Controversy as 'A' team edge Tipp to victory in thriller
Tipperary 0-21 Cavan 3-11
Deadly duo Aisling McCarthy and Aishling Moloney scored 0-15 between them as Tipperary edged out Cavan by a single point following a controversial finish to the Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 2 final.
Referee Stephen McNulty awarded a penalty to Cavan with 20 seconds remaining on the clock for a foul on Bronagh Sheridan, but overturned his decision after consulting with his umpires and a throw ball ensued.
Tipperary held on for a one-point win and captain Samantha Lambert paid a fitting tribute to the late Rachel Kenneally in her acceptance speech.
Player of the match Moloney admitted: "My heart is still in my mouth. We were lucky with that (over-turned) penalty. I thought it was a penalty myself. Luck happened to be on our side today and we eventually got over the line."
The victory marks an impressive rise for Shane Ronayne's 2017 TG4 All-Ireland intermediate and Division 3 champions as they now make the jump to top-flight league football.
Tipperary started the brighter, racing into a three-point lead before Roisin O'Keeffe stepped up with an inspiring effort in the ninth minute to open Cavan's account.
After Tipperary's early period of dominance with Cahir trio Moloney, McCarthy and Roisin Howard combining impressively, Bronagh Sheridan and the ever-impressive Donna English helped Cavan find their groove.
And the Breffni girls went ahead in the 24th minute when Aishling Sheridan made a driving run towards goal and rattled the net to make it 1-4 to 0-6.
Moloney and McCarthy struck back almost immediately at the other end, though, before O'Keeffe and Cavan captain Sinéad Greene consecutively split the posts to leave it 1-7 to 0-10 at the break.
Cavan had the dream restart, as O'Keeffe palmed home after brilliant work from English, Ciara Finnegan and Aisling Maguire.
McCarthy's pristine free-taking made it look like Tipperary could run away with it.
The Sheridans kept Cavan in touch and, although they were dealt a significant blow when Grainne McGlade was sin-binned, Aishling Sheridan's second goal on 51 minutes kept them in the hunt.
Scorers - Cavan: A Sheridan (2-0), B Sheridan (0-5, 2f), R O'Keeffe (1-2), A Maguire (0-2, 2f), D English and S Greene (0-1 each). Tipperary: A McCarthy (0-10, 6f), A Moloney (0-5), M Morrissey (0-2), G O'Brien, R Howard, J Grant, N Lonergan (0-1 each).
Cavan - E Baugh; R Doonan, L Fitzpatrick, J Moore; S Greene (capt.), S O'Sullivan (A Cornyn, 49), N Byrd; C Dolan, D English; G McGlade, B Sheridan, A Sheridan; R O'Keeffe (B Farrelly Magee, 43), A Maguire, C Finnegan (C Smith, 46).
Tipperary - L Fitzpatrick; AR Kennedy, M Curley, E Buckley; B Condon, S Lambert (capt.), C Condon; J Grant, G O'Brien (S Condon 52); M Morrissey, A McCarthy, N Lonergan; O O'Dwyer, A Moloney, R Howard (K Davey, 55).
Ref - S McNulty (Wicklow).