A whirlwind display in extra time from Naomh Ciarán was enough to secure the Offaly champions a place in their first ever All-Ireland Intermediate Championship Final, as they sprinted clear of Cork’s Inch Rovers in Ferbane.
Dual star full-forward Kate Kenny, who next Sunday will play an intermediate camogie championship provincial final with St Rynagh’s, finished the game with an incredible 1-10 to her name.
Three of those points were in the first-half of extra-time as Naomh Ciarán scored 0-5 without reply, before goals from Kaitlyn Rigney and Aoibhe Kelly wrapped up the victory in the final ten-minute period.
The East Cork side did hit their stride in the lead up to half-time and they were well in contention at that stage, just 1-6 to 1-4 adrift.
They monopolised possession in the second-half of the game, Jessica O’Shea leading the way with a masterful performance at centre-back, and it seemed like they would go on to win when they drew level, 1-8 each, with ten minutes to play.
Naomh Ciarán’s Ellee McEvoy was sin binned for the last ten minutes of normal time and that looked like a fatal blow to the Offaly side’s chances.
Yet they defended valiantly, and snatched the lead in the second minute of injury time through Kenny, only for Inch Rovers to mount one last attack and tie up the scores through Lydia Williams.
A footballing masterclass from Naomh Ciarán saw them prevail in extra time with 10 points to spare.
Meanwhile, a strong finish saw St Paul's book their place in the decider as they edged out St Nathy's in a gripping encounter in Belfast this afternoon.
The hosts had to rally from being four points down early in the second period, but did so brilliantly as they maintained composure to find the scores to deny the Sligo girls.
- St Paul's (Antrim) 1-7 St Nathy's (Sligo) 1-6
- Naomh Ciarán (Offaly) 3-15 Inch Rovers (Cork) 1-11