Cashel had to call upon all their experience to see off the challenge of Athenry, and claim their second All-Ireland Senior Club Championship title in horrendous weather at Clarecastle on Saturday by 0-11 to 0-9.
Although the foot conditions were top class at the impressive Clare venue, the driving wind and rain proved to be a constant challenge.
It was Cashel’s ability to keep the scoreboard ticking over during a first half when Athenry captain Therese Maher had opted to play with the gale that was the main difference.
Claire Grogan’s seven points overall (0-04 from play) were contributory too, but when it came down to it, the Tipperary side had too much talent for the westerners who were far too reliant on skipper Maher to keep them in the hunt.
As well, Cashel captain and full back Una O’Dwyer proved unbeatable, as did their entire half-back trio of Paula Bulfin, Philly Fogarty and Julie McGrath.
And when they turned over just one point behind, 0-05 to 0-06, it was going to take an enormous effort from the Maroon girls to remain in the game, but to their credit they fought to the bitter end.
Athenry were in front 0-03 to 0-02 after 15 minutes, and had they capitalised on two goal opportunities it would have been a different story for the underdogs.
A pair of points coming up to the break from free-taker Laura Linnane and Noreen Coen left them double scores ahead, but a strong finish from Cashel yielded flags from Grogan and Alison Lonergan.
The second half was a dogfight with the weather deteriorating further.
Approaching the last quarter Cashel edged 0-09 to 0-07 to the good, but the introduction of the injured Jessica Gill for Athenry egged them on.
She came close with a goal shot, and despite Athenry’s grit, Cashel held out with two Grogan points closing out the score.
Meanwhile, St Anne’s Dunhill and Lavey must meet again to determine the destination of the All Ireland junior club title.
After extra-time in a pulsating final in Donaghmore Ashbourne the scoreboard remained deadlocked 1-11 apiece.
St Anne’s did all the running with the wind in the first half and courtesy of a kicked goal from Jenny Simpson led 1-06 to 0-02 at the changeover.
It was Lavey’s turn in the second 30 minutes with captain Mary O’Kane netting for the Derry champions.
It was nip and tuck with St Anne’s top scorer Karen Kelly shooting the equaliser on full time.
After the first period of extra time, wind assisted St Anne’s moved 1-11 to 1-08 ahead, but three points from Lavey coming down the home straight ensured the teams will have to do it all over again.