Ladies football: Heartbreak for Inch as late point sees them lose out in Munster final

Cork Senior B champions were narrowly defeated in Mallow
Ladies football: Heartbreak for Inch as late point sees them lose out in Munster final

Ciara Irwin, Inch Rovers is tackled by Rathmore's  Laoise Coughlan during the Munster Senior B ladies football final at Mallow. Picture: Larry Cummins.

Rathmore (Kerry) 1-9

Inch Rovers 0-11

Heartbreak for Inch Rovers as a last-minute point saw them beaten in the Munster Senior B ladies football final at Mallow.

It was a close battle all through and it looked like going to extra-time but the outstanding Danielle O'Leary burst through the Inch defence to get the vital score as the Cork side surrender the title to their Kerry rivals.

There was little in it all through with Anne Marie O'Connor, Aoife Higgins and Lydia Williams the pick of the Inch side.

But O'Leary was the difference between the sides and she deservedly was named Player of the Game afterwards.

Inch took the lead in the second minute when Noelle O'Donovan raised the first white flag, with O'Leary making it 0-1 apiece.

Eileen Murphy put the Kerry side in front with O'Connor getting her first to level it.

With 12 minutes gone Rathmore had keeper Amy Murphy to thank when she saved superbly from O'Connor from what looked like a certain goal

Annie Walsh got on the scoring sheet for the Cork side from a free as they led 0-3 to 0-2 at the water break.

O'Connor increased their lead before Inch had their keeper Rachel Fogarty, to thank as she denied O'Leary a green flag.

 Anne Marie O'Connor, Inch Rovers, takes on the Rathmore defence during the Munster Senior B ladies football final at Mallow. Picture: Larry Cummins
Anne Marie O'Connor, Inch Rovers, takes on the Rathmore defence during the Munster Senior B ladies football final at Mallow. Picture: Larry Cummins

This spurred Rathmore on as they enjoyed their best spell of the first-half. O'Leary got their third point and she was on target again from a free to see the sides level for the third time with 23 minutes gone.

Brid Ryan put Rathmore in front before they had Murphy to thank again, this time making a double save. O'Connor played O'Donovan in, but Murphy saved her effort and when the ball broke to O'Connor she denied her as well.

But Inch finished the half strongly, with Angela Walsh making it 0-5 apiece and just before half-time Aoife Higgins put them in front as they led 0-6 to 0-5 at half-time.

Ryan had the sides level just 30 seconds into the second-half with Sarah Harrington bursting forward to put Inch back in front in a frantic start. With 32 minutes gone Rathmore were unlucky not to goal when O'Leary's effort came back off the post.

A quick free from Annie Walsh set up Angela Walsh to extend Inch's lead to two points, with Murphy making it a one point game again. With 39 minutes gone the game turned in Rathmore's favour as Callaghan burst forward and headed for goal.

But she was fouled by Aoife Walsh and dusted herself off to coolly slot home the resultant penalty. Walsh was also sin-binned for the tackle putting her side down to 14 for the next 10 minutes.

But this seemed to wake Inch up as they considerably upped their game, with Angela Walsh going close for a goal just before the second-half water break as Rathmore led 1-7 to 0-8.

Two frees from Annie Walsh had the sides level again before Inch were back to 15 for the last 11 minutes.

Another Walsh free put Inch back in front, but with five minutes to go, it was level again with Laoise Coughlan raising a white flag for Rathmore.

With a minute to go O'Leary burst forward to put her side in front and shortly afterwards the final whistle went as Rathmore ran out winners, after an entertaining game.

Scorers for Rathmore: A Callaghan 1-0 (pen), D O'Leary 0-4 (1f), E Murphy, B Ryan 0-2 each, L Coughlan 0-1.

Inch Rovers: Annie Walsh 0-4 (4f), Angela Walsh, AM O'Connor 0-2 each, N O'Donovan, A Higgins, S Harrington 0-1 each,

RATHMORE: A Murphy; A O'Leary, S Murphy, R Fitzgerald; L Coughlan, A Desmond, M Collins; C Hegarty, K Mahony; M Buckley, D O'Leary, K Buckley; A Callaghan, B Ryan, E Murphy.

Subs: E O'Leary for M Buckley (ht), C Fitzgerald for A O'Leary (41), E O'Riordan for E Murphy (55).

INCH ROVERS: R Fogarty; AoifeWalsh, E Cosgrove, L Hartnett; A Joyce, J O'Shea, A Higgins; C Barry, L Williams; S Harrington, Annie Walsh, C Irwin; N O'Donovan, Angela Walsh, A M O'Connor.

Subs: E Brenner for C Barry (42), T Hickey for N O'Donovan (52), C Daly for L Williams (58).

Referee: Patrick Smith, Waterford.

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