Derry crowned All-Ireland U14 Gold champions

Derry 4-9

Tipperary 2-6

By Aisling Clery

Derry, after victory in the Bronze final in 2022, were crowned U14 All-Ireland Gold champions at the expense of a talented Tipperary side at Clan na Gael, Dundalk.

Derry led by eight at the break, but two goals within sixty seconds from Tipperary closed the gap in the second-half and Derry had to dig deep to ensure victory. 

Derry got off to a brilliant start with two Ava Hurl frees sandwiching a terrific point from Rionach McNally. Tipperary responded well and Lily Flannery reduced the deficit to two with a fine long distance free. 

Hurl added a third free before a surging run straight through the Tipperary defence found McNally hitting the net for Derry’s first goal on sixteen minutes. Tipperary responded well, moving the ball at pace but they couldn’t find their scoring range.

Kerri Lee Mullan added a point for Derry and a resurgent Tipp side got back into contention with two frees inside a minute from the boot of Abbie Horgan. Derry however were to have the last say of the half as Brianna Donaghy found herself one-on-one with the keeper and she finished to the net with aplomb. 

Elena Cody opened the scoring for Tipperary in the second-half but Derry upped the gears and Brianna Donaghy hit 2-2 unanswered, almost putting the game out of reach of Tipperary.

The second goal was very much a team effort with the ball won deep in the Derry defence by Emma McVey and swiftly transferred downfield to Donaghy’s waiting arms and she tapped home. 

Tipperary though carried on and while their first attempt at goal was ruled out for a square ball, their diligence was rewarded as they found the net not once but twice!

Substitutes Chloe O’Neill and Aoibhinn Casey each netted to breathe life into the Tipp attack. 

However, Derry were not to be denied and they ran down the clock, maintaining possession, with centre back Aoibh Shivers adding Derry’s final point to ensure victory.

Scorers: Derry: B Donaghy 3-3, R McNally 1-1, A Hurl 0-3f, KL Mullan 0-1, A Shivers 0-1.

Tipperary: C O’Neill 1-0, A Casey 1-0, A Horgan 0-2f, L Flannery 0-2 (1f), E Cody 0-2.

DERRY: A Rogers; E McVey, E McGarvey, K Birt; L Armstrong, A Shivers, AR Sargent; A Young (c), E Forbes; KL Mullan, S Quinn, R McNally; R Conlan, B Donaghy, A Hurl. Subs used: K Loughrey, M Bhavsar, A McNally, N McKenna, C Conway, C King, E Mallet, E Rafferty, E Grant, E Mullan, I Regan, R Scullin, S McErlean, C Quinn, D Murphy. 

TIPPERARY: S Carr; S Hannafin, E Gleeson, C Butler; N Buckley, S Ferris, B Delaney; H Kiely, A O’Connor; A Gleeson, L Flannery, A Horgan; A Butler, N Dwan (c), C Fitzgerald. Subs used: L Moloney, C O’Neill, A Casey, E Cullinan, K Carey, M Callum, B Woodlock, R O’Brien, E Cody, R Hewitt, A Purcell, A Quirke, SR Meehan, S Moynihan, J Carey. 

Ref: Philip Conway (Armagh)

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