Ashbourne Cup Final
UL 0-12 to WIT 1-08
UL finally achieved their dreams after overcoming a resilient performance from defending champions WIT in the Ashbourne Cup Final yesterday. Played in ideal conditions it was UL who got off to a flyer and scored the first four points of the game before an Emma Commerford free got WIT off the mark. It was all UL in the first fifteen minutes with Julia White and Captain Cait Devane putting in outstanding performances. Indeed, if it wasn’t for the WIT full back Collette Dormer who was immense throughout then it could have been worse. WIT continued to battle and the switch of Katie Power to full forward proved to be a masterstroke with the Kilkenny star looking dangerous every time the ball was put in. WIT had begun to settle at this stage and a fine Katie Power goal brought them back into the game to make it 1-01 to 0-06, UL responded with a point from Cait Devane but it would prove to be their last score of the half and WIT ended the first half the stronger team adding further scores from Emma Commerford to leave the half time score 1-03 to 0-07.
The first have was a keenly contested affair with the UL midfield of Caoimhe Maher and Marie McGrath working hard, WIT played their way into the game with Colette Dormer, Jean Brady and Katie Power putting in good performances. Cait Devane opened the scoring in the second half which was quickly cancelled out by WIT and WIT started the second half the same way they finished the first dominating the play and putting a good supply of ball into their full forward line. Katie Power continued to dominate and an excellent handpass almost seen Shelly Farrell get through on goal before resolute defending from UL kept her at bay. WIT’s pressure paid off though and when Marie Dargan pointed from play to level the game before Shelly Farrell pointed a free and it put WIT in front for the first time in the match.
The game was in the melting pot as they say and the game could have gone either way, up stepped UL’s big players led by their Captain Cait Devane and the aforementioned midfield pairing of McGrath and Maher they were soon level through an inspiration score from wing back Debbie Flynn. Two further points from a Cait Devane free and one from play put them two up and we were in for a frantic finish. WIT piled on the pressure and they were extremely lucky not to get a goal when a Patricia Jackman free hit the post. UL’s backs where against the walls at this stage and they conceded three 45’s in quick succession which WIT had no choice but to lob the ball in and try to get a goal. UL defended resolutely and when WIT had another 45 Patricia Jackman put it over the bar and it was back to a one point game. Time was up though and from the resulting puck out referee Owen Elliott blew the final whistle and UL were crowned Ashbourne Cup Champions for 2014 to send them into ecstasy and WIT were left heartbroke. WIT were aiming for six Ashbourne Cup wins in a row and while they will be bitterly disappointed they produced a performance noteworthy of Champions and one which they can be very proud off. UL were deserving winners though and Cait Devane’s day was capped when she received the player of the match award.