By Mark Jones
Waterford 2-14, Monaghan 3-8 Waterford clinched a fifth All-Ireland women’s football title when they held off a brave Monaghan fightback in last Sunday’s replayed final at Croke Park.
Leading by 2-11 to 0-7 with 20 minutes left, Waterford appeared to be cruising to victory. Mary O’Donnell’s first-half goal was replicated by Julianne Torpey’s effort in the second half and there were genuine fears that Monaghan would be facing an embarrassing trek home.
But Torpey’s goal seemed to have a galvanizing effect on the Ulster side. First, Linda Farrelly hammered home a goal from close range, then points by Margaret Kierans and Diane Dempsey suddenly brought the game alive again.
Waterford responded with steadying point by Geraldine O’Ryan, but Monaghan were on a roll and Niamh Kindlon grabbed a third goal to leave just a single point between the teams with 10 minutes to go.
But try as hard as they did in a tension-packed finale, Monaghan were unable to break through the Waterford defense again and Catriona Casey and Torpey added scores for the winners.
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Meanwhile, Abbey-Duniry and St. Mary’s, Athenry drew 1-6 to 0-9 in the Galway hurling final and Rathnure just got the better of Rapparees by 0-13 to 0-12 in the Wexford decider.