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Cork have to dig deep to retain the McGing cup

Cork Ladies football.

Cork have to dig deep to retain the McGing cup. By Fr Liam Kelleher

Cork 1-13 Dublin 0-11

Cork Senior B team put up a terrific performance, to retain the Aisling McGing cup, at Sun splashed Toomevara Co Tipperary on Saturday last. Cork and Dublin had reached this final, virtually untested and we expected a battle, Cork having beaten the Dubs, by the narrowest of margins, when they met earlier in the year. What it battle it was, that ebbed and flowed, until Cork finally went ahead, after being behind, for most of the game, 7 minutes from the end. Cork had a promising start, with Aine Sheehan in superb form all day, put them in front with an early point. It was nip and tuck, for the next 15 minutes and Cork were denied goals, by a superb Dublin keeper Hannah Tyrell, a most experienced custodian. She helped Dublin to this years All-Ireland minor title and was player of the match in their All-Ireland final under 16 win over Cork 2 years ago. Territorially Cork were on top in most sections of the field, with the backs led by a superb Siobhan Ni Bhuachalla and flanked by Verona Ni Drisceoil and Karen Cronin giving Dublin very little breathing space in front of goal. Cork also enjoyed control of midfield by the very hardworking pair of capt Aisling Barrett and Eimear O’Connell. Electing to play with just Lisa McSweeny and Aine Sheehan up front, they had plenty of room to run at the Dublin defence with Jenny Luddy, winning some superb ball, they split open the Dublin defence, on numerous occasions, to be denied, time and again by the keeper. The net result of this was Dublin capitalised and with a succession of points they creped into a 3 point lead at the short whistle, leading 7 points to 3. Cork trooped to the dressing room, wondering how they could have been behind.

Soul searching

Manager Peter O’Leary was still upbeat and was confident his charges would turn it around in the 2nd half but a lot of soul searching had to be done, it was Dublin who appeared to have got the physological advantage and crept into a 4 point lead. Then enter Aine Sheehan, who scored a couple of superb points, after running the Dublin defence ragged. Subs, Deirdre Cotter and Aine O’Donovan, gave fresh impetus to the team, with Miss Cotter adding 2 vital points. The defining score of the half and indeed the game came, 7 minutes from the end, when Jenny Luddy cut inside, to send a superb shot to the left, out of the reach of the keeper, who just before that, had made another save from point blank range from Ann O’Donovan. Cork were now firmly in the driving seat and while Dublin did make a few intensive attacks to try and save the game, but they found the Cork defence unbreachable. The final whistle blew to the delight of the players the management and their loyal band of supporters. Cork were full value for their 4 point win. A delighted Aisling Barrett received the Aisling McGing cup from Jimmy McGing, while the player of the match, went to Aine Sheehan, who contributed 8 points to the team total and the trophy was presented by Teresa McGing. It must be very consoling for Jimmy and Teresa to see the memory of their daughter perpetuated in such a fitting way. For the entire squad of 30 players it was dream come true, they have worked hard all the year giving it their all. The way they grafted, supported each other and fought doggedly for this victory, shows what can be done. Full credit to the enigmatic and emotive manager Peter O’Leary and his management team, of Dan Buckley, Mick Myers, Miriam O’Connell and Rose Marie O’Leary. It was tough on Dan to miss the big day due to his involvement with his club in the Duhallow Junior football final, which ended in a draw. Peter drawing from his experience of last year, did everything in his power to have the best possible panel available. He attended matches all over the Co and added players to the panel who have never played with Cork at underage level. For Fermoy girl Cora Roche it was really a dream come through winning her first medal and for the majority of the girls it was their first All-Ireland medal. For Peter who is deeply involved in club coaching, as well as a very competent referee, it was a huge boost because his team has got very little credit, for his achievements and it is good boost for ordinary club coaches and managers who can like Peter, make the transition to be successful with Inter-co teams. Cork Martina O’Brien, Karen Cronin, Siobhan Buckley Verona O’Driscoll, Louise Coholan Sinead O’Leary, Vera Foley, Aisling Barrett,capt, Eimear O’Connell, , Grainne Lucey Sile Johnson, 0-1 Jenny Luddy, 1-1 , Aine Sheehan 0-8 Shelley Twohig. Emma O’Brien Lisa McSweeny, 0-1. Muireann Stack, Kathyrn Coakley, Karen O’Halloran, Maebh Westwood Deirdre Cotter, 0-2 Eimear O’Donovan, Louise Holland. Kathyrn Cooke, Ann O’Donovan, Julie O’Neill, Sinead McMahon, Sharon Whelton Cora Roche.

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