Rampant WIT regained the Ashbourne Cup after a lapse of eight years at Páirc Ui Rinn on Saturday, while also denying UCD three-in-a-row titles.
The Waterford girls were full value for the win, and can be thankful to a productive opening half after which they led by eight points. However, turning to play into the strong wind, they had a battle on their hands to keep UCD at bay.
Playing with the elements, Waterford IT got the perfect start with a goal on five minutes from Mullinavat’s Michelle Quilty, who combined effectively with Wexford duo Stacey Redmond and Ursula Jacob to fire past a helpless Mags Darcy.
With their forward line in particular toiling hard, they added two pointed frees from the industrious Ursula Jacob at full forward, who enjoyed a hard tussle with Mairead Luttrell from Tipperary.
All the while, UCD were struggling to find their rhythm. The exchanges were tense, but it was the WIT defence who stood defiant, especially Kellyanne Cottrell and Keeva Fennelly – daughter of famed Kilkenny hurler Ger.
WIT were dominant too at midfield through Redmond and Ann Dalton.
They turned over leading 1-06 to 0-01, but much more was expected from the Belfield College on the resumption.
While they produced a more solid second 30 minutes courtesy of the hard-working Mary Leacy and Rena Buckley and a rasping goal from Una Leacy 10 minutes from the end, their much improved finish could not provide the equalising goal.
Meanwhile, in the Shield final, Galway’s Lorraine Ryan with a total of 1-08, helped NUIG to a 1-14 to 2-10 victory over a gallant UL.
The Limerick side had been the dominant force in the first half going in at the break, 2-07 to 0-4 in front, thanks to goals from Edel Maher and Maire O’Neill.
However, NUIG came storming back, and in a welter of excitement Ryan rifled over the winning point a minute from time.