Glory days: Waterford players enjoy their lap of honour following their All-Ireland IFC Final victory over Kildare at Croke Park on Sunday last.		| Photos: Dan McGrath

Glory days: Waterford players enjoy their lap of honour following their All-Ireland IFC Final victory over Kildare at Croke Park on Sunday last. | Photos: Dan McGrath

Waterford Ladies’ Footballers became only the second team after Cork to win Senior, Intermediate and Junior Football All-Ireland Finals on Sunday afternoon last when they easily accounted for Kildare at Croke Park in the IFC decider.
For those interested in piseógs, the indications were that it was going to be Waterford’s day.
In the Deise’s two previous visits to Croke Park on Ladies Football All-Ireland Final Day, defeat was Waterford’s lot.
In the game that preceded the 2010 and 2012 intermediate finals, Louth were beaten in the Junior decider but when Louth easily overcame Scotland in the first of three games played at Croke Park on Sunday, those aware of the history wondered could Waterford join the Wee County in the third time lucky stakes.
The early exchanges of this game were pretty even, but after the brilliant Aileen Wall sent the Kildare net billowing after 12 minutes, for me there was only ever going to be one outcome to this game.
Kildare came into Sunday’s Final having scored five goals in their semi-final win over Offaly. This made the Lilywhites which resulted in the bookies making them favourites for a quick return to the senior ranks, and they looked as if they were going to prove the bookies right within twenty seconds of the game starting when Maria Moolick split the Waterford posts.
But Waterford soon took control of the game as Aileen Wall, Sinead Ryan and Maria Delahunty all raised white flags at the Kildare end of the field.
And while Ellen Dowling pulled a point back for Kildare after Aileen Wall struck the game’s first goal, there was no looking back for Waterford.
A brace of Maria Delahunty points with an effort from Ellen Dowling in between extended Waterford’s lead before Grace Clifford pointed to keep Kildare within four points of the Munster champions.
But Waterford finished the first half the stronger of the sides with the wind at their backs as Maria Delahunty (with three points) and Aileen Wall left Pat Sullivan’s side 1-9 to 0-4 ahead, while Róisin Byrne mustered a solitary reply for Kildare. Waterford were firmly in command.
Playing with the strong wind at their backs in the second half, Kildare certainly raised their
game, but they never got close enough to Waterford to pose any real problems.
Mikaela McKenna opened the second half scoring for Kildare after which Michelle Ryan who was introduced for Mary Foley kicked a brace with one from Maria Moolick in between to give Waterford a 1-11 to 0-7 lead with 17 minutes still to play.
A brace from Róisín Byrne helped to reduce Waterford’s lead but Sinead Ryan was next to score for Waterford, with Kildare final score was registered with 10 minutes remaining.
Waterford’s greater hunger was showing as the game went on and Michelle Ryan showed that maybe she ought to have started after impressing in the semi-final win over Leitrim.
After coming in as a substitute on Sunday, Ryan had scored 1-1 within a matter of seconds to bring Waterford’s tally for the afternoon to 2-13.
By then, the champions elect were breathing confidence as Tramore’s Elaine Power broke forward to get her name on the score sheet.
Kildare captain Aisling Holton was sin binned late in the game and with a numerical advantage, Waterford struck a third goal through the outstanding Aileen Wall. Job done. All-Ireland champions. The double clinched. Mission accomplished. What a fortnight!
Waterford: Katie Hannon; Mairead Wall, Michelle McGrath, Linda Wall; Elaine Power, Megan Dunford, Louise Ryan; Karen McGrath, Emma Murray; Caoimhe McGrath, Mary Foley, Grainne Kenneally; Maria Delahunty, Sinead Ryan, Aileen Wall.
Substitutes: Michelle Ryan for Mary Foley (31 mins), Hannah Landers for Sinead Ryan (52), Aoife Murray for Caoimhe McGrath (55), Nicola Fennell for Louise Ryan (56), Nora Dunphy for Mairead Wall (58).
Scorers: Aileen Wall (2-2), Maria Delahunty (0-6; 0-3f), Michelle Ryan (1-3), Sinead Ryan (0-2; 0-1f) and Elaine Power (0-1).
Kildare: Rebecca McGuirk; Tara Hallinan, Aisling Savage, Rachel Reidy; Paula Keatley, Aisling Curley, Lydia Furey; Aisling Holton, Joanna Timmins; Éadaoin Connolly, Róisín Byrne, Grace Clifford; Ellen Dowling, Maria Moolick, Trina Duggan.
Substitutes: Mikaela McKenna for Grace Clifford (29 mins), Rachel Cribbin for Lydia Furey (39), Niamh Mulhall for Ellen Dowling (44), Molly Price for Paula Keatley (55).
Scorers: Maria Moolick (0-3), Róisín Byrne (0-3; 0-1f), Ellen Dowling and Grace Clifford (0-2 each) and Mikaela McKenna (0-1).
Referee: Mel Kenny (Mayo).