Aghada ladies crowned All-Ireland junior champions
Aghada (Cork) 2-6 Corduff (Monaghan) 0-3
CAPTAIN Emma Farmer scored five points and fellow county star Róisín Phelan was player of the match as Cork outfit Aghada claimed an historic All-Ireland ladies junior club football title on Saturday.
2-3 without reply in the final quarter sealed a first All-Ireland crown for Aghada against fellow first-time finalists Corduff from Monaghan.
With Cork clubs represented in all three grades this weekend, Aghada have led the way by striking first, before Kinsale (intermediate) and Mourneabbey (senior) go into battle on Sunday.
In front of a huge crowd in Crettyard, Aghada managed to close the game out against a Corduff side reduced to 14 players when Naomi Cogan was sin-binned with nine minutes left.
Corduff were just a point down, 0-3 to 0-4, when Cogan was dismissed but the floodgates opened down the home straight as Aghada came on strong.
Aghada finished a player light themselves when sub Karen O’Connell was yellow-carded late on but the end result was beyond doubt by then.
Aghada, in cold and greasy conditions, struck two late goals to ensure victory.
Christine Moran found the net with five minutes left before Clare Walsh sealed a bout of keep-ball to finish a fine team move with just six seconds left on the watch.
The nine-point winning margin was slightly harsh on Corduff, who opened well and were 0-2 to 0-1 ahead at half-time, despite losing Elena McEnaney to the sin-bin in the 17th minute.
Hannah Looney, hugely impressive for Aghada, opened the scoring in the eighth minute but Monaghan star Laura McEnaney had the sides level with an inspirational 22nd minute score.
It appeared that the sides would go in level at the break but after Katie O’Farrell was penalised for charging as she made her way out of defence, Eva Woods tapped over the resultant free.
Corduff had the advantage but it could have been more, as they registered six first half wides.
The second half was tight and tense during the opening exchanges, as two points from skipper Farmer pushed Aghada 0-3 to 0-2 clear.
After Woods missed a couple of scoreable frees, Elena McEnaney took charge of Corduff’s next effort and she levelled matters at 0-3 each in the 46th minute.
But that was the last time that Corduff would score as Cogan was sin-binned and Aghada finished with a flourish.
Scorers for Aghada – E Farmer 0-5 (3f), C Walsh & C Moran 1-0 each, H Looney 0-1.
Scorers for Corduff – E Woods (f), E McEnaney (f) & L McEnaney 0-1 each.
Aghada – S Walsh; C Tynan, S Phelan, B Wall; C Walsh, R Phelan, K O’Farrell; S O’Driscoll, S Leahy; L McAllister, E Farmer, H Looney; A Bennett, A McGrath, C Moran.
Subs – Á McGrath for Bennett (45), K O’Connell for McGrath (53), L Burchill for McAllister (57).
Corduff – S Loughlin; N Cogan, C McEnaney, S McEnaney; H Finnegan, K Brennan, C Callan; B Ward, E Woods; L Byrne, C Conlon, E Byrne; E McEnaney, L McEnaney, S Clarke-McEnaney.
Subs – S Barry for Clarke-McEnaney (43), F Patton for E McEnaney (59), D Callan for S McEnaney (59).
Referee – Jonathan Murphy (Carlow)