CORNER-forward Aine Mannion inspired Caltra Cuans to a replay victory at Mullahoran, Cavan, yesterday.
The Galway champions and their Tyrone opponents, St Enda's (Omagh), had finished level at 0-7 apiece in December, but due to adverse weather conditions the replay was put back until the New Year. The rematch was well worth the wait, however, with a bumper crowd watching Mannion kick six superb points as Caltra captured their very first All-Ireland crown.
The 17-year-old attacker hit two from play in the first half and added four points after half-time, including two late frees, which helped to seal a famous win.
Wing-forward Emma Naughton then put the icing on the Caltra Cuans cake with a goal in the third minute of stoppage time as she fired in a shot which dipped over the head of St Enda's stand-in goalkeeper Kelly O'Sullivan.
A slight breeze had favoured St Enda's in the first half, but it was Caltra who got off to a dream start with 1-1 on the board within six minutes, the goal coming from Sarah Noone's penalty. St Enda's fought back, however, trailing by just a point (1-3 to 0-5) at the break.
In the 44th minute, Emma Collins' shot was touched onto the woodwork and over by Caltra 'keeper Lucy Greene, bringing Enda's to within a point again -- 0-7 to 1-5 -- but Caltra hit back with a run of three unanswered points from Mannion, including two well-taken frees. Four points clear approaching the finish, Naughton's goal put the result beyond doubt despite Teri McCullagh's fifth point for St Enda's.
Scorers -- Caltra Cuans: A Mannion 0-6 (2f), E Naughton 1-1, S Noone 1-0 (pen), O Hannon 0-1. St Enda's: T McCullagh 0-5 (3f), E Collins 0-2, C McCrossan 0-1.
CALTRA CUANS -- L Greene; T Loughnane, C McHugh, H Cullinane; A Ni Cheallaigh, S Noone, Á Tully; L Naughton, C Kilroy; E Naughton, O Kilkenny, N Kilkenny; B Hanlon, O Hannon, Á Mannion. Subs: S Mannion for Loughnane (34), S Flood for Hanlon (60).
ST ENDA'S -- C McCullagh; O Kelly, C Gormley, E Nugent; C McGovern, C Mullin, C Hunter; C McCullagh, N McCrossan; C McGale, T McCullagh, H Ballard; E Collins, K O'Sullivan, C McCrossan. Subs: M O'Neill for O'Sullivan (46), L Moynagh for McGale (57), O'Sullivan for McCrossan (60).
Ref -- P Kehoe (Carlow)