne’s Olivia Divilly were both dismissed.
Staunton’s haul included three penalty goals and ten points from play, while Annette Clarke chipped in with 3-4 for Kilkerrin-Clonberne.
Fiona McHale, Michelle McGing, Doireann Hughes and Marie Corbett were stand-out performers for Carnacon, while Louise Ward, Clarke and Hannah Noone performed well for Kilkerrin-Clonberne.
A ding-dong battle produced eleven goals, five penalties, two red cards and was level 11 times.
At the break, Kilkerrin-Clonberne held a slight advantage, ahead by 4-4 to 2-9.
Clarke netted in the second half to hand Kilkerrin-Clonberne a 5-7 to 2-12 advantage but Staunton’s 46th minute goal hauled Carnacon back into contention.
Clarke completed her hat-trick before Staunton netted twice down the home straight.
Morrissey had the final say to salvage a replay for Kilkerrin-Clonberne, and that’s a rematch to savour, which will go ahead next weekend.
In Leinster, Dublin champions Foxrock-Cabinteely retained their provincial crown, as player of the match Amy Ring weighed in with a massive individual tally of 2-13.
Foxrock-Cabinteely led by 2-12 to 1-4 at half-time against Kildare opponents Confey, before sealing a 4-17 to 1-7 win.
On Friday evening, Cork’s Mourneabbey, managed by Tipperary’s All-Ireland intermediate winning boss Shane Ronayne, made it four-in-a-row in Munster.
Cork skipper Ciara O’Sullivan scored 2-3 as Mourneabbey saw off the challenge of Waterford opponents Ballymacarbry by 3-9 to 0-11.
Next weekend, Carnacon and Kilkerrin-Clonberne will do it all over again for Connacht honours, while in Ulster, All-Ireland champions Donaghmoyne tackle Tyrone’s St Macartans, in a repeat of last year’s provincial final.