Meath Book First Ever All-Ireland Final After Sensational Comeback

Meath pulled off one of the most remarkable comebacks as they beat Cork, 2-12 to 2-10 in extra time to book their place in the TG4 All-Ireland final for the first time in history.

Meath Book First Ever All-Ireland Final After Sensational Comeback Meath Book First Ever All-Ireland Final After Sensational Comeback
HerSport Editor

Seven points down, with just three minutes to go, Meath pulled off one of the most remarkable comebacks as they beat favourites Cork, 2-12 to 2-10 in extra time to book their place in the TG4 All-Ireland final for the first time in history.

The reigning All-Ireland Intermediate champions will take on the reigning Senior champions, Dublin, who are chasing five-in-a-row. 
The Royal County’s rise has been meteoric and with matchwinners in the likes of Emma Duggan, Vikki Wall, Niamh O’Sullivan and Stacey Grimes, they showed real mental strength and a never say die attitude which stunned Cork in the semi-final.


It was Cork who started brightest and opened up an early lead with points from Eimear Kiely and Eimear Scally. Having started without the injured Orla Finn, Cork suffered another blow when Ciara O’Sullivan had to go off with a shoulder injury. 
Stars of the show, Emma Duggan got Meath off the mark after eleven minutes before Vikki Wall levelled the sides almost immediately afterwards with a good point. 
Both defences were very strong but a good run by Wall pushed Meath in front for the first time after 21 minutes and Niamh O’Sullivan doubled the lead almost immediately from the right to lead by 0-4 to 0-2. 
Cork hit back and Kiely’s second point from the right was followed by a second free from Scally to tie the sides at 0-4 apiece at the break.  
Cork made a blistering start to the second-half with Scally shooting three points, two of them frees, in the opening eight minutes and then Doireann O’Sullivan finished to the net from close range after Sadhbh O’Leary’s shot was brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Monica McGuirk. 
That pushed Cork 1-7 to 0-4 in front and while Duggan pulled back a good point for Meath, Cork took a six points lead into the second water break when Doireann O’Sullivan tacked on a point. 
Substitute Niamh Gallogly pulled back a point for Meath shortly after coming on and Stacey Grimes also hit the target to cut the gap to four with ten minutes remaining. 
But Cork seemed to have wrapped it up when they got their second goal. Substitute Katie Quirke made an instant impact, putting Doireann O’Sullivan through and, in turn, she set up Scally to fist the ball to the net and put them ahead by double scores with five minutes remaining. 

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However, Meath never gave up. Gallogly got her second point and then in the final minute Stacey Grimes converted a penalty and from the kickout, they won back possession for Wall and Máire O’Shaughnessy to combine and send Duggan through and she shot low to the net with less than 30 seconds remaining to send the match to extra-time. 
Grimes edged Meath in front before Doireann O’Sullivan tied the sides and when Duggan pointed for Meath, another Scally free saw them level at 2-10 apiece at the interval in extra-time. 
Duggan edged Meath back in front five minutes from time and she wrapped up a famous win when she landed another point with the final kick of the match after Cork failed to get an equaliser at the other end. 

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Scorers – Meath: E Duggan 1-5, S Grimes 1-2, (1-0 pen, 0-1f), V Wall 0-2, N Gallogly 0-2, N O’Sullivan 0-1. 
Cork: E Scally 1-6 (0-5f), D O’Sullivan 1-2, E Kiely 0-2.  
MEATH: M McGuirk; E Troy, M.K. Lynch, K Newe; A Leahy, A Cleary, S Ennis; O Lally, M O’Shaughnessy; O Byrne, S Grimes, N O’Sullivan; V Wall, E Duggan, B Lynch.   
Subs: M Thynne for Lally (45), N Gallogly for Lynch (45), S Melia for Leahy (53), E White for Byrne (53), K Byrne for O’Sullivan (58). 
CORK: M O’Brien; M Ambrose, R Phelan, E Meaney; E O’Shea, M Cahalane, M Duggan; A Hutchings, H Looney; E Kiely, C O’Sullivan, Á O’Sullivan; S O’Leary, M O’Callaghan, E Scally.  
Subs: D O’Sullivan for C O’Sullivan (9), B O’Sullivan for A O’Sullivan (41), L O’Mahony for Kiely (45), K Quirke for O’Leary (52), D Kiely for O’Mahony (61), L Coppinger for Meaney (61), E Cleary for B O’Sullivan (67), E Kiely for O’Callaghan (79). 

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