Superior Na Fianna turn up heat to win cup

After an even first half which left the sides one point apart, Molly O'Rourke and Na Fianna turned on the style over the final thirty minutes to pull away from Cavan and secure the Anne Kearney Cup. Cavan had the better of the play early on as they built a three-point lead via Emma Clarke, Alisha Jordan and Linda McKeon. Na Fianna were not behind for long though as they responded in sublime fashion through two Molly O'Rouke goals. The first three-pointer was vintage O'Rourke as she picked up the ball 30 yards away from goal and forced her way through a number of defenders before calmly hitting the back of the net while in full stride. Her second was somewhat easier as she caught a long drive toward the box before slamming the ball home from close range. The scoring continued as neither side took their foot off the accelerator as points flew over with rapid regularly from both teams. Cavan were buoyed by three points from Emma Clarke and a brace from Alisha Jordan. Na Fianna kept close as Michelle Brennan hit for a brace of her own, while Molly O'Rourke added a point and two assists.

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After the break it was still anyone's game as both squads traded major blows. Na Fianna struck first when Molly O'Rourke slipped in behind the Cavan rear guard to put home her third goal of the match. Aine Dwyer played a perfect into the path of the streaking O'Rourke who wasn't about to miss a chance for the hat trick. If the Breffni women were rattled they didn't show it as they rattled off three straight points through Emma Clarke, Nicola Rogan and Linda McKeon. The encounter remained tied through the midway point at 3-9 to 1-15. It wasn't long after that Na Fianna finally grabbed control of the match and struck a hammer blow with their fourth goal. After an Aine Dwyer point, Molly O'Rourke played provider for a goal as she supplied the final pass to Selena Mallon who easily beat net minder Nora Kilkenny from close range. Points followed from Aine Dwyer and Michelle Brennan before Molly O'Rourke rightly saw the game out with a brace. The final had been a dead heat through three quarters, but it was over the final fifteen minutes where Na Fianna showed their nerve to see the victory out. Cavan never had an answer to slowing down the deadly Molly O'Rourke as she was on target for 3-5 while setting up a host of other chances. The day was to be Na Fianna's as captain Imelda Mularkey held aloft the Anne Kearney cup in triumph.

Player of the Match Molly O'RourkeNa Fianna A. Layden I. Mularkey K. Lynch S. Spillane J. Garcia J. Monaghan S. Tierney M. Brennan F. Dwyer S. Mallon A. Dwyer B. Tierney K. McCormack M. O'Rourke M. O'Rourke Cavan N. Kilkenny B. Mulligan A. Callery C. O'Brien M. MaGuire N. O'Reilly L. McKeon A. Gomez A. Jordan R. O'Reilly-Broderick C. Hynes N. King E. Clarke C. Rafferty

Tyrone stun Cork with late surge

The Rebels seemed destined for a victory before a collapse over the final ten minutes saw Tyrone come roaring back to secure a two-point victory. Former Leitrim man, Donal Hartnett, came up huge down the stretch as he hit for four of their final five points. It was a cagey affair throughout the first half as scoring was at a premium while the tackling was robust and often illegal. Through ten minutes the game was knotted at 0-1 apiece as Sean Purcell was on target for Cork while Seamus Skeffington pointed for Tyrone. Jason Kelly was Cork's talisman in the early going as he struck for their second point with a left-footed shot before drawing the free that led to their third. Tyrone's offense meanwhile was nearly non existent as they would go scoreless for over 20 minutes. Cork had a glorious opportunity to inflict some serious damage with a goal but were guilty of some poor finishing. Rory Stafford and Vincent Lehane combined well to release Brian Kelleher on goal but the forward sliced his effort well wide. Tyrone had a rare foray forward which also yielded them a goal chance, but they were denied instead by the steady goalkeeping of Darren O'Mahoney, who did well to repel Conor Skeffington's effort. Tyrone did manage to find their shooting boots before the half concluded however as they were on target for three straight scores to pull within one point.

Cork appeared to be the side in control during the opening stages of the second half as they were on target for six of the first eight scores. After points from Sean Purcell and Sean McNamee, the Rebels also received braces from Jason Kelly and Vincent Lehane. Fortunately for Tyrone they only found themselves trailing by three points as one of their two scores after 20 minutes happened to be a goal gifted to them by Darren O'Mahoney. The Cork keeper misplayed a high ball into the square as he let the ball slip through his hands into an empty net. This error would prove to be most costly because as Cork's offense fell silent over the final ten minutes, Tyrone's finally awoke to do enough damage to steal the game. Substitute Donal Hartnett would be the key to their success. Tyrone would strike for six straight scores with Hartnett hitting three frees, one from play and assisting on two others. The comeback was all the more improbable considering that Tyrone never had any majority of possession until very late on in the match. None the less, both sides proved in different ways that you have to play an entire 60 minutes of football.

Man of the Match Donal Hartnett Cork D. O'Mahoney P. Harrington L. Hanley S. McNamee D. Courtney J. McLoughlin J. Fitzpatrick R. Stafford G. Lowney S. Purcell J. Kelly F. Cleary V. Lehane J. O'Sullivan B. Kelleher Tyrone D. Corrigan P. Mulhern A. Power J. Bell S. Keating B. McGourtey D. Garvey C. McNabb J. Kileen S. Skeffington C. Skeffington M. Sloan P. Cahill S. Ryan A. Fitzgerald

Armagh edge Leitrim

Armagh left it very late to defeat Leitrim. They seemed on the point of squandering a near flawless second-half performance before winning in the final ten seconds of regulation. The first half saw both sides trade blows as they struggled for control of the game. Alan Fearon and Ciaron Conlon fired the Orchard County into an early two point lead before Leitrim got off the mark in the eighth minute. Leitrim replied through Geoff Farrell and Dan Doona but Armagh were back in front a minute later. Kevin Rogers pointed from distance before a long Kevin McGeeney solo run ended with Brian Murphy hitting for his first point. Rory Woods and Kenny O'Connor played a nice one-two before the latter fed Geoff Farrell who hit for his second point and Leitrim's third. Woods fed Colm Cronin two minutes later to bring the Connacht men to within a point. The final score of the half saw Leitrim jump in front with the help of a somewhat fortuitous play. Armagh keeper Alan Heaty came out of his goal to catch a long drive but he collided with Leitrim's Tommy Dolan. Hearty lost control of the ball, which Dolan gladly side footed into the empty net to put Leitrim ahead at the interval.

After the break it was all Armagh as they took control of all facets of the game. Leitrim's offense and midfield were shut down while their rearguard were under constant and heavy pressure. After fifteen minutes of play, Armagh had added another six points while Leitrim had a solitary Dan Doona free to account for. The ever-elusive James Moynagh was on target for three of Armagh's scores, with Ciaron Conlon, Kevin Rogers and Brian Murphy adding the others. With seven minutes to go Armagh were ahead 0-12 to 1-5 and seemed to be sailing to an upset victory over the defending champs. Armagh may have been guilty of going into autopilot during the closing minutes because Leitrim put together their best spell since early in the first half. Dan Doona curled over three frees before Adrian O'Connor blasted over from 30 yards to level the match with a minute to go. Leitrim would be unable to deliver the final blow however as they committed a foul deep in their own territory to give Armagh an easy free which Ciaron Conlon converted just before the final horn. Except for the late slip up, Armagh were hugely impressive as they outplayed and outclassed an inferior Leitrim side that have yet to show any of the traits of a side that were crowned champions just last year.

Man of the Match Ciaron ConlonArmagh A. Hearty A. Morton C. Fearon P. Martin C. Short B. Rogan K. McVery T. Donnelly K. McGeeney A. McFerran K. Rogers J. Moynagh C. Conlon B. Murphy R. Morgan Leitrim P. Ryan R. MaGuire A. Lowney D. Keane J. Goldrick M. Creegan P. Madden T. Dolan G. Farrell C. Cronin D. Doona K. O'Connor R. Woods A. O'Connor