Cork reach 2 Suzuki National league finals.

Cork reach 2 Suzuki National league finals.

On Sunday at Donoughmore in Cork and Leixlip in Kildare Cork teams won the Semi-finals of the Suzuki Ladies Football National League There was a double bonus for the victories when both teams were promoted to a higher division of the league. The A team demoted after one year in division one last year are back up this time by right. The last time Cork were upgraded they went from Division 3 to 1 in a new reshuffle which saw extra teams added to Division 1. The B team on the other hand did earn the right to go to Division 2 last year but with one team already there from Cork they were left with no option but to stay in Division 3.

Suzuki Div 2 Semi Final Cork 2-14 Kildare 2-06.

The end result was all that was important on the day. Cork opened in tremendous fashion and with Julie Murphy back to her best form and Norita Kelly at Midfield they gave plentiful supply to the forwards., The eager forwards, each of the sextet in their turn tore the Kildare defense to shreds and the miracle was they had scored just 2-07 by half time, such were the chances created that the score could easily have been doubled. The defense on the other hand coped admirably with the few Kildare raids with no nonsense good old fashioned tackling and intelligent clearances. Like most sports football can be a funny old game and while the arrival at half time of Mary O’Connor, in action earlier with Cork in the Camogie National league was a tremendous boost.

The capt was slotted into the pivotal defensive role and one wonders, was this a wise move after the success of the combination during the opening period There was no way Tara Galvin who got out of a sick bed to make the game could continue after the interval, with so many backs missing Mary who had played reasonably well in the position the week before was slotted in. Whether the change of formation had an upsetting effect one could only conjecture, but the fact that Kildare scored 2 quick goals and had the 9 point deficit cut to 2 points after 10 minutes could give credence to this assumption. Now the real character of the team was tested to the full they weathered the storm and sent over a succession of points before the end to ensure a worthy victory.

Cork scorers. Valerie Mulcahy 0-06. Aisling O’Connor 1-02 Louise Murphy 1-00 Briege Corkery 0-01 Julie Murphy 0—01, Rena Buckley 0-01. Geraldine O’Flynn 0-01 Mary O’Connor 0-1
Kildare Scorers: Tracy Noone 0-06 Grainne Heduan 1-0 Antoinettee Mooney 1-0

Cork: Elaine Harte, Brid Stack, Elaine Cotter, Elaine O’ Riordan, Laura Power Rena Buckly Tara Galvin Julie Murphy, Norita Kelly Jean Lucey, Aisling O’Connor, Marie O’Neill. Briege Corkery, Louise Murphy, Valerie Mulcahy. Calire o’ Donoghue, Catriona Foley, Niamh Keohane, Gearadine O’Flynn.

Division 3 Semi-Final Cork 2-10 Limerick 2-08.

Cork showed great grit and courage to overcome Limerick at Doinoughmore trailing for most of the game and 4 points adrift a the interval after playing with the strong elements they came from 6 point behind early in the 2nd half to fashion an exciting win. The defense as a unit played solidly and when 2 players had failed to curtail the mercurial Limerick dynamo, Dymphna O’Brien, Eimear Walsh was called to do a job and did it effectively as she did in last years Munster Junior final win, over basically the same Limerick team.

Angela Walsh and Aisling Barrett gave Cork a definite edge at midfield and the forwards missing the services of the Midleton pair Kareina Richards on Soccer duty with Ireland in the US and Ciara O’Sullivan injured, got enough scores to ensure a fine victory. The goals came from Deirdre O’Sullivan and Sheila O’Callaghan who came on as a sub, with Mairead kelly firing over 5 points Angela Walsh 2 Aisling Barret 1 Elaeanor Twohig 1 and Niamh Hickey 1.

Cork Team: Mairead O’Sullivan, Fiona Crowley, Norma Kelly, Mairead Kennedy, Emer Walsh, Rose Cogan, Annie Waslh, Anglea Walsh, Aisling Barrett, Eleanor Twohig, Eimear O’Connell, Triona Lucey, Mairead Kelly Niamh Hickey Deirdre O’Sullivan, Sheila O’Callaghan Laura O’Mahony, AM Walsh, Eileen O’Brien. Emer Daly, Gearoidin Kearney.


The wins should herald a new era for Cork at senior level but despite this apparent step forward, much work needs to be done to build a sense of true commitment to Cork. Things are getting there, but a variety of reasons hinder the progress of the A squad, the greatest being that all the players are in 3rd level or post primary Colleges and with impending exams, Cork could have a very depleted A squad by the time the Finals come round on May 11th.The one saving grace is that this year there is a panel of about 30 and when players are missing for whatever reason then there are other equally good to take their place .Sunday a was typical example Cork started with just 2 backs that lined out the Sunday before and they suffered a cruel blow when Amy O’Shea after scoring 3-05 was injured in added time in the Cork Co Under 21 Semi Final and could be out of action for some time.

It seems ludicrous to play such a game at 6pm the evening before a vital division 2 Semi-final with so much hinging on the game on Sunday, but that seems to be Cork’s Achilles heel. Fair play to Jean Lucey, Valerie Mulcahy and Briege Corkery they played the full game again on Sunday and gave their very all for Cork. So did Rena Buckley who played a Under 16 Munster Semi Final on Friday, a Munster under 16 camogie semi-final on Saturday and a vital league match in Sunday. This is certainly overtaxing the good will of those committed and dedicated players. Against all this background what Cork achieved on Sunday was quite amazing.

Fr. Liam Kelleher PR0 021-4886128 087-8516984

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