*2019 Munster & Clare senior champions, Scariff/Ogonnelloe. Photograph: Veronica McMahon
Scariff/Ogonnelloe’s fairytale season got even better on Saturday as they were crowned Munster champions.
Drom & Inch 0-08
Clare champions Scariff/Ogonnelloe held off a strong fight back from their Tipperary counterparts to become the first team from the county to win the senior provincial crown in three decades. They join Sixmilebridge in the coveted roll of honour.
Marian Rodgers struck for the all-important goal in the opening half. The ex Clare defender also netted the only goal in their county final win over Newmarket-on-Fergus last month. She was on red alert from the get go, hitting 1-01 inside the opening three minutes of the provincial decider.
Her teammates followed the example she set and kept Drom & Inch scoreless for the first twenty two minutes while building a tally of 1-04 of their own. They added the final two scores of the half with Eimear McGrath slotting the placed balls to leave it 1-05 0-02.
Five points on the bounce in which Eimear and Siobhan McGrath along with Miriam Campion raised white flags saw Pat Ryan’s charges reduce the gap to a single score with fifty three minutes on the clock.
In need of a score, it was captain Mairead Scanlan that stepped up to settle Jim Minouge’s outfit. McGrath punished further indiscipline with a converted free but goalkeeper Aisling Corbett cancelled out her effort.
As was the case in their county final and Munster semi-final victories, Scariff/Ogonnelloe led from the off and just as important, they never let their counterparts back on level terms. They were tested to their limit in the closing stages of normal time and ninety seconds of additional time but held on once again with Ciara Doyle supplying a vital hook on substitute Antoinette Kennedy to deny what appeared to be a certain goal.
Siobhán McGrath, Niamh Treacy and Mairead Eviston were best for Drom & Inch, in such an agonisingly close defeat, their big regret will be the opening half particularly the first twenty minutes where they failed to score.
Whatever was thrown at Scariff/Ogonnelloe, they stood up and had the answers. It is why they are deserving of creating even more history. They are doing their bit to monitor the heart rates and blood pressure of their supporters by serving up such dramatic finishes but turn up trumps with the result to give them plenty of satisfaction. Susan Daly, Ciara Doyle, Aoife Power and Susan Vaughan stood out for the champions.
Scorers for Scariff-Ogonnelloe: Marian Rodgers (1-1); Aisling Corbett (2f), Mairead Scanlan (1f) (0-2 each); Jennifer Daly, Aoife Power (0-1 each)
Scorers for Drom & Inch: Eimear McGrath (0-4, 3f, 1’45); Siobhan McGrath (0-3); Miriam Campion (0-1)
Scariff/Ogonnelloe: Aisling Corbett; Holly McGee, Susan Daly, Alison McGee; Aisling Corry, Ciara Doyle, Susan Vaughan; Amy Barrett, Lynda Daly; Jennifer Daly, Mairead Scanlan, Rachel Minogue; Alva Rodgers, Aoife Power, Marian Rodgers.
Subs: Alison Madden for A. Rodgers (HT), Cliona McNamara for J. Daly (49)
Drom & Inch: Caoimhe Bourke; Maria Connolly, Christina Brennan, Mairead Eviston; Aoife McGrath (Captain), Maureen Ryan, Eimear Cahill; Niamh Long, Mary Burke, Dee Dunne, Niamh Treacy, Siobhan McGrath; Eimear McGrath, Miriam Campion, Joanne Ryan.
Subs: Antoinette Kennedy for Long (36), Edel Nyland for Dunne (55).
Referee: Andrew Larkin (Cork)