Hurley proves the hero as 'Bridge battle to claim title
J'townbridge 1-10 Scar-Ogonnelloe 1-9
Johnstownbridge of Kildare dug deep into their reserves to hold off a late surge from Scariff/Ogonnelloe to retain their junior crown at St Brendan's Park, Birr.
It was heartbreak for the Clare ladies, who also fell at the last hurdle three years ago and made a bold bid for honours this time, taking it to the very last moments of a pulsating encounter.
A goal 30 seconds from the end of regulation time by Mairéad Scanlan brought them to within a point but despite applying fierce pressure in five minutes of injury time, they could not source the equalising score.
It would have been difficult to begrudge Scariff a second bite of the cherry next Sunday but Johnstownbridge were deserving victors, with Róisín O'Connell's goal pivotal, having utilised their experience, nous and physicality in expert fashion during the second half especially.
In the end, heroic defending kept Scariff/Ogonnelloe at bay and the silverware was headed for Kildare.
Scorers - Johnstownbridge: S Hurley 0-8(5fs); R O'Connell 1-1; C Hurley 0-1 Scariff-Ogonnelloe: M Scanlan 01-8(6fs); S O'Donnell 0-1
Johnstownbridge - T Johnston, E McEvoy, E Hurley, J O'Donoghue, E Farrell, A Trant, C Farrell, L Codd, C Flanagan, J Murphy, S Hurley, C Hurley, R O'Connell, A Holton, M Murphy. Subs: E Morgan (45), S Morrin (55)
Scariff-Ogonelloe - A Corbett, S Skelly, M O'Brien, A Madden, L Horan, A Barrett, S McNamara, H McGee, R O'Brien, R Moloney, M Scanlan, D Sheedy, A Power, R Minogue, S O'Donnell. Subs: C Madden (ht), E Slattery (55)
Ref - J Dermody (Westmeath)