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Dublin ladies crowned All-Ireland U21 champions after battle with Cork

The Aisling McGing Cup is staying in the capital for a second consecutive year after today’s result.
Jun 21st 2015, 9:36 PM 5,965 2

Ladies U21 final The Dublin players celebrate with a selfie. Source: Sportsfile

Dublin 0-14

Cork 1-08

DUBLIN ARE ALL-Ireland U21 champions, lifting the Aisling McGing Cup for a second year in a row.

In stark contrast to their earlier round robin game, when Dublin ran out 16 points winners over Cork, today’s clash was a close-fought, tenacious battle between two well-drilled football teams.

The sides were level on no fewer than five separate occasions, a glowing testament as to how tight the game of football was turning out to be with any error whatsoever being punished immediately.

Dublin got off to the perfect start when captain Carla Rowe slotted over a free within 2 minutes of the game getting underway.

Cork responded with two unanswered points all from placed balls courtesy of corner forward Laura Fitzgerald. Referee Gerry Carmody infuriated Cork in the 11th minute when he disallowed a goal scored by midfielder Aine Terry O’Sullivan only to award the Rebels a free-kick.

The Mayo official had apparently, and unknown to the supporters in the stand, blown his whistle just before the Cork player had blasted her shot past Dubs keeper Ciara Trant. Fitzgerald pointed the subsequent free to push Cork two clear of the Dubs.

There’s nothing like a goal scare to kick-start a revival and Dublin’s reaction was to notch up five unanswered points.

In the 20th minute, Cork got the break they had been hunting for when Libby Coppenger palmed the ball past Dubs keeper Ciara Trant following a goal-mouth scramble. Rebels full forward Laura Crowley followed up with a Cork point two minutes later as they went a point ahead of their rivals.

To their credit, Dublin dug deep and responded once more by knocking over three unanswered scores. Cork’s Fitzgerald added on another point for the Rebels before Dubs midfielder Sarah McCaffrey knock over her second, and her team’s tenth, in first half injury-time.

Dublin took a two-point lead into the dressing room at the break.

Dublin Cork U21 ladies Source: Sportsfile

The second half developed into a hard-fought contest and Carla Rowe converted her fifth score in the 36th minute. Last year’s winning captain Siobhan Woods got on the score sheet for the second time in the 45th minute with a well-taken point and Dublin were two points ahead of Cork with 15 minutes remaining.

Cork’s Doireann O’Sullivan started to come more into the game, running at the heart of the Dublin defence but Martha Byrne, Leah Caffrey and Deirdre Murphy were resolute and steadfast in their defending.

The excellent Fitzgerald tagged on her sides 8th and final score from a place ball in the 46th minute leaving the minimum between the sides as the clock ticked on.

Dublin’s final two scores game from Clann Mhuire club-mates White and the relentless Rowe left the Dubs three points clear with the game in stoppage time.

As the clock ticked away, they showed nerves of steel to hold off the Cork onslaught as the rebels went in search of an equalising goal.

Lady luck shone on the Blues as Doireann O’Sullivan injury-time free-kick came back out off the crossbar and landed safely into a Dublin defender’s hands.

Cork ladies Cork's Shauna Kelly. Source: Sportsfile

Scorers for Dublin: Carla Rowe 0-06 (3f), Sarah McCaffrey, Niamh Rickard, Siobhan Woods, Oonagh White 0-02 each

Scorers for Cork: Laura Fitzgerald 0-06 (4f), Libby Coppinger 1-00, Laura Crowley, Aine Terry O’Sullivan 0-01 each


1. Ciara Trant (St Brigids)

2. Aoife Curran (O’Dwyers)
3. Muireann Ní Scanaill (St Margaret’s)
4. Leah Caffrey (Na Fianna)

5. Martha Byrne (Cuala)
6. Deirdre Murphy (St Brigids)
7. Olwen Carey (Thomas Davis)

8. Molly Lamb (Kilmacud Crokes)
9. Sarah McCaffrey (Clontarf)

10. Niamh Ryan (Foxrock Cabinteely)
11. Leah Mullins (St Brigids)
12. Niamh Rickard (Fingallians)

13. Oonagh White (Clann Mhuire)
14. Siobhan Woods (Raheny)
15. Carla Rowe (Clann Mhuire)

Kate Fitzgibbon (O’Tooles) for Niamh Rickard


1. Meabh O’Sullivan

2. Roisin Phelan
3. Sinead Cotter
4. Meabh Cahalane

5. Shauna Kelly
6. Marie Ambrose
7. Aoife O’Sullivan

8. Maire O’Callaghan
9. Aine Terry O’Sullivan

10. Gemma Cashman
11. Doireann O’Sullivan
12. Claire Byrne

13. Libby Coppinger
14. Laura Crowley
15. Laura Fitzgerald

Jennifer Barry for Claire Byrne
Katie Healy for Aoife O’Sullivan 

Player of the Match: Carla Rowe (Dublin)

Referee: Gerry Carmody (Mayo)

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