Doogue stars as Leo's retain title
St Leo's College, Carlow, produced a powerful performance to retain their All-Ireland title on Saturday, defeating Colaiste na Sceilge, Cahirciveen, 3-13 to 1-2.
Laois senior star Sinead Doogue led the way in the scoring stakes for St Leo's as she landed 1-9, including 1-8 from play as St Leo's captured a third title in five years.
Playing into the teeth of a stiff breeze, Colaiste na Sceilge would have been reasonably pleased approaching the interval as they trailed by only five points, 0-6 to 0-1, but in the closing six minutes of the first half they leaked 1-5.
It meant that St Leo's, who scored a total of 3-12 from open play, opened up a 1-11 to 0-1 lead as Doogue bagged nine first-half points before Emer Delaney struck for a killer goal in stoppage time.
It could have been even better for the champions but for two good saves in the first half from Colaiste na Sceilge goalkeeper Amy Fitzgerald.
But Fitzgerald was helpless six minutes after the restart as Doogue surged through the middle and rifled a shot into the top corner.
Colaiste na Sceilge had managed just an early Erin O'Driscoll free until the same player raised the green flag in fortuitous fashion in the 49th minute as her long-range shot slipped through the fingertips of St Leo's goalkeeper Ciara Moore.
But St Leo's quickly responded as Lauren Dwyer netted a sensational solo goal, evading a number of would-be tacklers before burying a shot to the roof of the net.
With six minutes remaining, Leanne Curran kicked Colaiste na Sceilge's solitary point from play on a disappointing afternoon for the Cahirciveen outfit.
Scorers -- St Leo's: S Doogue 1-9 (0-1f), E Delaney, L Dwyer 1-2 each. Colaiste na Sceilge: E O'Driscoll 1-1 (0-1f), L Curran 0-1.
ST LEO'S -- C Moore; C Callanan, J Moore, P Whelan; S Quigley, A Wall, R Julian; D Callanan, G Miller; H Griffin, S Doogue, A Hayden; E Delaney, L Dwyer, M Nolan. Subs: A Kinsella for Hayden (48), S Rennick for Julian (55), A Kelly for Griffin (56), O Moran for C Callanan (60), S Dempsey for D Callanan (60).
COLAISTE NA SCEILGE -- A Fitzgerald; O O'Donovan, S Kelly, B O'Sullivan; A O'Sullivan, S Sheehan, P O'Sullivan; M O'Connell, B Dennehy; L O'Sullivan, A Galvin, J O'Mahoney; E O'Driscoll, L Curran, S Ni Chonaill. Subs: S Keating for Ni Chonaill (43), M Clifford for L O'Sullivan (60+2), D Sheehan for Dennehy (60+3).
Ref -- K Delahunty (Tipperary)