Clare 3-15 (After Extra Time)
Waterford’s Under-14 ladies team overcame Clare in the Munster ‘C’ Final played in Mallow GAA complex on Saturday last after a hard fought battle in which no quarter was asked or given by either team.
When the teams last met in the round robin series of games back in February a single score separated the teams with Waterford victorious by a goal.
The final was even closer with both teams level at the end of normal time and Waterford held their nerve in the extra time to come out on top by a single point.
Clare opened the more brightly and raced into a four point lead in the first five minutes with a well taken goal by Aoibhinn O’Loughlin.
Waterford clawed their way back into the game with a brace of points and a well finished goal by Na Déise player Mairead O’Brien to leave it all square on 1-3 apiece after 21 minutes.
Clare goaled again courtesy of Allannah Mc Namara and added four points without reply to leave the Banner County well in command at halftime on the scoreline of Clare 2-7 Waterford 1-3.
Waterford opened the second half with much more intent and Mairead O’Brien and Hayley Phelan brought the game to life with two well taken goals in the space of six minutes to leave the bare minimum between the teams with Clare still a point ahead.
Any thoughts that Clare would fold and Waterford would run out easy winners were quickly dispelled with Clare scoring five unanswered points to leave six points between the teams with time running out.
Waterford struck back with their never say die attitude and were rewarded with goals from Aoife Fitzgerald and a third from Mairead O Brien in injury time to leave it with Clare hanging on by two points.
In the seventh minute of injury time Waterford supporters were in rapture with a goal by Sheena Mc Guckian to leave the Déise girls one point in front (6-3 to Clare’s 2-14).
Not to be outdone Clare showed extreme bravery and got an equalising point with the last kick of the game to leave it all square in a pulsating encounter.
Waterford opened the first period of extra time with a goal from Maeve Daly and a point from Aoife Fitzgerald to leave four between the sides at half time of extra time.
The second period of extra time was only two minutes old when Waterford goalkeeper Roanmore’s Maeve Williams made a hero of herself with a brilliant penalty save to keep Waterford in front.
Clare rallied yet again and with two minutes remaining were rewarded with a goal and pushed on for an equaliser but Waterford’s defence held firm and repelled all Banner attacks and ran out winners of a remarkable final by the minimum margin of Waterford 7-4 Clare 3-15.
Waterford captain Aoife Fitzgerald received the shield to tremendous applause from all present and Waterford midfielder Ballymacarbry’s Brigitta Valuenta was a worthy winner of player of the match.