by Anthony Newman
Two late frees from Mia Lynch saw Cavan crowned All-Ireland U16 A All-Ireland ladies football championship in a superb replay at the TUS Gaelic Grounds in Limerick.
This is only Cavan’s second win in this competition, with their other title victory coming back in 1977 and they celebrated in style at the final whistle.
There was never going to be much between the sides, as was evident in their drawn encounter at Breland Park, Offaly, two weeks ago and right down to the wire it was anyone’s game.
Lynch put Cavan in front from a free as they enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges.
Cork were back on level terms six minutes in when Laura Walsh played Eabha Nagle in to fist over the bar.
Eabha O’Donovan put Cork in front but from the restart Cavan worked the ball down the pitch and a foul on Lynch led to a penalty for her side.
Ella Sheridan made no mistake from the spot to make it 1-1 to 0-2 in Cavan’s favour.
From the restart they regained possession with Katie O’Meara playing Lauren Miney in to raise their second green flag, to put them 2-1 to 0-2 up after 12 minutes
Credit to Cork they responded with two points from Catherine Murphy, along with white flags from Kate Carey and O’Donovan to put one between the sides. Walsh had the sides level, before a brilliant save from Fainche Higgins denied Nagle a goal for Cork.
The Rebels raised a green flag in the 26th minute when Walsh broke through the defence to score, with O’Donovan adding a point from a free to see them lead by 1-9 to 2-2 at half-time.
Sarah Barry came on at half-time for Cork and just 20 seconds after the restart she was on the scoresheet.
Points from Lynch and Ruby Gilmartin reduced the deficit as Cork led 1-10 to 2-4 after 37 minutes.
A brilliant save from Andrea Toye denied Lynch a goal and she saved again from Kate Fegan to keep her side in front.
Lynch pulled a point back from a free before a foul on Miney led to a second penalty for Cavan. Up stepped Sheridan again, but this time she put it over the bar, to make it 2-6 to 1-10.
O’Donovan restored Cork’s two point lead before Lynch made it a one point game again.
Another free from Sheridan had the Cork lead down to one again before Walsh was fouled, but Barry’s effort was saved by Higgins and she repeated that feat seconds later to deny the same player again.
Sheridan and O’Donovan exchanged points to see Cork lead 1-13 to 2-8 with six minutes to go.
A point from Sheridan had the sides level with only minutes remaining before two late pointed frees from Lynch secured the win for Cavan.
Scorers - Cavan: M Lynch 0-7 (6f), E Sheridan 1-3 (1-1 pen), L Miney 1-0, K O’Meara, R Gilmartin 0-1 each.
Cork: E O’Donovan 0-7 (6f), L Walsh 1-1 (0-1f), C Muphy 0-2, E Nagle, K Carey, S Barry 0-1 each.
CAVAN: F Higgins; K Cahill, C McDonnell, K Grigorenko; A Kennedy, K. M. Reilly, C Crowe; E Mussi, L Miney; R Gilmartin, E Sheridan, K Fegan; M Lynch, C Clarke, K O’Meara. Subs: E Moffitt for C Crowe (ht), H McPhillips for R Gilmartin (52).
CORK: A Toye; É Walsh, A Tobin, A O’Sullivan; R Breen, M McRea, M Barrett; J Foskin, K McEntee; C Murphy, E O’Donovan, C Horgan; E Nagle, L Walsh, K Carey. Subs: S Barry for C Horgan (ht), E Burns for E Nagle (55), A Sheehan for C Murphy (58), K Ferns for M Barrett (60).
Referee: Eoghan O’Neill (Kildare).Tweet