Red-hot Gaffney leads Royals to promised land
Meath 0-10 Cork 0-7 - All-Ireland Camogie IC final
John Davis worked the oracle once more as Meath made the most of their second bite of the cherry to win this replay at the Gaelic Grounds and secure their place in the top tier next year.
The 69-year-old has steered the Royals all the way from Junior B to senior level, while at the same time bringing them from Division 4 to Division 1 of the National League.
Amy Gaffney was the main driving force for Meath with four points from play, with Megan Thynne, Ellen Burke, Jane Dolan and Aoife Maguire not far behind in a fiercely contested affair.
The exchanges were wonderfully physical and engaging as both teams dealt well with the howling gale and slippery underfoot conditions.
Keeva McCarthy used the wind to her advantage with three stunning points from frees for the Leesiders as they moved 0-5 to 0-1 ahead by the 17th minute.
Not for the first time in a stellar career, Dolan provided the spark for Meath as they fought back, winning a free and making no mistake from the placed ball 40m out.
The fired-up Lauren Callanan was unfortunate to be shown a yellow card for the indiscretion but had an outstanding first half.
Gaffney slotted her first point after a fantastic block by Thynne and Dolan converted a stunning free from 40m out and wide on the right to make it 0-5 to 0-3 at the break.
The sides were level within seven minutes of the restart thanks to points for Gaffney and Dolan (free). McCarthy slotted a free to end a half-hour barren spell but Dolan restored parity on the three-quarter mark
Aoife Maguire put the Leinster outfit in front for the first time in the 50th minute. Gaffney added a brace after two scorching runs and when Dolan added her fifth free, they had one hand on the Jack McGrath Cup.
The Rebels never looked like chiselling out the goal they needed to avoid a second consecutive final defeat.
Scorers - Meath: J Dolan 0-5fs, A Gaffney 0-4, A Maguire 0-1;
Cork: K McCarthy 0-5fs, C Sugrue, K Hickey 0-1 each
MEATH - E Mangan, E Burke, C Coffey, E Coffey, Á Keogh, A Maguire, L Donoghue, C O'Brien, M Thynne, A Gaffney, K Troy, A Minogue, F O'Brien, J Dolan, S Hackett. Subs: M Keogh for M Coffey (ht), C Quinn for O'Brien (51)
CORK - A Lee, S Harrington, L Weste, N Ní Chaoimh, R Kileen, S Buckley, L Callanan, F Neville, J Barry, K Hickey, K McCarthy, M McCarthy, R O'Shea, L Collins, C Sugrue. Subs: M Lynch for Kileen (41), M Buckley for Sugrue (58), S Fahy for O'Shea (60)
REF - J Dermody (Westmeath)