2024 TG4 All-Ireland Finals tickets

Cork 4-8 Meath 0-3

Cork Ladies Football. Sponsors Castlelands.

The very good and the ugly. By Fr Liam Kelleher

Cork 4-8 Meath 0-3.

It surely must be the sporting phenomenon of the decade in Cork, the continued success of the Ladies Football team, with just one loss in league and Championship in nearly 3 years. This merits huge recognition. During the past 3 years,the basic core of the team personnel, has been the same and that was the case with the starting 15 against Meath in the 3rd round of the Suzuki National League at Mallow on Sunday last. While Meath had a weakened team, the way Cork ran through them in the opening half, was like poetry in motion, they defended with ease and attacked with ferocity. The fact that the half time score was a mere 4-5 to 0-0, was a huge talking point. While they shot just 3 wides, they peppered the Meath defence with a bombardment rarely seen at this level. The goals scored were out of the top drawer, although some of the misses were unbelievable and the saves of the Meath keeper were incredible. Seventeen year old Orla McLoughlin will not forget her Meath debut, on the Senior team in a hurry, she saved at least 6 shots that had goal written all over them, including a penalty from Valerie Mulcahy. But she was powerless to stop shots from Amy O’Shea twice, Valerie Mulcahy and Nollaig Cleary, with the points coming from a strong running Laura McMahon, Juliet Murphy, Caoimhe Creedon and a brace from Mulcahy and Cleary. Cork’s defensive set up minus, Rena Buckley and Briege Corkery were simply unbeatable with Ciara Walsh absent the week before settling in well with her sister Angela, a flying Linda Barrett, with the solid half back line of Geraldine O’Flynn Brid Stack in total control. Juliet Murphy and Deirdre O’Reilly held a firm grip at midfield giving the forwards a plentiful supply of quality ball and the forwards did the rest.

2nd half

While the opening half delighted the sizeable crowd, not as big mind you as the previous Sunday, the 2nd half was the direct opposite, apart from the opening 3 minutes when Cork added 2 more points through Laura McMahon and Amanda Murphy. The real rot did not start until Meath registered their opening score of the game in the 4th minute of the 2nd half. The Cork Management decided to experiment in the 2nd half not surprisingly they left 3 of the outstanding players Brid Stack,Valerie Mulcahy and Geraldine O’Flynn on the sideline, but it was when they called another 3 ashore, Elaine Harte, Juliet Murphy and Nollaig Cleary that things took a dive. It never seemed likely that Cork were going to lose, but little positives emerged and in fact Meath outscored them 3 points to 2 in last 25 minutes. While one appreciates the fact that it was difficult for the players who came on to adjust immediately to the system, the fact that they did not grab the glorious opportunity they got to impress, must be a big disappointment to themselves and a major worry to the management. The backs became disjointed and Grainne Nulty was allowed to dictate the pace of the game for Meath and while the Cork forwards got plenty of ball in this period, they did not move it with pace and when they were within shooting range, the efforts at scores were pretty feeble, as the scoreline indicates. Still it is early in the season but it looks like the net which has been stretched wide in recent weeks, will have to be extended further. Again the venue the envy of every club in the country was ideal with the local club as well as the newly formed ladies club doing an excellent job of organisation. If the Cork Ladies had never a game at the venue it would be worth a trip there to see the stunning set up, catering for the needs of so many both indoor and outdoor..

Cork Elaine Harte, Ciara Walsh, Angela Walsh, Linda Barrett. Sinead O’Reilly, Brid Stack, Linda Barrett. Deirdre O’Reilly Juliet Murphy.Nollaig Cleary, Laura McMahon, Amanda Murphy Valerie Mulcahy, Amy O’Shea, Caoimhe Creedon, Ciara O’Sullivan Rhona Buckley, Fiona Crowley, Anne-Marie Walsh, Regina Curtin, Claire O’Donoghue

Dublin the attraction.

Sunday next sees Cork’s final game at home and their 3rd Sunday in a row at Mallow. The game is a glamour one against the Dubs with a starting time of 2.15. Hopefully this will attract support right across the sporting divide, Dublin like Cork have a great underage set up and they are building up to be a force again, Sunday will give an indication on how they are shaping up. Hopefully they will have improved from the drubbing 3-17 to 1-4 that Cork inflicted on them in last years All-Ireland Semi-final

Cork still get the confident vote to continue their dominance and copper fasten a knockout spot which they are virtually assured of already.

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