Waterford IT wrested back supremacy of third level camogie when they came out on top at the end of the Centenary Ashbourne Cup weekend at DCU.
The decider was delayed as the Purcell Cup final went to two periods of extra time and even then, there was no separating Mary Immaculate and DIT, who will meet in a replay.
This was the fourth consecutive meeting of WIT and UL in the Ashbourne Cup final, with the Limerick crew denying Waterford a remarkable six-in-a-row last year.
WIT were clearly motivated by the memory of that loss however, and with Waterford rock, Trish Jackman providing another thunderous performance on her way to being named Ashbourne player of the tournament, they chiselled out a 2-12 to 0-12 success.
First-half goals from Marie Morrissey and Ciara Quirke were central to the annexation of a sixth title in seven seasons and an eighth in total. Indeed it was a lightning double-strike as the goals came in the first and sixth minutes to rock UL on their heels.
Jackman supplemented her general dominance with four points from placed balls and Emma Comerford added three.
UL were largely reliant on Tipp sharpshooter, Cáit Devane although former Cork captain Julia White and Gráinne Egan did add scores to Devane’s six first-half points.
That left it 2-8 to 0-8 at the change of ends and given the horrible start, UL could not have been too dissatisfied. They could never eat into the deficit in a very tight second half though.
Both sides scored four points each, with Comerford bringing her tally to six points and last year’s heroine, Devane accumulating a total of nine.
They needed goals though and the WIT rearguard remained steadfast to confirm the return of the old order.
See video highlights of the final here
A sensational Fr Purcell Cup final ended 3-14 for DIT to Mary I’s 1-20 after two periods of extra time. Katie O’Dwyer was outstanding for DIT while Caoimhe Costello shone for Mary I. It was 2-12 to 1-15 at the end of normal time and 2-14 to 1-17 at the end of the first period of extra time.
A Megan Ryan goal gave Mary I the early advantage but Elaine McKernan replied for DIT just before the break to leave it 1-6 to 1-5 in Mary I's favour.
Katie O'Dwyer was a constant menace and her penalty goal was vital as DIT clawed back a five-point deficit that built up thanks to the brilliance of Limerick star, Caoimhe Costelloe and midfielder Laura Mitchell. A Shauna Quirke point looked to have sealed it for Mary I with a minute remaining as they led by three points but the lethal O'Dwyer landed points from three frees in the five minutes of injury time to keep DIT's hopes alive.
This time, it was DIT that got their noses in front in the 20 minutes of additional play but they were pegged back by a couple of long-range frees from Mitchell.
And then, it seemed that Mary I would stride free with two points from Mitchell and one from Rebecca Delee apparently significant with only one more period of five minutes remaining. Emma Flanagan was on hand to ensure a continuation of the drama however, pouncing for a goal with only two of those minutes left to ensure another hour of undoubtedly scintillating fare.
Meanwhile, UCD launched a stunning second-half comeback to deny fellow Dublin outfit DCU by 4-7 to 3-3 victory in the Ashbourne Shield final.
Jackie Quigley gave the victors a wonderful start with an eighth minute goal to establish an early four-point lead but DCU hit back with Emma Walsh and Mary O’Connell raising green flags to make it 2-2 to 1-2 at half time.
Aoife Bulger stretched DCU’s lead with another goal, two minutes into the second half but UCD found another gear to wrest the silverware from their opponents’ grasp. Quigley picked up her second major towards the end of the third quarter and the sides were level when Aoife Wilson made the game-changing contribution with two goals in the final six minutes to cement a memorable win.
Gaelic games are flourishing in IT Carlow at the moment and in the week when the footballers booked their place in the Sigerson Cup for the first time, their camogie team claimed the Fr Meachair Cup for the second year in a row with a 2-10 to 1-10 defeat of St Mary’s University.
Offaly star, Siobhan Flannery got the winners off to a perfect start with a goal from a free after three minutes but Catherin McColgan responded in kind five minutes later. The sides were level approaching half time but Carlow hit two points to edge ahead at half time, 1-6 to 1-4.
The teams were level on a couple of occasions in the second half and it wasn’t until Flannery scored her second goal from a free, three minutes from time that Carlow earned themselves some breathing space.
In the Fr Purcell Shield final held on Saturday, Maynooth University beat Queen’s University, 2-10 to 2-7.
Maynooth looked to be cruising to victory when leading by seven points 12 minutes into the second half but Queen’s struck for two goals to put the tie back in the melting pot.
The Kildare outfit held their nerve well though to score two points and hold off the gallant Ulster foes.