Support Her Sport All-Ireland Edition

By Liberty Insurance Ireland on 5 October 2016
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A look back at the Comeback Cats and lessons from the All-Ireland draw.

The women of Kilkenny did what their male counterparts were unable to do and stopped Cork from pulling off three in a row, in front of a huge crowd of 20,037 – up a whopping 21% on last year.

The last time Kilkenny lifted The O’Duffy Cup was in 1994 and everyone’s eyes were on Ann Downey, the Kilkenny Manager and former captain who had led her team to victory 22 years ago.

Twenty-two years is a long time to wait for a comeback and the tension was palpable – right from the aggressive handshakes before throw in. Twitter went wild and not surprisingly came down heavy on the Cork side.

Twenty-two years is a long time to wait for a comeback and the tension was palpable

Meighan Farrell kicked off Kilkenny’s intentions with an early point that put them in the lead. The positional switches started to bear fruit, notably when Julie Ann Malone (WIT) was brought on for the first time. With four points, she more than justified her selection and ended the game with an All-Ireland medal and as the Liberty Insurance Player of the Match.

Kilkenny had suffered from their losses, with 2013 and 2014 hitting them hard so they seemed determined to get in and do the job.

With a final score of Kilkenny 1-13 Cork 1-9, it seemed Kilkenny wanted it more.

Twenty-two years will do that.

Kilkenny and Tipperary faced off for the Liam McCarthy Cup

With Tipperary edging out Galway in a thrilling last four clash at Croke Park could ‘three in-a-row-likely’ Kilkenny stand in the way of Tipperary’s first All-Ireland since 2010?

Tipperary knew it would be a long way back so decided to make this a rumble in the Dublin jungle to remember, leading by two points at half time. But Michael Ryan and the dogs on the street know what Kilkenny do to teams after half time- slaughter them.

With Kevin Kelly doing just that with a goal in the 41st minute, Tipp could be forgiven for thinking history was repeating itself. With just 20 minutes to finish, Bubbles O’Dwyer gave us something to remember him by, with a goal that lifted the proverbial roof off Croker.

In the 60th minute, John Mc Grath put in a goal and Kilkenny fans began heading for the exits

In the 60th minute, John Mc Grath put in a goal and Kilkenny fans began heading for the exits, which was definitely a new experience for them.

Final score was KILKENNY 2-20 TIPPERARY 2-29.

It’s not a long way to Tipperary, especially when you’re walking on air, holding on to The Liam McCarthy Cup.

The 2016 Championship Football Final between Dublin and Cork will always be about that point.

We live in a technological age. Just don’t tell the Dublin team that.

In what was a remarkable six in a row for Cork, the absence of Hawkeye marred their success. All that mainstream and social media keep banging on about is ‘that point’ in the 22nd minute, courtesy of Carla Rowe.
Waved wide by the umpire on the near side of the Hill 16 end, TV replays indicated that it had made it in by the skin of its leather.

But on general consensus, Dublin were flat in the second half and while the backs were brilliant, the forwards didn’t convert enough.

Cork went on to claim a remarkable six-in-a-row — and their 11th senior crown in 12 seasons — with a 1-7 to 1-6 win in front of a record crowd of 34,445 in Croke Park.

Cork may be All Ireland Football Champions of 2016 but with Dublin’s average age just 23, maybe a year will be all it takes to forget about that point.

This is the third time in five years Mayo have lost a final by a single point, so it seems the Mayo curse is holding strong

What’s to be learned from the All-Ireland draw? Plenty.

While Mayo seemed to be doing well in defence, there was lots of confusion as to who was marking whom – especially when they allowed Paddy Andrews to pick off two points from the bench.

And then there were the two own goals in the space of eleven minutes. Things levelled in the second half but with 7 minutes of injury time added, Mayo really fought back at the blue juggernaut. Still, we all know how that ended.

The replay

The first All-Ireland final between Dublin and Mayo ended in a tie and the replay came close as well. Dublin got off to a strong start, with four early points but Mayo fought back. There was fierce back and forth for the full length of the match, but Diarmuid Connolly tipped the scale in the final few minutes with a well-placed penalty kick to earn Dublin their second back-to-back All-Ireland title.

This is the third time in five years Mayo have lost a final by a single point, so it seems the Mayo curse is holding strong. But if next year is anything like this one, we can look forward to a great final!

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