2018 All-Ireland Minor Ladies Football Final
Galway denied Cork their fourth consecutive All-Ireland minor title on Sunday and clinched a first win in the under 18 grade since beating the same opposition in 2014.
An Andrea Trill hat-trick and other majors from Aoife Thompson and Kate Geraghty secured Kieran Collins’ side a one-point win to follow on from their 2017 All-Ireland U16 triumph.
Cork battled bravely and will look to key misses as well as the five goals conceded, in what was a repeat of last year’s decider between the counties, and the fourth time in five seasons that they’d met in the final.
But they fought back after falling seven points behind early in the second half, with Katie Quirke and Clare Nevin netting goals.
Aoife Thompson, hat-trick star in the semi-final victory over Cavan, opened the scoring for Galway on two minutes before Cork equalised through Rachel Murphy, and the sides were level three times in the first quarter.
Molly Hynes and Andrea Trill added scores for the Tribeswomen, with Emma Cleary, daughter of Cork manager John, and Katie Quirke doing likewise for the Rebelettes, as both sides tried to manufacture opportunities.
However, things opened up on 15 minutes when a Galway attack yielded the ultimate dividend. Chloe Miskell and Hynes were involved allowing Trill the chance in front of goal and she used her soccer experience to find the net making it 1-3 to 0-3.
Cork had a chance straight after when Murphy and Quirke set up Ellie Jack but her effort went over.
But it was the first of five unanswered points for Cleary’s team as Cork went 0-8 to 1-3 clear thanks to a hat-trick of Emma Cleary points and another from Murphy.
Galway were under pressure but were lethal at the other end and when Shauna Boyle sent the ball towards Thompson on 25 minutes, she got a touch for a second Galway goal, even if referee Gus Chapman originally signalled a penalty.
Katie Horgan levelled for the fifth time at 2-3 to 0-9 but Galway got their third major on 27 minutes. Thompson sent the ball in from the right and Trill finished to the net before adding a free to leave it 3-4 to 0-9 at half-time.
Geraghty left the field briefly before half-time but made an impact upon her introduction when a speculative effort from the right deceived Sarah Murphy for a fourth Galway goal on 34 minutes.
That made it 4-4 to 0-9 but in Cork’s defence they didn’t flinch. Cleary found the target before Murphy and Eve Mullins provided Quirke with a goal five minutes later.
However, after captain and player of the match Lynsey Noone, another to raid the right wing seeking rewards, managed to get towards the danger area, her shot was blocked but Trill reacted quickest for the fifth goal leaving it 5-4 to 1-10 on 41 minutes.
The tie looked lost but Cork came storming back. Cleary, Laura O’Mahony and Ciara McCarthy reduced arrears before substitute Clare Nevin found the net eight minutes from time to level the tie at 5-5 to 2-14.
It was in the melting pot and a replay was the favoured result. But Galway kept their composure to land scores from Hynes and Miskell to lead by two. Abbie O’Mahony replied for Cork but they missed other chances beforehand and time eventually ran out allowing Galway take a sixth All-Ireland crown.
Galway – Andrea Trill 3-2 (two frees), Aoife Thompson 1-1, Molly Hynes 0-2, Kate Geraghty 1-0, Ciara McCarthy 0-1, Chloe Miskell 0-1
Cork – Emma Cleary 0-7 (four frees), Katie Quirke 1-1, Clare Nevin 1-0, Rachel Murphy 0-2, Katie Horgan 0-1, Ellie Jack 0-1, Laura O’Mahony 0-1, Ciara McCarthy 0-1, Abbie O’Mahony 0-1
Galway: Karen Connolly; Lorraine Meehan, Maeve Flanagan, Chelsie Crowe; Kate Geraghty, Laura Ahearne, Lynsey Noone; Shauna Boyle, Amy Coen; Aoife Molloy, Chloe Miskell, Ciara McCarthy; Aoife Thompson, Andrea Trill, Molly Hynes. Subs used: Lara Finnegan for Boyle (47 mins), Katie Quigley for Flanagan (55 mins), Aoife Coen for Amy Coen (59 mins).
Cork: Sarah Murphy; Katie Horgan, Clare O’Shea, Rachel Sheehan; Georgia Gould, Sarah Leahy, Jennifer Murphy; Ciara McCarthy, Eve Mullins; Laura O’Mahony, Emma Cleary, Rachel Murphy; Ellie Jack, Katie Quirke, Fiona Keating. Subs used: Abbie O’Mahony for Gould (43 mins), Sarah O’Brien for Jack (46 mins), Clare Nevin for Mullings (50 mins).
Referee: Gus Chapman (Sligo)