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Munster Senior Ladies Football Final – The Banner (Clare) 1-13 St Val’s (Cork) 1-12

Munster Senior Ladies Final

Banner roar to life

The Banner 1-13 St Val’s 1-12

When Caoimhe Creedon stood, up to take a last minute free from the 35 Metre line it looked as if St. Val’s were going to take another late victory but cruelly for Creedon her effort drop short and was cleared by the Banner. A minute later Katie Cahill scored a point that will be long remembered in Clare as it was going to be the difference between two sides who really just went for it all day.

The Banner made the better start and were 1-4 to 0-0 to the good by the eighth minute, before St. Val’s even woke from their slumber. In truth, it could have been more were it not for a terrific save by the Val’s custodian Jean O’Sullivan. Val’s finally got back on top of affairs and with a vital Jean Lucey goal in the 12th minute; they began to close the gap. However, this was to become a Niamh O’Dea and Caoimhe Creedon battle as both carried their teams largely for scores. O’Dea would finish the day with 1-6 while Creedon would have a personal tally of 0-8.

The sides went to the break with the Banner just two ahead 1-7 to 1-5. Val’s needed to kick on early in the second half and while they managed to disrupt a lot of ball heading to the Banner forward line they were unable to close the gap. With 8 minutes to go, there was still two points between them. It was in the last ten minutes that Val’s found the gear they needed and Creedon kicked the equaliser on the 60th minute it looked as if both sides would have another day. However, Creedon’s final free did not have the distance and Katie Cahill ensured that the Michael Ryan Cup would head back to the Banner for the first time since 1996 winners ironically defeated a Michael Ryan trained Ballymacarby of Waterford.

Niamh O’Dea collect both cup and player of the game award on the day of her birthday. This was possibly one of the greatest finals in recent years at this grade. The Banner had stars all over the field. Laura Ryan and Louise Woods were immense in the backline while veterans Louise Hency and Niamh Keane battled all day. In the forward line, it would be easy to talk about the wonderful Niamh O’Dea but a lot of the good work was done by her forward teammates whose off the ball running and support play opened a lot of space when it was needed.

It was cruel on St Val’s who after a slow start got back to level right on full time. Jean O’Sullivan made a number of telling saves in the Val’s goal and after a shaky start, Eva Dunne and Claire Ambrose got on top of things. Breige Corkery’s normal rampaging was curtailed somewhat as she ended up marking O’Dea but Fiona Crowley caught the eye when introduced with Jean Lucey and Louise Cohalan always dangerous.

The Banner: E O’Driscoll, E O’Dea, L Ryan, N Cavanagh, L Woods, S Quinn, O Lynch 0-2, L Hencey, N Keane, G Nolan 0-1, A Malone 0-1, N Carroll, K Cahill 0-1, N O’Dea 1-6 (2F) S Higgins. Subs: A Keane 0-1 for S Higgins (32M), K Roche 0-1 for N Carroll (45M)

St. Val’s: J O’Sullivan, S Cotter, M Ambrose, Liz Coholan, E Dunne, C Ambrosse, V Foley, Louise Coholan 0-1, N Canty, C Byrne, J Lucey 1-1, B Corkery, M Corkery 0-1, C Creedon 0-8 (4F), A Plunkett 0-1, Subs: F Crowley for N Canty (35M), B Hennigan for C Byrne (35M)

Referee: Keith Delahunty (Tipperary)

Banner Ladies, Clare

St. Val’s (Cork)