This was a historic win as Cashel became only the second Tipperary club to take All-Ireland Senior club honours, with St. Patrick’s of Drumgoole the last club to achieve this feat in the mid-sixties.
Cashel were on fire from the start of this game and with six points coming from play in the opening half, they held a 0-7 to 0-5 interval advantage.
The Tipperary outfit were certainly capable of matching any tactics Athenry threw at them and switching Player of the Match Philly Fogarty from midfield to corner forward and the dropping back of Claire Grogan to the centre worked wonders while Una O’Dwyer done an excellent marking job on Athenry stalwart Therese Maher.
A 23rd minute second half goal from Emily Hayden paved the way for victory with former Kilkenny player Sinead Millea receiving the cup after the game from Uachtaran Cumann Camogaiochta na nGael Liz Howard.
A 64th minute point from Aine Mahony ensured that The Harps of Laois were crowned back-to-back All-Ireland Junior club champions after their 2-8 to 2-7 win in a keenly contested encounter at the Stabannon Parnells club in Louth on Sunday.
The sides were level on three occasions during this game including four minutes from the end of normal time, as with the sides tied on 2-7 apiece it looked as though a replay was on the cards.
But The Harps exerted tremendous pressure in the closing stages and Mahony’s last gasp point ensured a historic success.
Keady had dominated this game in the opening quarter and they led by 1-4 to 0-1 after 16 minutes with full-forward Collette McKeever on target with an excellent goal.
However Keady were not to score for the remainder of the opening half with The Harps firing on all cylinders as midfielder Louise Mahony led the charge with four first half points while her sister Elaine blasted home a 28th minute goal, with The Harps holding a slender 1-5 to 1-4 interval lead.
The Harps got off to a perfect start in the second half with Elaine Mahony scoring a second goal and although Keady bounced back with a goal of their own from Michelle Murphy, the Laois outfit held enough resolve to ensure Caitriona Phelan and Louise Mahony jointly accepting the cup after the game from Ard Stiurthoir Sile Wallace.
There was some consolation however for Keady with half-forward Noeleen McKenna receiving the Player of the Match award.
SENIOR SCORERS: CASHEL – C Grogan (2 45, 2f) 0-7; E Hayden 1-2; P Fogarty 0-3; C Hennessy, A Lonergan 0-2 each; L Grogan, M Morrissey 0-1 each. ATHENRY – L Linnane (3f) 0-4; D Ward 0-2; J Gill (1f), K Glynn 0-1 each.
JUNIOR SCORERS: THE HARPS – E Mahony 2-2; Louise Mahony (4f, 1 45) 0-5; A Mahony 0-1. KEADY – C McKeever 1-1; M Murphy 1-0; C Kinsella (1f, 1 45) 0-3; N McKenna 0-2; M Doyle (1 45) 0-1.