St Sylvester's 1-06 Castlebar Mitchels 0-07

Dublin captain Sinéad Aherne scored four points and St Sylvester's were crowned All-Ireland Intermediate club champions following a thrilling win over Castlebar Mitchels at Duggan Park in Ballinasloe.

Kate Sullivan’s goal in the first attack ultimately proved the difference between the teams but the Leinster champions still needed two late points from Aherne and Niamh Harney to seal the win.

St Sylvester’s began in scintillating fashion with their goal after just 10 seconds. Sullivan took her place at midfield for the throw-in, won possession and raced at the heart of the Castlebar defence before she struck low past Fiona McLoughlin.

And with a strong wind at their backs they added a point 60 seconds later as Aherne gave the pass to Nicole Owens to slot over.

But Anthony Cooke’s team didn’t score again from play in the first half with their two further scores frees from Aherne.

Castlebar Mitchels were struggling to settle as they tried to gain a foothold but eventually got off the mark on 22 minutes. Danielle Caldwell pushed forward and she found Grainne Flynn to her right to point.

Castlebar were in the ascendency now and finished the half strongly with two more scores.

Flynn was involved in both, setting up Kathryn Sullivan on 29 minutes before converting a free herself to leave them just three behind at the interval - 1-3 to 0-3.

Sinead Aherne (L) and Aoife Brody battling for possession

Anna Tuohy picked out Laura Brody for a Castlebar score two minutes after the restart but St Sylvester’s hit back with a well-worked move as Louise Ryan and Sophie McGlynn combined to allow Aherne her first from play.

However, Mitchels pitched up again as Niamh Hughes started to make an impact. She converted a free won by Orla Conlon on 37 minutes before immediately adding a point from play.

Scores were at a premium in the closing stages as defences reigned supreme and the Mayo side struggled to find a way past a St Sylvester’s defence led by Dannielle Lawless, Lisa Murphy, Kim White and Cliona Fitzpatrick.

Flynn’s free on 50 minutes levelled it for the first time but Castlebar wouldn’t score again.

Aherne won a free and scored it to put St Sylvester’s back ahead before Owens and Katie O’Sullivan combined for Harney to give them a two-point cushion, which was enough to secure victory.

Scorers – St Sylvester's: S Aherne 0-4 (3f), K Sullivan 1-0, N Owens 0-1, N Harney 0-1. Castlebar Mitchels: G Flynn 0-3 (2f), N Hughes 0-2 (1f), K Sullivan 0-1, L Brody 0-1.

ST SYLVESTER’S: S Brennan; C Fitzpatrick, K White, L Harrold; L Murphy, D Lawless, E Lynch; N Owens, G Twomey; K Sullivan, E Sullivan, N Harney; L Ryan, S Aherne, S McGlynn.

Subs: K O’Sullivan for Lynch (30), G McGinty for E Sullivan (38), K Slattery for McGlynn (45).

CASTLEBAR MITCHELS: F McLoughlin; K Moore, A Brody, A Towey; T Flynn, O Conlon, D Caldwell; L McManamon, K Sullivan; G Flynn, E Lyons, S Conlon; N Hughes, L Brody, A Tuohy.

Subs: S Prendergast for S Conlon (45), M McDonald or Lyons (51).

Referee: Shane Curley (Galway)