Dublin Make it 3 Aisling McGing Cups in a Row

The sun kissed surrounds of Portmarnock played host to the Aisling McGing All Ireland Under 21 Final tournament as Mayo, Armagh, Meath, Cavan, Dublin, Galway and Cork gathered together to battle it out for the much coveted title which Dublin were hoping to win for a third year in a row.


Each team played each other throughout the day in 20 minute matches that had a 2 minute half time break. The action got underway with the meeting of Galway and Meath with the star studded Tribeswomen cruising to a good 2-06 to 0-02 win over the Royal County. At the same time the defending champions from the Capital got their campaign up and running with an impressive 2-06 to 0-02 win and Armagh accounted for Mayo in their opener. The first clash of favourites happened in the second round when Galway edged out Cork in a closely contested match winning 1-03 to 2-05. Meath had a good 2 point win over Mayo with Cavan defeating Armagh in the All Ulster tussle in round 2.

As the table began to take shape the matches took on an even more important meaning as Cavan recorded their second win; a resounding 3-03 to 0-00 win over Mayo. Galway found another gear to dispose of Armagh in emphatic fashion as they won 6-07 to 0-04 but Armagh made up for that disappointment with victory over Meath in their next match on a scoreline of 0-06 to 2-04.

Cork rediscovered their form as they blitzed a good Cavan team to record a 16 point victory as Dublin again showed their class in a comprehensive defeat of winless Mayo.  Cork then maintained their momentum with a 7 point victory against Meath as Galway booked their place in the final thanks to victory over Cavan. Dublin were showing much of their brilliant potential especially as they held Armagh scoreless in an emphatic victory. Cork were also impressive as they defeated Mayo whilst Meath were superb as they were big winners over Cavan.

Cork’s last group game was a 5 goal victory against Armagh whereas Dublin were made to work for their 2 point victory over their Royal neighbours. There was no such trouble for Galway when they met their neighbours as they won by 13 points without conceding a score.

This combination of results saw a three way play off between Armagh, Cavan and Meath who were all level in 3rd place. The result saw Armagh win a shoot out to reach the Shield Final against Cork as Meath and Cavan went forward to meet in the Plate Final.

The much anticipated between Galway and Dublin had all the makings of a classic. When these sides were both minor they produced a classic set of matches that saw Galway edge their rivals after a replay. Of course neither side had lost a game all day so there was little to choose between the teams on paper.

It was Galway that got off to the better start in the Cup competition as Olivia Divilly added a pair of scores but blustery conditions meant that scores were hard to come by and when the whistle blew to mark half time these were the only two scores on the board. Galway were then denied a goal thanks to a brilliant save. Eabha Rutledge stepped up and narrowed the deficit to a single point but time was running out for Dublin. However, as the final whistle was about to blow Dublin won a free and their senior star, Carla Rowe showed the steadiest nerve on the field as she sent the equaliser high over the bar. The referee’s whistle blew almost immediately to signal that time was up and it meant the exciting prospect of extra time.

There was huge tension as each side lined up for the kicks and it seemed like all was going to be lost for Dublin as the ever dependable, Carla Rowe saw her first effort edge wide of the post. However, Eabha Routledge scored to put the ball in Rebecca McDonnell’s hands for the decisive kick and she didn’t disappoint as her kick split the posts to make it an incredible third Aisling McGing Under 21 Cup in a row and sparked wild celebrations.

Cork made up for some of their disappointment with an impressive performance to see off Armagh and claim the Aisling McGing Shield title and Cavan held off the determined challenge of Meath to edge out their rivals on  by 2 points.

Aisling McGing Under 21 Cup Final

Dublin 0-02 Galway 0-02 *Dublin win after Shoot Out

Aisling McGing Under 21 Shield Final

Cork 2-07 Armagh 0-04

Aisling McGing Under 21 Plate Final

Cavan 1-07 Meath 1-05

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