A good start to each half was the key factor in St Killian’s Garron Tower edging out St Patrick’s Keady in a thrilling Fr Davies Cup final at the Dub on Saturday.
The Antrim side scored a point and then a goal right at the start of each half and withstood tremendous pressure from the south Armagh girls to come out winners by a single point.
Siobhan McKillop opened the scoring with a point from a narrow angle in the second minute and a few minutes later she picked up a long delivery from Clodagh McCann to release Dara Martin for a goal.
Keady opened their account at the start of the second quarter with points from Aimee Brennan and Ciara Hill before full-forward Eimear Grimley fired in a 17th-minute goal to lift her team.
Although Sinead Convery pounced for a Garron Tower goal shortly after, the rest of the half belonged to Keady with Orla Vallely robbing the ‘keeper in the 21st minute to find the net.
With Aimee Brennan adding four frees, the Armagh side turned around to face the breeze 2-6 to 2-3 ahead.
St Killian’s needed a quick response and they got it. Although McKillop missed the pick up when sent through on goal, she recovered to fire over a point inside 30 seconds of the re-start. That was followed in the 32nd minute by a goal from Aimee McDonnell.
Keady upped their game and responded with points from Brennan and Hill.
But then a glorious length of the field move culminated in Aimee McDonnell rattling home after a one-on-one.
The Tower didn’t score after that, although they threatened and also missed two easy frees.
However, the defence really stood up to the test from Keady conceding just one more score - a free from Brennan - and the Cup was on its way back to north Antrim.