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Cork minors retain All-Ireland title while Monaghan and Clare also triumph

There was plenty of drama in the three All-Ireland minor deciders.

The victorious Cork team.
The victorious Cork team.
Image: Sportsfile

ABIGAIL RING SCORED a last-minute goal as Cork retained the ZuCar All-Ireland Minor A Championship with a comfortable win over Galway, while Monaghan prevailed in the B competition and Clare won the All-Ireland C final.

The Cloyne forward’s dropping ball fell underneath Leah O’Halloran’s crossbar in the 69th minute to crown an eight-point win.

It was no less than the Munster champions deserved as they were denied by the crossbar three times but seven third-quarter wides allowed their opponents to stay in touch.

Cork came out of the traps quickest in the first half but it took them until the fourth minute when Leah Hallihan opened their account. Two minutes later, Rachel Leahy added a second.

Galway were struggling and Cork threatened big scores before Galway got off the mark through Áine Shaughnessy on 11 minutes.

O’Halloran had already saved from Leahy while the woodwork kept the margin tight. Shaughnessy’s free levelled before another from play from the Kilkerrin/Clonberne player pushed Galway ahead. When Molly Mulryan found the target nine minutes before half-time, it was 0-4 to 0-2 to the Connacht champions. However, Cork had another burst and four scores in three minutes from Emma Hurley, Orlaith Cahalane and Ring (two) overturned the deficit.

Mulryan got her second to bring it back to 0-6 to 0-5 but another three from Cork through Cahalane and two points from Ring left four between them at the break. Joe Carroll’s team attacked from the restart again but Cork couldn’t seize control. Cahalane and Sadbh McGoldrick put five between them however a Shaughnessy free and a Mulryan score left Galway just 0-11 to 0-7 down on the three-quarter mark.

Galway needed a breakthrough and it eventually came on 51 minutes when Emma Mitchell and Laura Scanlon set up Mairead Glynn for a goal. That left one between them but Cork’s response came from two Ring frees and a point courtesy of Hurley.

Shaughnessy’s free left it at 0-14 to 1-8 as added time played out but Cork finished like they started as McGoldrick and Hallihan pointed before Ring’s goal ensured Cork’s 12th All-Ireland success at this level.

2305981 The Monaghan team celebrate their victory. Source: Sportsfile

Ulrika McMahon was the super-sub for Monaghan as she scored 2-2 in extra-time to help secure the ZuCar All-Ireland Minor B title with a stunning win over Longford.

For the second game in a row, Monaghan came from seven points down, with Eabha Sherry scoring the other goal during extra-time in Ashbourne. Monaghan were four points up inside three minutes; Sarah Tierney scored a fine goal.

Longford worked hard to get back into the game and were level in the ninth minute with Megan Glennon kicking over three points, with one from a free. Captain Caoimhe McCormack won a terrific ball and it led to them taking the lead for the first time through Kate Shannon in the tenth minute.

Tierney drew Monaghan level before Longford took control of proceedings. Shannon scored her second point to put four between the sides in the 28th minute and then Sián Gallagher fired a powerful shot to the net. Kerriane Walsh and Shannon exchanged points as Longford held a 1-10 to 1-03 advantage at the break.

Barely 25 seconds had elapsed when Tierney set up Áine McQuaid for Monaghan’s second goal. Down the other end Gallagher hit the crossbar with a powerful shot. She grabbed a second goal in the 39th minute when she hit a fantastic shot past Orna Kelly to restore her side’s seven-point lead.

Monaghan stuck with Longford and the gap was just two points with 13 minutes remaining when Tierney raced through and scored another goal. They were then reduced to 14 players in the 49th minute when Niamh Flanagan was sin-binned.

Despite the numerical disadvantage, Monaghan levelled the game in the 58th minute when Walsh raced through and made no mistake scoring Monaghan’s fourth goal. One minute later Sherry hit over a free, to edge Monaghan ahead.

Just after Flanagan returned from the sin-bin, Tierney received a yellow card while Longford also lost Ella O’Reilly through a sin-bin. Both sides had chances near the end to win the game but it went to extra-time and Monaghan dominated on the resumption.

2305939 Clare celebrate after their victory. Source: Sportsfile

Abby Downes hit 2-6 as Clare were crowned ZuCar All-Ireland Minor C champions in a thrilling encounter against Wicklow in Kinnegad. Clare dominated the early exchanges but were reigned in, to leave the score level at the half-time interval. And while Wicklow did go five points clear during a hectic second half, Clare remained composed and Downes hit the winner two minutes from time to ensure victory.

Clare got off to a bright start with Downes scoring two points inside the opening three minutes. With both sides finding their feet, it was Clare that hit the net first. Sophie Daly and Edel McNamara combined to find Downes in space and the wing forward made no mistake with the finish.

Sadhbh Fisher scored twice for Wicklow, between a fine effort for Edel McNamara who ran down the line and jinked past her marker to finish. Fisher converted a free, Clare hit back with Gráinne Burke and McNamara splitting the posts pushing the Banner into a five-point lead.

Fisher added her fourth point of the contest on 18 minutes but Clare reasserted their dominance with Downes and Burke both finding the target to open up a six-point advantage.

However, Wicklow upped the gears and an unanswered 1-4 ensured the sides were level at the break. 1-3 of that tally came from the boot of Aobha Harmon, her goal finished emphatically past Clare’s goalkeeper Katie McMahon.

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Wicklow took the lead as the second half resumed with two Sadhbh Fisher frees opening up a two-point advantage. A minute later that advantage became five as Poppie Rose

Cullen Dunne found herself unmarked and she finished to the net with aplomb. To their credit, Clare never panicked and got themselves back to within two points as Downes burst past the Wicklow defence for her second goal.

Charlotte Nagle made an immediate impact as she found the net, off the bench, with her first touch on 45 minutes to maintain Wicklow’s five-point lead. An outstanding save from Holly Wright kept that advantage intact but it wasn’t enough as she was drawn out of the goals leaving Edel McNamara to tap home to an empty net.

A minute later, McNamara levelled the game and while Sadhbh Fisher added a further two frees for Wicklow to set up a tense finish, Downes found the winner and Clare’s first title at this level.

Reporting by Darren Kelly, Deniese O’Flaherty and Aisling Clery

Results

All-Ireland Minor A Championship: Cork 1-16 Galway 1-8

All-Ireland Minor B Championship: Monaghan 7-16 Longford 2-19

All-Ireland Minor C Championship: Clare 3-13 Wicklow 3-12

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