Mayo v Cork All-Ireland Final Report

Mayo v Cork All-Ireland Final Report

 

By Daragh Ó Conchúir Cork 2-11 Mayo 2-6

Cork completed the coveted three-in-a-row in the TG4 ladies SFC
final by overpowering a very disappointing Mayo outfit at Croke
Park. Most pundits had been predicting a pulsating battle for
honours but the Rebelettes were dominant throughout with the final
scoreline offering little indication of their superiority. Mayo
scored two goals in the final minute from a thunderbolt Cora Staunton
free and a Fiona McHale toe-poke after Elaine Harte had parried
Helena Lohan’s drive to put a much more respectable reflection
on the scoreline. There can be no hiding the control Cork had
on proceedings however and it was perhaps best illustrated by
the manner in which Staunton was completely eclipsed by Brid Stack
and the rest of her defensive colleagues. The Carnacon powerhouse
has been totting up some remarkable individual tallies over the
summer but could never get into this game, and had only one point
on the board with two minutes remaining, as the Leeside rearguard
denied her time, space or free-taking opportunities.

At the other end of the field, Valerie Mulcahy brought her tally
of goals to seven for the campaign and if there was a turning
point, it was her first from the penalty spot just before half
time. The award was a questionable one by Eugene O’Hare as midfielder
Norita Kelly’s knee seemed to buckle under her as she looked to
step inside a Mayo defender on her way to goal, and indeed had
to be replaced as a result of the injury suffered. In fairness
to the Down referee, he did consult with his umpires before making
his decision and Mulcahy finished with aplomb, just as she did
from the spot in the 2005 final, to give her side a 1-6 to 0-3
half time lead.

Cork began in whirlwind fashion and built up a five-point lead
with five different scorers getting on the scoresheet: Amy Murphy,
Deirdre O’Reilly, Juliet Murphy, Geraldine O’Flynn and Nollaig
Cleary. Mayo and Staunton were struggling mightily with Cork defending
in packs and it took defender Caroline McGing to get the Connacht
champions off the mark 20 minutes in. With Claire O’Hara exerting
a greater influence around midfield however, they had seemed to
drag themselves back into the game with a wonderful point from
40m by Staunton and a Diane O’Hora free but Mulcahy’s penalty
was a killer blow. The classy corner-forward finished emphatically
within four minutes of the restart for her second goal of the
game following a pass of vision by the prominent Laura McMahon
and there was no way back for Frank Browne’s charges.

O’Flynn, Amy Murphy and Nollaig Cleary were amongst the scorers
as Cork pulled inexorably clear, leading by 12 points before Mayo’s
late consolation burst.

Scorers – Cork: V Mulcahy 2-1 (1-0 pen, 0-1f); A Murphy, G O’Flynn
0-3 each; N Cleary 0-2; D O’Reilly, J Murphy (f) 0-1 each.

Mayo: C Staunton 1-2 (1-0f); F McHale 1-0; D O’Hora 0-2(fs); C
McGing, M Kelly 0-1 each.

Cork: E Harte; C Walsh, A Walsh, Rena Buckley; L Barrett, B Stack,
B Corkery; J Murphy, N Kelly; G O Flynn, L McMahon, N Cleary;
V Mulcahy, A Murphy, D O Reilly. Subs: Rhona Buckley for Kelly
inj. (ht); M Kelly for McMahon (48); S O’Reilly for C Walsh (56);
A O’Shea for Cleary (56).

Mayo: Y Byrne; S McGing, H Lohan, N O’Shea; M Heffernan, M Carter,
C McGing; C O’Hara, C McDermott; F McHale, C Staunton, C Egan;
A Herbert, C Heffernan, D O’Hora. Subs: L Cafferkey for Herbert
(28); M Kelly for O’Shea (ht); J Moran for McDermott (50).

Referee: E O’Hare (Down)

 

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