Colaiste Muire Ennis withstood a late fightback from Castletroy Community College before claiming the Munster Colleges Ladies Football D title on a 2-11 to 3-5 scoreline.
The Clare side saw a 12-point second-half lead whittled down to just two as the full-time whistle loomed, before a pointed free from player of the match Emma O’Donoghue sealed the win.
Coláiste made a blistering start to the game as they raced into a 2-7 to 0-0 lead, with O’Donoghue notching 2-2, including a well-struck penalty and a fine finish from play. Both wing-forwards helped themselves to a brace of points, with Sarah McCann and team captain Niamh McDonagh on target with well-taken scores.
Castletroy had two opportunities to score from penalties in the opening half but saw both efforts saved by Coláiste goalkeeper Nouriatou Tchadjobo.
They did eventually find the net just before half-time, when Caitlin Bonfil produced a tidy finish and they followed this up with a point soon after but it was Coláiste Muire who led by 2-7 to 1-1 at the break.
The second half started slowly, with the Ennis side registering the first three points, with two from O’Donoghue and one from Aoibhínn O’Loughlin.
This seemed to spark the Limerick girls into life and they reeled off and unanswered 2-4 to leave just two points between the sides with time running out, before O’Donoghue landed a free to give her side a three-point win.
It means that Coláiste Muire have now completed a double of Munster D Colleges title, having already taken the camogie crown.
Manager Edel Malone was delighted with the character her side showed to withstand that late rally.
“We got off to a great start and built up a big lead but they came back at us for those late 20 minutes. Credit to our girls, they got to grips with it and got the ball back up the field and got that vital free. Having a strong panel was crucial too; we had four really good subs who came on when the legs were getting tired. The ground was heavy and it meant that having something in reserve was always going to be important and each of them that came in really made a difference in the end. A lot of those girls who have won titles this year will be leaving the school in June, so it’s fantastic for them to finish on such a high,” she noted.
Coláiste Muire, Ennis: Nouriatou Tchadjobo; Moya Dunne (Clooney-Quin), Laura Hayes (Doora-Barefield), Meadhbh O’Connor (Doora-Barefield); Bernadette Kelly (Fergus Rovers), Muireann Collins (Doora-Barefield), Aoise Meaney (Doora-Barefield); Aisline Reidy (Doora-Barefield), Sinéad McGee (Clooney-Quin); Sarah McCann (Cuil Gaels), Ellie Rochford (Clooney/Quin), Niamh McDonagh (Doora-Barefield, captain); Kiera McGrath (Doora-Barefield), Emma O’Donoghue (Clarecastle), Aoibhínn O’Loughlin (Doora-Barefield).
Subs: Alannah Meaney (Doora-Barefield) for Aoise Meaney, Deirinn Finnerty (Banner Ladies) for Rochford, Candice Brennan (Banner Ladies) for Dunne and Amelie Malice (Éire Óg) for Kelly.
Scorers: Emma O’Donoghue (2-5, 1-0 pen, 1f), Sarah McCann and Niamh McDonagh (0-2 each), Kiera McGrath and Aoibhinn O’Loughlin (0-1 each).
Referee: Barry Kelly (Miltown, St Joseph’s).