By the end of the first half Connacht Ladies held a 2 goal lead. The champions got off to a dream start with a Catriona Foley goal. Foley was a major threat for the westerners throughout the half. The full forward added two points before the Shamrocks opened their account through Shannon Kelly. Two quick points got the Shamrocks back into the game. One from Kelly, the other from midfielder, Sinead Woods.
Each side battled for the advantage, however, Connacht Ladies looked very dangerous when attacking. Natalie Donovan made two great saves from close range, however, just before the break Catriona Smith netted a second goal for Connacht Ladies. The Shamrocks would have work to do to pull themselves back into the game in the second half.
The Shamrocks pushed hard in the second half. After trading points the gap between the teams was reduced with a Leanne McCrystal goal. A golden opportunity to restore parity went amiss. After McCrystal was pulled down in the penalty area, Sheila McLaughlin’s kick was saved by Caroline Heraty. The Shamrocks still enjoyed the edge in play however. Mango McGovern, Linda Cronin, and McCrystal had started to do their thing. Carol Ann Byrne netted following a rebound off the crossbar, the score put the Shamrocks two points to the good.
As only they can, however, Connacht Ladies rallied. A sweeping attack resulted in a penalty after Foley was pulled down. The full forward took the kick herself, and made no mistake. A point followed from the same boot, and Connacht had hope of staying alive in the competition. Clodagh McGovern and Caoimhe Moran swapped points, and entering the final few minutes Connacht held a two point advantage. Sinead Greene and Jane Ward put the game out of reach with a late point each, and the teams will have to meet once more to decicde who plays Tir na nOg in the final.
Shamrocks: N. Donovan, B. McGuire, D. Kearney, L. Larkin, E. King, N. Fennell, D. Hallahan, S. McLaughlin, S. Woods, S. Kelly, L. Cronin, B. Devlin, C. Byrne, L. McCrystal, C. McGovern. Connacht Ladies: C. Heraty, K. Cunningham, A. Egan, H. Poff, E. Mulgrew, M. Mullen, J. Conroy, C. Moran, A. Kerr, S. Greene, C. Smith, J. Ward, C. Foley, N. Morgan.