Convincing Minor win for Cork

Convincing Minor All-Ireland win for Cork By Fr Liam


Cork 6-8 Dublin 2-10.

Cork minor Ladies captured their 4th Minor All-Ireland title in
5 years, when they proved much too good for Dublin in excellent
conditions at Templemore Co Tipperary on Sunday last. This game
was expected to be a cracker, after both sides noted for their
attacking football had racked up huge scores on their way to the
decider. What was expected to be the game of the year turned into
a one sided affair after Cork with devastating attacking football
had the game virtually wrapped up in the opening quarter with
2 goals from Rhona Buckley and one from Amanda Murphy, who was
seeking her 17th All-Ireland medal. Cork out thought, outsmarted
outclassed and most importantly outscored a shell shocked Dublin

The hour plus the Cork management put into picking the team and
planning tactics after the under 16 training session on Saturday
at Nemo Rangers pavilion paid rich dividends on Sunday. The selectors
took the bold step of replacing 2 of the team with 2 girls who
had not started in any of the previous games. Ciara Harrington
came into the corner back position in place of Eimear O’Donovan
who has been suffering the effects of a virus. The way she thundered
out to collect the opening ball that came her way, set the scene
for the rest of the game .Cork as well, decided to sacrifice a
forward and the one to lose out was Jenny Luddy, but she came
in at half time to make her contribution to the cause. Cork decided
to employ a sweeper and that role was to be shared with sisters
team capt Roisin who had been suffering from a severe bout of
flu during the week and her sister Ciara O’Sullivan. They played
out their roles to the letter and from an early stage snuffed
out the potential danger of the Dubs attack. Into the side for
her very first start in a Cork jersey in any underage team came
Sheila Johnson, she had been performing well in training but a
serious injury had curtailed her for the previous 2 weeks, but
Peter Maher sorted the injury out and she was given her big chance.

Travelling on the bus to the game, I spotted reading a quote in
the Munster Rugby book, from Vince Lombardi the content escapes
my mind all I know is that it was motivational and inspiring and
it must have worked. Her forceful play was a revelation which
led to her been awarded player of the match deservedly so, but
much to her astonishment, in truth any one of the 15 plus could
have received the accolade, such was the commanding presence in
every section of the field.

Corks plan was to contain the usually high octane start that the
Dubs had displayed in previous games, not only did it work, but
it gave Cork a commanding 3 goal advantage by the end of the opening
quarter. Building from the back Cork attacked Dublin and the 5
designated attackers, Ann O’Donovan, Amanda Murphy, Noelle Corkery,
Grace Kearney and Rhona Buckley shredded the Dublin defence with
ease. Rhona did not play her usual role close to goal but hovered
on the half forward line but when the Cork centre field pairing
and the forwards were on the move, she made some terrific runs
and her predatory instincts saw her blast 3 goals to the net before
the break. Noelle Corkery the lone striker played her roll well
too and like Grace Kearney took her points well. The other goal
came from Amanda Murphy who was winning her 17th All-Ireland title
in her last underage game with Cork, since coming in the side
in 2000 as a 10 year old. Incredibly she leaves underage ranks
with 4 under 14 All-Ireland titles, 3 under 16 and 4 Minor to
go with her 2 Senior and 2 National league titles, as well as
2 All-Ireland Feile titles with her club Beara. She has the unenviable
record of never having lost an underage All-Ireland final.

So what a way to go out and what a way to go out for a number
of players who have been there, some nearly as long as Amanda.
With a lead of 4-5 to 0-6 at the break Cork, were not going to
buckle. Like even professional teams do in other sports, their
thoughts went into defensive mode, with the premise on their mind
‘what we have we hold’ and they certainly did that. The spectacle
of the first half disappeared and the game developed into a bruising
battle, with Corks outstanding defence in no mood to capitulate.
Dublin did have an early flurry, but that was short lived and
when Rhona struck for her 4th goal after 5 minutes, she scored
5 against the Dubs last year in the Semi, it was game set and

While Dublin got the odd point they could not breach the Cork
rearguard for the goal to give them hope, such was the excellence
of Ellen Healy, Geraldine Rea. Linda Barrett, Eimear Harrington.
Patricia Murphy, Kathyrn Coakley and Claire O’Leary. Dublin did
pull a goal back from the penalty spot, but that was cancelled
out by another from Laura Harrington and in the 12 minutes of
injury time played, before that Rhona nearly made her tally 5,Hannah
Tyrell scrambled a ball that looked set to cross the line to safety.
Dublin were awarded another penalty which the referee apologised
after for giving, it was again converted by Natalia Hyland and
they added another 3 points before the finish to give the scoreboard
a more respectable slant.

Cork thorougly deserved this victory, because they have worked
very hard most of them for the past 7 years. For the team management
Charlie McLaughlin, and Con O’Sullivan both astute coaches, Ted
O’Donovan, Kathleen Kearney, Nelius Carroll and yours truly, it
was a joy and privilege to work with this group of girls. As Con
O’Sullivan said at the end of our Mass of Celebration in Hayes’s
hotel after dinner, he hoped that the friendships established
would continue forever. A special tribute was paid to Pat Lynch
who has been with the teams for over 10 years recording the many
fine feats on film, Pat was celebrating his birthday. Referee
Gerry Guinan is one of the strictest in the business and he kept
a firm control of the game and fair play to him for putting up
his hand and acknowledging his mistake in awarding a 2nd penalty
to the Dubs, but one wonders what would have happened, if there
was just a score between the teams at that juncture, but really
it did not matter.

Inspiring capt Roisin O’Sullivan one of the 8 Mourneabbey players
on the panel, who shook off a severe flu to capt her team to victory,
accepted the cup from National President Geraldine Giles. What
of Dublin? they came into this game with such high hopes, but
they can have no complaints they were simply outclassed on the
day. Ten of them are on the Dublin Senior panel, while champions
Cork have just 3, Amanda Murphy, Linda Barrett and Rhona Buckley
making it to the Cork Senior panel and surely even at this stage
with so many matches, to play in the Senior Championship, Senior
Management should take a serious look, which hopefully they did
on Sunday last and think about adding a few more from the Minor
panel to the Senior squad. Spare a thought as well for Deirdre
Cotter, one of the stars of last years win over Galway, ruled
out by a cruciate knee ligament injury, we wish Deirdre well in
her forthcoming operation.

Cork scorers: Rhona Buckley 4-1 Amanda Murphy 1-3 Laura Harrington
1-0. Grace Kearney. 0-2 Noelle Corkery 0-2

Cork Ellen Healy, Geraldine Rea, Linda Barrett, Eimear Harrington,
Claire O’Leary Kathryn Coakley Patricia Murphy, Ciara O’Sullivan
Roisin O’Sullivan capt Sile Johnson Anne O’Donovan Amanda Murphy
Grace Kearney Rhona Buckley Noelle Corkery Jenny Luddy, Kathleen
O’Brien Emma Hanley, , Emer O’Donovan Laura Harrington, Marissa
O’Callaghan, Ann Daly, Sandra Conroy, Eleanor Ahern, Claire Ambrose,
Deirdre Cotter, Claire Keohane.

Summer school of Coaching excellence

School of excellence and Summer camps during the last 10 years
have played a vital role in the development of Ladies Football
in the Co. This year the camps have been organised once again
at various venues. This week sees the biggest group yet with over
90 taking part in the Liscarroll camp at Churchtown. The excellent
kit courtesy of Co Sponsors Castlelands comprising of a new design
jersey shorts and socks has proved to be a great hit. Camps for
the next few weeks. Monday 23rd to Friday 27th Bantry 10am-1pm.
Beara 2pm-5pm Monday 30th –August 3rd. Clonakilty 10am-1pm Kilmeen


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