Daly’s double makes the difference for Offaly in Ladies’ Junior final

Corner-forward’s goals push Faifhful County to exciting win over Wexford

Offaly’s Laura Devery and Elaine Sullivan celebrate after the game. Photograph: Inpho

Offaly’s Laura Devery and Elaine Sullivan celebrate after the game. Photograph: Inpho

 

OFFALY 2-11 WEXFORD 0-12: Two goals from corner forward Mairéad Daly secured TG4 All-Ireland ladies junior football glory for Offaly at Croke Park yesterday.

Daly struck twice in the second half as the Faithful County won an All-Ireland title for the first time since their 1981 senior success.

Offaly had beaten Wexford twice already in this year’s championship but Greg Farrelly’s charges, who led 0-7 to 0-4 at the interval, had to work incredibly hard for this third win over their spirited rivals.

Daly, who was named player of the match, scored her first goal in the 38th minute, after Wexford had moved to within a point.

Daly’s strike opened up a 1-8 to 0-7 lead but Offaly could never relax until the St Rynagh’s player netted again in the final minute.

Wexford were trailing by just two points, 0-12 to 1-11, when Daly scored the insurance goal.

Kym Furey’s free dropped short but Wexford goalkeeper Maryrose Kelly lost possession and Daly blasted the ball into an empty net.

It was tough luck on Wexford, who gave as good as they got against the red-hot pre-match favourites.

And with 10 minutes remaining, sub Chantelle Martin shot into the side-netting when a goal would have levelled the game.

But on the balance of play, Offaly, with Emma Corcoran outstanding in the half-back line, deserved the win as Linda Sullivan led the line brilliantly.

Sullivan bagged four points, all from play, and was denied a goal by a brilliant save from Kelly.

OFFALY: L Devery; A Byrne, E Dalton, M Guinan; E Corcoran, H McMahon, C McDonnell; T McManus, S Flannery; E Sullivan, M Daly (2-1), O Heavey (0-3, frees); L Keena (0-1), L Sullivan (0-4), A Kerrigan (0-1). Subs: K Furey (0-1, free) for Keena (18 mins), A Norris for E Sullivan (45 ), C Bennett for Guinan (60 ).
WEXFORD: M Kelly; L Tector (0-1), A Fitzpatrick, C Donnelly (0-1); S Kehoe (0-1), C McCabe, M Doyle; R Murphy, A Murphy; A Evered, E O’Brien (0-1), K Kearney; F Rochford (0-1), L Evered (0-1), K Redmond (0-4, 0-3 frees). Subs: R Lawlor for A Murphy (39 mins), L Casey for Fitzpatrick (39 mins), C Martin (0-1) for A Evered (55 mins), M Quill for Kearney (49), L Casey for R Murphy (55 mins).
Referee: MJ O’Keeffe (Cork).