Red-hot Carton fires brace to seal Waterford win
Beth Carton maintained her high-scoring form with two second-half goals to propel Waterford to a second Division 2 title, as they beat Laois 3-10 to 2-5 at Netwatch Cullen Park, Carlow.
The teams produced wonderful entertainment despite the incessant rain, with Carton the difference between the sides. The De La Salle attacker added a point to her brace of majors.
Waterford had a strong wind in their favour in the first half and an eye-catching display of long-distance striking from Trish Jackman gave them an early two-point lead.
Laois rocked the Deise right back on their heels with a goal from Noreen Kirwan after five minutes, however, and they needed a point from Carton to lead by 0-5 to 1-1 at half-time.
Carton gave Waterford the perfect start to the second half with a goal after just two minutes.
However, when the inspirational Sarah Ann Fitzgerald found the net at the other end just three minutes later, the sense was that momentum and the wind would help Laois win their first ever Division 2 title.
Crucially, though, Carton pounced again in the 41st minute and when Niamh Rockett scored a third Waterford goal at the beginning of the final quarter, that put some daylight between the teams.
Laois poured forward, but Waterford's defence held firm.
In the Division 3 final, Carlow edged out Dublin 0-12 to 1-7 at Cusack Park, Mullingar. Eleanor Treacy's accuracy from frees put some early daylight between the sides as Carlow led by four points after 10 minutes.
Carolanne Canning hit Dublin's first score and with a couple of more from Elaine Gallery, they were right in the game at half-time, trailing by just 0-6 to 0-4.
Gallery gave Dublin the perfect start to the second half with a goal from a free, but Carlow retained their composure. Treacy converted a brace of frees, while Ciara Quirke and Michelle Nolan found the target from play to put three between the sides.
Back came Dublin, with Gallery on target once more as the margin was reduced to the minimum, but Carlow held on, a late Treacy free finishing the scoring.
In the Division 4 decider, played in Birr, Kerry claimed their first national senior title at adult level with a 1-12 to 1-4 victory over Meath.
Cliona Murphy scored a late goal for the Royals, but it was too little too late as the Kingdom had established a healthy advantage, with Sara Murphy's first-half major setting them on their way.
Meanwhile, Roscommon were too strong for Armagh in the All-Ireland Minor C final in Clane, laying the groundwork in the opening quarter, at the end of which they led by 2-3 to 0-0.
The Orchard County girls matched their opponents for the remainder of the game, but did not possess the firepower to reel them in, losing 2-6 to 0-4.