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Kevin Whyte

Aisling McGing U21 All Ireland Final Match Report   22/06/2015

Aisling McGing U21 All Ireland Final

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, todays clash was a close fought tenacious battle between two well drilled talented 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 then infuriated all of Cork in the 11th minute when he disallowed a goal scored by Cork 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.  The fore mentioned Fitzgerald pointed the subsequent free to push Cork two clear of the Dubs.


Nothing like a goal scare to kick start a revival as Dublin’s reaction was to notch up 5 unanswered points the first from late replacement Oonagh White along with a brace of scores from nippy half forward Niamh Rickard. Sarah McCaffrey slotted over a superb shot from just outside the 30 while Carla Rowe tapped over her second free to leave the Dubs 3 points clear of Cork with 18 minutes gone on the clock.


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, Trant having pulled off a superb point blank save initially to deny Cork.  Rebel full forward Laura Crowley followed up with a Cork point two minutes later to see the Rebels go a point ahead of their great rivals.


To their credit Dublin dug deep and responded once more knocking over three unanswered scores two from Captain Carla Rowe and one from full forward Siobhan Woods. Cork’s Laura Fitzgerald added on another point for the Rebels before Dubs midfielder Sarah McCaffrey knock over her second and her teams 10th points in the 3rd minute of injury time.


At the break Dublin took a 2 point lead into the dressing room, HT Dublin 0-10 Cork 1-05


Although not listed in the official programme Cork introduced senior team panellist number 31 Jennifer Barry into the game for the second period of the match replacing Claire Byrne.


Cork wasted no time in getting stuck into the game when Aine Terry O’Sullivan and Laura Fitzgerald pointed for the rebels to make this enthralling game level again for the 5th and last time.


The second half developed into a hard fought contest with both sides giving their all, the desire, determination and commitment on show has to be commend with every player leaving everything they had out on the field of play.


Carla Rowe converted her 5th score when the Naul star sent over a free 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. Dublin where now two points ahead of Cork with 15 minutes remaining on the clock.


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


The excellent Laura 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 team mates Oonagh White and the relentless Carla Rowe to leave the Dubs three points clear of Cork with the game gone into stoppage time.


As the clock ticked away deep into injury time the Dubs showed nerves of steel to hold off the Cork onslaught as the rebels went in search of an equalising goal.


Lady luck for once shone on the blues as Doireann O’Sullivan injury time free kick reverberated off the blues cross bar only to land safely into a Dublin defenders hands.


Dublin worked the ball clear away from their goal line keeping possession and the ball away from Cork hands and when the final whistle eventually blew the roar of delight could be heard all the way back to the capital.


Ladies football was the real winner today as both Cork and Dublin served up a terrific game of football. It had everything: skill, determination, courage, passion, drama and most importantly the will to never ever give up.


Dublin: Ciara Trant (St Brigids), Aoife Curran (O’Dwyers), Muireann Ní Scanaill (St Margaret’s), Leah Caffrey (Na Fianna), Martha Byrne (Cuala), Deirdre Murphy (St Brigids), Olwen Carey (Thomas Davis), Molly Lamb (Kilmacud Crokes), Sarah McCaffrey (Clontarf), Niamh Ryan (Foxrock Cabinteely), Leah Mullins (St Brigids), Niamh Rickard (Fingallians), Oonagh Whyte (Clann Mhuire), Siobhan Woods (Raheny), Carla Rowe (Clann Mhuire).


Dublin Subs: Kate Fitzgibbon (O’Tooles) for Niamh Rickard


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


Panel: Emer Ní Éafa (Fingallians), Katie Murray (Clontarf), Eabha Rutledge (Kilmacud Crokes), Kate Fitzgibbon (O’Tooles), Ciara McGuigan (Thomas Davis), Danielle Pugh (Na Fianna), Ciara Purdy (Na Fianna), Niamh McGoldrick (Thomas Davis), Eve Kehoe (Skerries Harps), Katie Murphy (Ballyboden St Endas), Margaret Mohan (Clontarf)


Cork: Meabh O’Sullivan, Roisin Phelan, Sinead Cotter, Meabh Cahalane, Shauna Kelly, Marie Ambrose, Aoife O’Sullivan, Maire O’Callaghan, Aine Terry O’Sullivan, Gemma Cashman, Doireann O’Sullivan, Claire Byrne, Libby Coppinger, Laura Crowley, Laura Fitzgerald


Cork Subs: Jennifer Barry for Claire Byrne, Katie Healy for Aoife O’Sullivan


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


Player of the Match: Carla Rowe (Dublin)

Referee: Gerry Carmody (Mayo)


A DVD of the final is available to purchase from Christy Riordan (0879226284)

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