Galway’s u-21 ladies suffered a heartbreaking 0-13 to 0-11 defeat to Cork in the inaugural Aisling McGing All Ireland u-21 football final.
In this historic first u-21 championship, both sides delivered an exciting game of football, but it was Cork who grabbed the victory in an all-action second half.
Galway settled the better from the throw in and were two points up thanks to three frees from Tracy and Roisin Leonard. However Cork found their rhythm and from the 11th minute Galway were on the back foot as Cork scored six unanswered points.
Tracy Leonard kept Galway in the game with a free on 27 minutes and came close to scoring a goal a minute later, but Cork goalkeeper and player of the match Lisa O’Carrol pulled off a spectacular save to leave Galway trailing by 0-3 to 0-7 at half time.
Galway fell further behind following a early Cork point, but then the young Tribeswomen threw everything at their opponents. Tara Hession pointed in the seventh minute to kick start a brilliant spell for the Galwegians. Tracy and Roisin Leonard scored two points each, while Shaunagh Jackson grabbed another point as Galway came from five points down to take one point lead.
Thereafter it was nip and tuck. Cork levelled through Tara McGuire in the 23rd minute, but Tracy Leonard again put Galway in front with a free.
Corks’s ace freetaker Orla Finn pointed to level things up again, but with one minute remaining Tracy Leonard kicked Galway into the lead.
However Sarah Harrington levelled in the final minute and, winning the next two kick outs, they scored two points. Galway launched one final attack - only for Lisa Crowley to produce another great save to break Galway hearts.