Last-gasp goal from hat-trick heroine Fryday wins Cup for UL
UL 3-12 UCC 4-7
The Ashbourne Cup final has produced its share of drama over the years and the 2016 renewal added its own chapter with a breathtaking conclusion to a wonderful game in Gort.
It took an injury-time goal from Tipperary hat-trick hero Sarah Fryday to give University of Limerick their sixth title and deny University College Cork their 33rd, but first since 2002.
It looked like the Mardyke ladies might have snatched the honours when turning a six-point deficit around to lead by two after a very late goal from their own hat-trick star Katrina Mackey.
The conclusion was typical of the decider. UL were favourites and they went two points clear early on but UCC thundered into life with a goal from Mackey.
Unperturbed, UL bounced back with a goal of their own though from Fryday and a point from Kerry sharpshooter, Patrice Diggin, to extend their lead to four. UCC halved that by the interval and the spoils were up for grabs at 1-5 to 1-3.
The margin was still two when Fryday struck for her second goal in the 44th minute and another point from player of the match Diggin put six between them.
Back came UCC, with another Cork panellist Hannah Looney goaling 11 minutes from time.
The drama was heightened when Mackey found the net and the sides were level with five minutes remaining.
UL edged a couple of points clear once more thanks to Diggin but the skull and crossbones got their noses in front for the first time when Mackey registered her third goal. But that was reckoning without the desire of the Laura McMahon-captained side, and Fryday snatched the honours with the game's last action.
Earlier in the day, Cork IT won the Purcell Cup, defeating Maynooth University 1-12 to 0-4.