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Dublin: 10 °C Sunday 17 December, 2017
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Mayo stars shine as Carnacon crowned All-Ireland senior champions for the sixth time

It was heartbreak for Mourneabbey once again as Cora Staunton heads to Australia with another club medal to her name.

Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Carnacon (Mayo) 0-15

Mourneabbey (Cork) 1-1o

Emma Duffy reports from Parnell Park

MAYO’S CARNACON ARE All-Ireland senior club champions for the sixth time.

Cora Staunton will head to Australia with another club All-Ireland medal in her back pocket, following an influential performance which saw her register seven points in their first final appearance since 2013.

The wait continues for Mourneabbey to lift the Dolores Tyrrell Memorial Cup after back-to-back decider defeats in 2014 and 2015 and a semi-final exit last year.

Carnacon showed their class in the closing stages of the first half and the early stages of the second, building up enough of a lead to counter Mourneabbey’s late fightback and get over the line.

The early stages were cagey, both sides setting up defensively for what would lead to a huge tactical battle.

On a wet afternoon in Parnell Park, Mayo stalwart Martha Carter got her side off the mark first, the full-back finding herself before the posts and executing nicely.

Cora Staunton’s first real involvement in the game saw her with a chance from a free-kick, but it spiralled wide.

At the other end, Mourneabbey’s first score came through Cork forward Doireann O’Sullivan.

It was Carnacon who settled easiest, Staunton opening her account before Amy Dowling added two impressive efforts in quick succession. Claire Egan lead from centre-half back as they got on top of the tactical battle.

Marie Corbett with Doireann O’Sullivan Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

As the half progressed, the county stars came to the fore more and more, full-back Carter and Staunton bagging further scores while Doireann and Bríd O’Sullivan (no relation) inspired with a massive points at the other end.

Neither teams with goals to their names as the clock ran down to half-time, both O’Sullivan and Dowling had chances but hammered the post each time.

Carnacon extended their half-time lead of three points shortly after the restart, Aoife Brennan drawing first blood.

Brennan was influential, hitting two, while Staunton and O’Sullivan exchanged points once again. Fiona McHale’s trojan work in the middle paid dividends throughout and she got her name on the scoresheet as Carnacon rallied on.

Mourneabbey weren’t dead yet though.

Former All-Ireland-winning Cork captain Ciara O’Sullivan and her sister Róisín kept them in touch, while 16-year-old Ellie Jack cancelled out Staunton’s previous effort.

With Carnacon reduced to 14 when Doireann Hughes was sent to the sin-bin, Shane Ronayne’s forces struck the first major of the match in the 48th minute, something for the travelling support to roar about.

Captain Bríd O’Sullivan slotted home after good work involving Laura Fitzgerald in the build up.

That put three between the sides, Carnacon seeing a lead that once was eight reduced.

Staunton was there to pull one back, but Fitzgerald struck her first of the match to leave a kick of a ball between the sides again.

Shortly after Hughes returned to action, both sides were left with 14 players to see the game out.

Michelle McGing with Ciara O’Sullivan Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Carnacon’s was Egan shown a yellow card with five minutes on the clock and Mourneabbey full-back Cathy Ann Stack was sent to the bin less than two minutes later for a challenge on Staunton.

Referee Maggie Farrelly then sent Carnacon’s Michelle McGing marching as the clock ran down, O’Sullivan expertly slotting the resultant free over.

But it was all too late as Carnacon ran out two-point winners.

Scorers for Carnacon: Martha Carter (0-2), Cora Staunton (0-7, 3f), Amy Dowling (0-2), Emma Cosgrave (0-1), Fiona McHale (0-1), Aoife Brennan (0-2)

Scorers for Mourneabbey: Doireann O’Sullivan (0-5, 4f), Bríd O’Sullivan (1-1), Róisín O’Sullivan (0-1), Ciara O’Sullivan (0-1), Ellie Jack (0-1), Laura Fitzgerald (0-1)

Carnacon

1. Michelle Higgins

2. Sharon McGing
3. Martha Carter
4. Sadhbh Larkin

5. Marie Corbett
6. Claire Egan
7. Doireann Hughes

8. Fiona MacHale
9. Erina Flannery

10. Michelle McGing
11. Amy Dowling
12. Louise Dowling

13. Aoife Brennan
14. Cora Staunton — captain
15. Emma Cosgrave

Subs

20. Aoife McHale for Maedhbh Larkin (54)

Mourneabbey

1. Maebh O’Sullivan

2. Emma Coakley
3. Cathy Ann Stack
4. Kathryn Coakley

5. Róisín O’Sullivan
6. Eimear Meaney
7. Aisling O’Sullivan

8. Niamh O’Sullivan
9. Maire O’Callaghan

10. Ciara O’Sullivan
11. Bríd O’Sullivan — captain
12. Ellie Jack

13. Laura Fitzgerald
14. Doireann O’Sullivan
15. Eimear Harrington

Subs

17. Aileen Buckley for Kathryn Coakley (HT)
19. Ciara Lawlee for Niamh O’Sullivan (49)

Referee: Maggie Farrelly (Cavan)

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