All-Ireland Final Match Report by Peter Sweeney



This article kindly provided by
The Irish Daily Star

AFTER a year away from the ladies football scene Diane O’Hora
announced her return in the most dramatic of fashions. O’Hora
was forced out of the Mayo panel last year when she had to
go to America on work placement as part of her college course.
She was back in time to watch her former team mates regain
their All-Ireland title, but this year she was on the field
and her late, late goal sealed a sensational win.

“I was watching from the stands last year and it gave me the
hunger to come back this year and do something about it,”
the razor-sharp corner forward said. Less than a minute from
time, with her side scoreless in the second half and trailing
Dublin by a point, O’Hora proved the coolest of heads among
a crowd as she stuck home the winning goal.

Dubs goalkeeper Cliodhna O’Connor, who had earlier made two
excellent saves, and a pair of defenders got tangled up trying
to deal with a Cora Staunton free kick that dropped short.
O’Hora showed just how dangerous she is when he stole the
ball from under their noses, turned and rattled a shot into
the roof of the net. Considering they only scored five points
in the previous 55 minutes it was always unlikely that Dublin
were going to comeback and so it turned out as Mayo claimed
their fourth All-Ireland in five years.

Despite an exciting climax this was a poor game of football,
not helped by the driving rain and slippery conditions and
Croke Park. Both sides were guilty of elementary mistakes
and star players never took their chance to shine. Both Angie
McNally of Dublin and Mayo’s Cora Staunton, her right leg
heavily bandaged from ankle to thigh, came into the match
with big reputations, but neither of them will want to remember
their performances for long.

“If ladies football wants to stand up and be judged by its
own merits you’re going to have bad days as well as good,”
explained Mayo manager Finbar Egan. “It’s not all going to
be free-flowing football and free-flowing football was never
going to happen on that pitch. “It was like an ice rink –
the rain came down all the way through the second half and
the ball was like a bar of soap. If you had two men’s teams
out there it would have been very similar,” he said.

After a bright opening that saw them score two points in the
first three minutes Dublin seemed to lose their way and for
the 25 minutes before halftime Mayo dominated. But they struggled
up front and at the break their lead was a slender two points,
0-4 to 0-2. The second half started in much the same fashion
and as the conditions deteriorated further the game became
ever more physcial. Dublin manager Mick Bohan called both
of his corner forwards ashore and the move quickly paid off
as replacements Sinead Ahern and Aishling McCormack started
to get the better of an otherwise tight Mayo defence.

After three nightmare misses with the dead ball veteran Angie
McNally finally nailed a free that kick-started Dublin’s comeback.
16-year-old Ahern followed this up with a brilliant point,
cutting in from the right and chipping over with her left
boot Then three minutes from the final hooter Gemma Fay was
first to react to a blocked shot, sending the follow-up over
the bar to put the Dubs back in front. At this stage it looked
like a hopeless case for Mayo, but they kept plugging away
and this presented O’Hora with the late chance to seal the

“We came here and genuinely believed that we were going to
win that All-Ireland,” said devastated Dubs boss Bohan. “The
huge disappointment is that we completely dominated the game,
but we didn’t score. At the end of the day you’re not going
to win any match, let alone an All-Ireland final, with five

MAYO: D Horan; N O’Shea, H Lohan, S McGing; M T Garvey,
Y Byrne, C O’Hara; C Egan, J Moran; E Mullins (0-1), C Heffernan,
M McGing (0-1); D O’Horan (1-2), M Heffernan, C Staunton.

SUBS: M Carter for Moran 40 mins; A Gallagher for Mullins
47 mins; E Reilly for M Heffernan 59 mins.
BOOKED: C Egan 18 mins; C Heffernan 47 mins.
WIDES: (6) 9
’45s’: (0) 1

DUBLIN: C O’Connor; S Farrelly, L Keegan, M Kavanagh;
N Hurley, M Farrell, O Colreavy; A McNally (0-1, 1f), N McEvoy;
E Murphy, G Fay (0-1), B Finlay; M Nevin (0-1), L Kelly, K
Hopkins (0-1).
SUBS: E Kelly for Murphy 28 mins; S Ahern (0-1) for
Nevin 41 mins; A McCormack for Hopkins 41 mins.
BOOKED: G Fay 43 mins; M Farrell 60 mins.
WIDES: (4) 7
’45s’: (1) 1
REFEREEE: E O’Hare (Down)

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