Cork claimed their first LGFA All-Ireland U14 Platinum title since 2013 at the expense of Galway in Banagher county Offaly this afternoon.
Dominic Gallagher’s side dominated territory and possession from the opening whistle and never allowed their opponents to settle. Four first-half goals decided the outcome on an afternoon the winners’ forward line registered a string of impressive scores.
Anchored by midfielders Lia Heffernan and Katie O’Driscoll, Cork built a commanding opening quarter lead and never looked like relinquishing that advantage.
Lia Hogan setup Inch Rovers’ Tara Hickey for Cork’s first goal inside 3 minutes and the Munster champions led 1-6 to 0-0 after Lia Hogan (two frees) Ella Downey (two), Lily Murray and Eabha Curran raised consecutive white flags.
Ciara Coen got Galway on the scoreboard just past the quarter hour before three goals in a devastating 5-minute spell. Bantry Blues’ Ella Downey hit the net prior to Niamh Divilly doing likewise at the opposite end.
Galway’s hopes of launching a comeback were immediately dashed once Lia Hogan fired home Cork’s third green flag of the afternoon. There was still time for Tara Hickey to convert a penalty to make it 4-7 to 1-2 at the break.
Unlimited substitutions permitted both teams introduce a host of fresh players during a disjointed second period. Cork continued to dominate however as O’Donovan Rossa’s Lia Hogan completed her hat-trick courtesy of two superb strikes.
Both sides were guilty of squandering opportunities in the closing stages but Cork ran out deserving All-Ireland champions at the conclusion of a lengthy campaign.
Scorers for Cork: L Hogan (3-3, 3 frees ), T Hickey (2-0, 1 pen), E Downey (1-2), E Curran (0-3), A Healy (1-0), G Rooney (1 free) and G Nagle (0-2 each), L Murray, K O’Driscoll, and C White (0-1 each).
Scorers for Galway: R Lander (1-1, 1 free), N Divilly (1-0), C Coen (0-2) and N Donovan (0-1).
CORK: S Collins (Kinsale); M Burke (Mourneabbey), J Savage (Youghal), A Hoare (Bride Rovers); M Condon (captain, Clonakilty), S Sheehan (Éire Óg), C O’Brien (Éire Óg); L Heffernan (St. Mary’s), K O’Driscoll (Clonakilty); L Murray (Bride Rovers), E Downey (Bantry Blues), E Curran (Nemo Rangers); L Hogan (O’Donovan Rossa), T Hickey (Inch Rovers), C Morrisson (Bride Rovers).
Subs: G Cooney (Mourneabbey), A Barry (Bride Rovers), L Hartnett (Fermoy), J Devlin (Cobh), K Muprhy (Ilen Rovers), N Falvey (Cloyne), S Foley (Banteer), C McEvoy (Clonakilty), M Murphy (Donoughmore),A Cashman (Youghal), A Healy (Kilshannig), C White (Clonakilty), G Nagle (Mallow), G Rooney (Inch Rovers), M O’Shea (Grenagh).
GALWAY: L O’Halloran (Claregalway); S Ni Scanlain (Micheal Breathnachs), M Jordan (Caltra Cuans), R Reddington (Salthill Knocknacarra); G Molloy (Monivea Abbey), C Glynn (Menlough Skehana), N Daly (Salthill Knocknacarra); A Trayers (St. Brendan’s), A Nash (Salthill Knocknacarra); M Boote (Gráinne Mhaols), N Divilly (Kilkerrin Clonberne), B Naughton (captain, Annaghdown); N Donovan (Claregalway), C Coen (Corofin), L O’Donnell (Salthill Knocknacarra).
Subs: E Baird (Barna), S O’Connell (Claregalway), J Browne (Caherlistrane), R Lardner (Annaghdown), L Keary (Monivea Abbey), E Brennan (Claregalway), M Downes (Salthill Knocknacarra), A Browne (Salthill Knocknacarra), R Hughes (Claregalway), R Kelly (Barna), J Moran (Naomh Mhuire), C Brennan (Gráinne Mhaols), M Holmes (St. Brendan’s), E Collins (Claregalway), K Thompson (Salthill Knocknacarra).
Referee: J Murphy (Carlow).