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Queen's University are gutted as undefeated tag goes

Queen's University 1-9 Limerick 3-7

By Orla Bannon

Defending champions Queen's University failed to score in the second half as they crashed to a shock defeat in the O'Connor Cup final.

QUB manager James Daly was at a loss to explain how his team, who were unbeaten all season including an extra-time win over UL in the League final, blew a seven points half-time lead at the Dub on Saturday night.

"If you had told me that team would go a whole half without scoring, I wouldn't have believed you," he said.

"UL had the legs in the second half and we didn't, we were just flat. Our goalkeeper was unfortunate to concede the goal right at the end but it was our midfield that was to blame. We couldn't win a ball.

"We have so many experienced players but we came out in the second half and the legs were gone. The hungrier team won the game."

The best spell for Queen's came in the 10 minutes before half-time when they reeled off an unanswered 1-5.

Roisin Leonard's 20th minute goal put UL 1-2 to 0-4 ahead, but Queen's hit a real purple patch with Tyrone's Louise Kelly palming Queen's goal into the net after 25 minutes.

Queen's led by 1-9 to 1-2 at half-time and had a numerical advantage for 10 minutes either side of half-time after UL midfielder Lorraine Scanlon received a yellow card just before the interval.

Still, UL came out a transformed team and fully deserved to win the Cup for the first time since 2007.

Player of the match Julia White got their second goal in the 44th minute and Aine Tighe levelled the game with a free on 49 minutes with both sides spurning chances to take the lead as the clock ticked down.

Niamh O'Dea gave UL the lead with one minute to go. Then Queen's goalkeeper Katie Day spilled a high ball for Leonard to make no mistake with her second goal of the game.

Queen's: K Day (Armagh); D Morgan (Armagh), T McLaughlin (Tyrone), L Kilpatrick (Tyrone); N Woods (Tyrone), S McCleary (Armagh), L McConville (Armagh); C Malone (Armagh), C O'Hanlon 0-4 (3f) (Armagh); M Doherty (Down), F McKenna 0-2 (Armagh), R Kearney 0-1 (Westmeath); A Canavan 0-1 (Tyrone), M Cooper 0-1 (Antrim), L Kelly 1-0 (Tyrone). Subs: A McCoy for Doherty (41 mins), C McCrossan for Kelly (56 mins)

UL: L Crowley (Cork); B McManus (Cork), S Tierney (Mayo), C Cooney (Galway); C O'Sullivan (Kerry), K Keaney (Donegal), L O'Sullivan (Kerry); L Scanlon (Kerry), J Grant (Tipperary); J White 1-0 (Cork), M Byrne (Wexford), C McCarthy (Kerry); N O'Dea 0-4 (1f) (Clare), A Tighe 0-2 (1f) (Leitrim), R Leonard 2-1 (Galway). Subs: C Corrigan for McCarthy (HT), C McCarthy for Byrne (54 mins)

Referee: Keith Tighe (Dublin)

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