Johnson saves her best for last
Johnstownbridge 1-8 Athenry 1-6
It was a day to remember for Tanya Johnson as the Johnstownbridge goalkeeper captained her side to a nail-biting two-point victory over Athenry in the All-Ireland Intermediate Club final at St Tiernach's Park on Saturday.
Before being presented with the Agnes O'Farrelly Cup though, Johnson received the Player of the Match award. It was an easy decision as the 'keeper made four brilliant saves - three in the first half from Noreen Coen and one at a crucial juncture in the second from Therese Donohue (Maher).
Johnson's heroics between the sticks in the opening period allowed the Kildare champions to lead at the break by 1-5 to 0-3, after a goal from Shauna Beattie.
Eimear Keane finally beat Johnson within seconds of the restart but Johnstownbridge kept Athenry at bay to claim their third All-Ireland in a row, having annexed the last two Junior titles.
"We were busy enough in the second half," grinned Johnson. "Our girls defended, the forwards harassed like they never harassed before. We knew it wasn't going to be easy coming out here but we dug deep and we got the win."
Scorers - Johnstownbridge: S Hurley 0-4 (2f, 1 45); S Beattie 1-0; R O'Connell 0-2 (1f); L Codd, A Holton 0-1 each. Athenry: E Keane 1-0; N Coen, D Higgins (2f) 0-2 each; T Donohue (f), E Mahon 0-1 each.
Johnstownbridge - T Johnson; E McEvoy, E Hurley, E Morgan; C Farrell, A Trant, J Murphy; A Holton, C Flanagan; L Codd, S Hurley, M Murphy; R O'Connell, C Moloney, S Beatty. Sub: J O'Donoghue for McEvoy (52)
Athenry - M McDonagh; R Glynn, N Keane, F Page; K Moran, J Gill, L Hannon; D Higgins, G Cahill; N Hannon, T Donohue, E Keane; N Donnellan, N Coen, E Mahon. Subs: N Keogh for N Hannon (26), N Hannon for Donnellan (36), C Cunniffe for Mahon blood (54-56)
Ref - A Larkin (Cork)