lgfa all-ireland final
GERALDINE O’Flynn’s devastatingly calm finish saw Cork come back from ten points to stun Dublin and win their fourth successive All-Ireland senior championship.
Lindsay Peat’s pair of goals had Greg McGonigle’s side soaring, only for Rhona Buckley and Eimear Scally to spring from the bench and land goals to make for an enthralling finish.
It took Dublin a while to get going as both sides nervily opened with a couple of wides.
But the Jackies suddenly cut loose, spurred by a cracking move for their opening point as Lyndsey Davey landed a great score from Denise Masterson and Sinead Goldrick’s excellent approach work.
A Sinead Aherne pair – one free and one from play – made it three points in as many minutes before Lindsay Peat got the half’s defining goal.
She was gifted possession by a fumble on the 45, but still had plenty to do. She hared away from two would-be tacklers before slinging a low left foot shot past Martina O’Brien.
Cork endeavoured to reply instantly but Sorcha Furlong put in her second big block of the afternoon to deny a goal chance while the Rebelettes were struggling to find their shooting boots.
They eventually ended the half with ten wides and three efforts falling short. By contrast, Goldrick shanked a shot but it ballooned over the bar while Aherne’s classy point extended the lead to 1-5 to 0-1 on 30 minutes.
Geraldine O’Flynn eventually ended her side’s drought while Mulcahy added a point. When Davey bounced a score off post and crossbar and Carla Rowe landed a towering effort, Dublin had a 1-7 to 0-4 half-time lead.
They started the second period with a bang as Rowe’s excellent furrowing down the left wing saw her pop the ball through to Peat who duly thrashed in goal number two, putting eight points between the teams.
Aherne scored her fourth point with an audacious effort while Healy extended the lead out to 2-10 to 0-6 with 43 minutes gone.
When a combination of Leah Caffrey and Cliodhna O’Connor’s denied Mulcahy and the ever-increasing wide count saw Cork stumble.
But this side is rarely beaten and produced one of the comebacks for the ages. It was kick-started when Buckley came on to thrash a goal from close range, latching onto an inviting pass.
Further scores from Mulcahy etched away at the lead despite what seemed to be a calming point from Rowe, keeping six points in the gap with 12 minutes to go.
But three points in two minutes got Cork in range for the first time and when Eimear Scally, another substitute, caught and smashed to the net, the tie was level at 2-11 each.
Siobhan Woods nudged Dublin back in front with a beautifully arced score with three minutes to go. But Cork had the momentum with Ciara O’Sullivan levelling before O’Flynn broke Dublin hearts with the last point with a nerveless right foot.