Three thrilling U16 championship finals
THE four provinces took part in this year’s All-Ireland U16 chamionship finals with titles going to Connacht and Leinster.
Galway captured the A final defeating Tipperary 2-11 to 2-7 in the Gaelic Grounds, while neighbours Wexford and Waterford fought out another tight battle with the Slaneysiders winning 2-11 to 1-12 in the B final. The C title went to Westmeath who defeated Tyrone 6-9 to 5-3 in St. Tiernach’s Park, Clones.
Three McGrath sisters, player of the match Clodagh, and her siblings Niamh and Orla assisted Galway to their tenth title and their first since 2004. Playing with a stiff first half wind Tipperary were level at the break 1-5 each, the Galway goal coming from a penalty ten minutes before the break from Rebecca Henry. That score was in direct response to Tipperary’s first goal three minutes earlier from Aoife Ryan.
A close second half ensued with the result in the balance until the very end. When Orla McGrath got Galway’s second goal with three minutes of normal time remaining it appeared Galway were heading for victory. However, Tipperary never threw in the towel and three minutes into injury time Aoife Ryan narrowed the margin as she shot home Tipperary’s second goal. Time had however ran out for Tipperary and with that the whistle went and so the Connacht giirls took home their first title since 2004.
There is no stopping in Wexford this year with the National League Division 1 and 2 titles resting in the south east already and they have now added the U16B All-Ireland title following their victory of 2-11 to 1-12 over neighbours Waterford in Pilltown, Kilkenny.