Dee delivers as Dunboyne edge nail-biting decider
Dunboyne 2-13 Kinsale 2-12
Dee Blayney's 54th-minute point proved the winner as Dunboyne captured the intermediate ladies crown at Parnell Park yesterday.
The Meath club emerged one-point winners from a pulsating encounter with Cork opponents Kinsale, who had a combined haul of 2-8 from 2016 All-Star Orla Finn and rising young star Sadhbh O'Leary.
The sides were level six times in front of a huge crowd before midfielder Blayney landed a sweet long-range score to secure the silverware for Dunboyne.
Brendan Quinn's charges held out in a frantic finish and Kinsale, who were beaten junior finalists last year, suffered big-day heartbreak again.
For Dunboyne, this was a second All-Ireland crown in three seasons, following their junior success in 2015, and they had to really grind it out against fancied opponents.
The sides were deadlocked at 2-7 apiece following an enthralling first half.
Emma Duggan banged home an eighth-minute goal for Dunboyne, her effort flying into the net despite Aisling Judge getting fingers on it.
But that was the cue for Kinsale to spark into life and they did just that, with Finn opening their account before All-Ireland minor medallist O'Leary found the net with a soccer-style goal.
Kinsale went 1-4 to 1-1 clear and the built on that lead when Finn crashed home a 22nd-minute goal, after taking a pass from Jenny Murphy.
Finn's strike had Kinsale five points clear - 2-6 to 1-4 - before Dunboyne rallied superbly to ensure parity at the break.
The goal Dunboyne needed to revive their challenge arrived in the 27th minute and it was an unstoppable effort from player-of-the-match Vikki Wall.
It was the tonic Dunboyne needed as the impressive Fiona O'Neill hauled them level with a point to set up a mammoth second half.
Goal chances weren't as plentiful in the second period but the points flowed as both sides slugged it out.
Kinsale never led in the second half. A magnificent Aoife Thompson point midway through the second half had Dunboyne in front again but another free levelled matters.
A titanic final appeared to be destined for a replay before Blayney's massive point won the day.
Scorers - Dunboyne: E Duggan, V Wall (0-1f) 1-2 each; A Thompson (2f) 0-4; F O'Neill 0-3; D Blayney, S Hackett 0-1 each. Kinsale: O Finn 1-5 (0-2f); S O'Leary 1-3; A Keating 0-2; E Murphy, F Ahern 0-1 each.
Dunboyne - A O'Sullivan; R McDermott, E O'Byrne, C Barker; B Hickey, E Doyle, A Moffatt; D Blayney, J Kavanagh; E Duggan, S Melia, S Hackett; F O'Neill, V Wall, A Thompson. Subs - K Birmingham for McDermott (39), C Keenan for Hickey (40), A Jones for Kavanagh (54).
Kinsale - A Judge; E O'Brien, T McCarthy, G Gould; A Lynch, C O'Callaghan, C Keohane; N Quinn, L Copithorne; E Murphy, J Murphy, F Ahern; A Keating, O Finn, S O'Leary.
Subs - G Buckley for E Murphy (39), J Cronin for Keating (53), D Tyner for Gould (56), A Lee for Copithorne (59).
Ref - B Rice (Down).