Galway denied Cork their fourth consecutive All-Ireland minor title at the Gaelic Grounds yesterday.
An Andrea Trill hat-trick and strikes from Aoife Thompson and Kate Geraghty secured Kieran Collins’ side a one-point win to follow on from their 2017 All-Ireland U16 triumph.
It was heartbreaking for Cork who staged a remarkable second-half comeback with Katie Quirke and Clare Nevin netting goals.
Thompson, hat-trick star in the semi-final victory over Cavan, opened the scoring for Galway on two minutes before Cork equalised through Rachel Murphy — the sides were level three times in the first quarter.
Molly Hynes and Andrea Trill added scores for the Tribeswomen, with Emma Cleary, daughter of Cork manager John, and Katie Quirke doing likewise for the Rebels,
However, things opened up on 15 minutes when Chloe Miskell and Hynes set up Trill for the game’s opening goal (1-3 to 0-3).
Cork had a chance of an equaliser moments afterwards when Murphy and Quirke set up Ellie Jack but her effort went over the bar.
But it was the first of five unanswered points for the Munster girls, who went 0-8 to 1-3 clear thanks to a hat-trick of Emma Cleary points and another from Murphy.
Crucially, Galway were devastating on their forays forward and rewarded with a Thompson goal on 25 minutes after referee Gus Chapman had originally signalled a penalty.
Katie Horgan levelled for the fifth time at 2-3 to 0-9 but Galway drove clear on 27 minutes. Thompson was the provider this time as Trill finished to the net before adding a free to leave it 3-4 to 0-9 at half-time.
Geraghty left the field briefly before half-time but made an impact upon her introduction when a speculative effort from the right deceived Sarah Murphy for a fourth Galway goal on 34 minutes.
That made it 4-4 to 0-9 but Cork refused to surrender. Cleary pointed before Murphy and Eve Mullins provided Quirke with a goal five minutes later.
However, after captain and player of the match Lynsey Noone, another to raid the right wing seeking rewards, managed to get towards the danger area, her shot was blocked but Trill reacted quickest for the fifth goal, leaving it 5-4 to 1-10 on 41 minutes.
The tie looked lost but Cork came storming back. Cleary, Laura O’Mahony, and Ciara McCarthy reduced arrears before substitute Clare Nevin goaled to tie the game at 5-5 to 2-14.
Galway kept their composure with points from Hynes and Miskell to lead by two. Abbie O’Mahony replied for Cork but they couldn’t manufacture an equaliser as Galway claimed a sixth All-Ireland crown.
Scorers for Galway: A Trill 3-2 (two frees), A Thompson 1-1, M Hynes 0-2, K Geraghty 1-0, C McCarthy 0-1, C Miskell 0-1.
Scorers for Cork: E Cleary 0-7 (four frees), K Quirke 1-1, C Nevin 1-0, R Murphy 0-2, K Horgan 0-1, E Jack 0-1, L O’Mahony 0-1, C McCarthy 0-1, A O’Mahony 0-1.
GALWAY: K Connolly; L Meehan, M Flanagan, C Crowe; K Geraghty, L Ahearne, L Noone; S Boyle, A Coen; A Molloy, C Miskell, C McCarthy; A Thompson, A Trill, M Hynes.
Subs: L Finnegan for Boyle (47), K Quigley for Flanagan (55), A Coen for A Coen (59).
CORK: S Murphy; K Horgan, C O’Shea, R Sheehan; G Gould, S Leahy, J Murphy; C McCarthy, E Mullins; L O’Mahony, E Cleary, R Murphy; E Jack, K Quirke, F Keating.
Subs: A O’Mahony for Gould (43), S O’Brien for Jack (46), C Nevin for Mullings (50).
Referee: Gus Chapman (Sligo)