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Repeat of 2019 final in store after holders shut out 'two of the best players in the country'

Mourneabbey will defend their All-Ireland crown against Kilkerrin-Clonberne after seeing off Vikki Wall and Emma Duggan’s Dunboyne.

Mourneabbey manager Shane Ronayne and midfielder Niamh O'Sullivan celebrate with supporters after the 2019 final.
Mourneabbey manager Shane Ronayne and midfielder Niamh O'Sullivan celebrate with supporters after the 2019 final.
Image: Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO

BACK-TO-BACK ALL-IRELAND SENIOR club champions Mourneabbey stormed into another final with an emphatic 30-point win over Dunboyne yesterday, setting up a repeat of the 2019 final.

While the Cork outfit flexed their considerable muscle in the 6-17 to 0-5 home victory, Kilkerrin-Clonberne were six-point winners over Donaghmoyne in Galway.

The sides will now renew rivalries in the showpiece in two weeks’ time, after the pandemic stopped the 2020 All-Ireland series from going ahead and the 2021 national championship has seeped into 2022.

Laura Fitzgerald (4-2) and Doireann O’Sullivan (2-7) were in sensational form for Mourneabbey yesterday, but it was Eimear Meaney and Bríd O’Sullivan who manager Shane Ronayne reserved special praise for in the aftermath.

The Rebel inter-county players kept tabs on Meath All-Ireland winners and All-Stars Emma Duggan and Vikki Wall, allowing for an enjoyable afternoon for Ronayne’s charges.

Meaney held 19-year-old sensation Duggan to 0-1 from play (she also scored two frees) while O’Sullivan marshalled 2021 Player of the Year Wall further out the field.

“They were brilliant, we created 34 scoring chances and limited them to 10. Defensively I thought we were brilliant, with the job that Eimear Meaney did on Emma Duggan,” the Mourneabbey and Cork manager said.

vikki-wall Meath and Dunboyne star Wall is the 2021 TG4 Senior Players' Player of the Year. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

“On Wednesday I said to Bríd O’Sullivan, ‘I have a job for you, I want you to mark Vikki Wall,’ and she said, ‘Bring it on’.

“That confidence she had in herself was there to see and Eimear had five turnovers herself in the first half. Duggan and Wall are two of the best players in the country and we needed to dominate them and in fairness to the girls, they did that.”

Dunboyne boss Brendan Quinn had no qualms afterwards, hailing the holders:

“Mourneabbey were superb from start to finish. There probably wasn’t a position on the pitch where we won the battle. You have to give them huge credit for that. They didn’t stop, they were relentless, and when they got their chances they sought out the goal opportunities very well.”

There weren’t just as many goals in the West, but the two scored by Nicola Ward were decisive as Kilkerrin-Clonberne finished up 2-9 to 0-9 winners over Donaghmoyne of Monaghan.

Ward’s twin sister and captain, Louise, reflected on the long journey back to the decider afterwards.

“We’ve been waiting for this, it’s a while since 2019 when we were playing Mourneabbey down in Limerick,” she said.


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eimear-meaney-with-louise-ward Eimear Meaney and Louise Ward ahead of the 2019 final. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

“It’s been a long road back to that but credit to the girls over the last eight weeks, they’ve put in some shift and that really showed out there.

“We started well today, other days we haven’t got the start but we really got that today. Probably in the third 15 minutes, we let it slip a little, I think we only scored one point in that patch but we finished strong as well and we’re happy with that.”

Five-time champions Donaghmoyne fell at the final hurdle in their bid to reach their first final since 2016, though manager Francie Coleman hailed their fightback from Eimear Traynor’s yellow card early in the second half.

“We came back well after Eimear got sent off for the sin bin,” the long-time boss of the 20-in-a-row Farney champions said. “The girls will be disappointed with some of their performances but all in all, we made a game of it, I have to give them credit for the effort that they put in.”

- Quotes supplied by the LGFA; additional reporting by Anthony Newman and Darren Kelly.


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Emma Duffy

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