Coláiste Iosagáin 1-14, Scoil Bhríde Mercy, Tuam 0-9
A strong defence and some sharp shooting up front earned Coláiste Iosagáin the title of Tesco Junior 'B' All-Ireland Champions in Birr last Saturday. It was the perfect climax to a year in which the Booterstown side played some fantastic football and the final was no different.
The Dublin girls were in control for the majority of the game as they refused to allow their Galway peers near them.
The game got off to quick start, with Íosagáin benefiting from early attacks, resulting in points from Eabha Ruitléis, Aoife Ní Chatháin and Isolt Ní Riordan.
Starting at corner-forward, Róisín Nic Uilegóid repositioned herself as an extra defender for the Dubliners, and this plan proved effective as the Tuam attack struggled to get sufficient space in which to do damage.
After superb efforts from Ní Riordáin and captain Ruitléis, the winners raced into a 0-6 to 0-1 lead. Bhríde refused to lie down, however, and points from Shauna Hynes, Aoife Creaven, Darina Keane and Eva Higgins brought them back into contention as they trailed at the break, 0-10 to 0-5.
Given they would be enjoying wind advantage in the second period, Tuam appeared to be well positioned to make an assault on the five-point deficit. But Dublin U16 keeper Orla Nic Domhnáill, in the Coláiste Iosagáin goal, ensured that nothing would get by her.
Coláiste Iosagáin maintained their lead through points from Ruitléis, Ní Riordáin and Ní Chatháin, as their territorial dominance began to tell.
Heroic defending from Doireann Ní Mhaoileanaigh, Niamh Ní Dhonaille, Róisín Ní Chairnáin and Róisín Nic Uilegóid ensured their would be no late comeback from the Galway school. In truth, the eight-point final deficit was a fair reflection on the game and was testament to a complete team performance from the winners.
A late goal from Aoife Ní Chatháin gave them some well-earned breathing space from their opponents and ensured the Junior 'B' All-Ireland trophy would be on its way to Dublin for the first time.
This is Coláiste Íosagáin's second football All-Ireland after winning the Tesco Senior 'B' All-Ireland title last year, and adds to a fantastic sporting year in Íosagáin, who have won three All-Ireland Cross Country team titles, competed in two Senior 'A' basketball finals and the Leinster Senior 'A' Football final, and landed the Senior 'D' Camogie All Ireland.
Scorers -- Coláiste Iosagáin: A Ní Chatháin 1-3, E Ruitléis 0-5, I Ní Riordáin 0-5, and Al Nic Eoin 0-1. Scoil Bhríde Mercy: S Hynes 0-3 D Keane 0-3, C Blade 0-2 and E Higgins 0-1
Coláiste Iosagáin: O Nic Dhomnáill; L Ní Shuilleabháin, C Ní Fhionnagáin, C Ní Aodha; R Ní Chiarnáin, N Ní Dhonaille, R Ní Mhoráin; D Ní Mhaoileannaigh, A de Fuitleigh; A Nic Eoin, E Ruitléis, F Nic Mhathuna; R Nic Uileagoid, I Ní Riordan, A Ní Chátháin. Subs: H Ní Dheá, N Ní Shíocháin and E Ní Eachthigheirn
Scoil Bhríde Mercy: M Duffy; F Godwin, A Quinn, L Reilly; C Quinn, R Hession, J Long; S Devaney, S Finnegan; C Moran, Darina Keane, E Higgins; S Hynes, A Creaven, and N Duffy. Subs: C Blade and R Godwin.
Referee: S Regan (Roscommon)