Cork retain title after epic encounter

Cork retain title after epic encounter

Cork 0-14 Meath 0-12 Cork made it back to back
Suzuki NFL titles after a thrilling encounter with Meath in Parnell
Park on Saturday evening. This was a game that produced everything
good about the game from excellent goalkeeping and defending to
score’s of out of the top drawer at the other end. In the middle
we were treated to the highest quality of fielding from both player
of the match Grainne McNulty and in particular Mary Sheridan. The
reigning champions got off to a blistering start as they raced five
points clear after just thirteen minutes. Deirdre O’Reilly got the
ball rolling inside a minute with a fine score. Four points in a
three minute spell between the 10th and 13th from Sinead O’Reilly,
Rena Buckley, Caoimhe Creedon and Aisling O’Connor followed. The
Royals almost struck their opening score in the 14th minute when
an excellent pass from All Star Geraldine Doherty picked out Katie
O’Brien but her shot was well saved by Elaine Harte.

Suzuki Ladies National Football League Division 1 Winners, Cork


As we entered the second quarter Meath did get on the
board with Elaine Duffy pointing. Like Cork they rallied with four
points in a blistering four minute spell from Gillian Bennett (free),
Grainne Nulty (2) and Duffy to draw level at five points a piece.
Nine minutes from the break Cork retook the lead after great defending
from Angela Walsh broke up a dangerous Meath attack and play swung
to the other end for Creedon to score. Harte pulled off another save
soon after as she tipped a dangerous delivery onto the crossbar. Valerie
Mulcahy popped over a free to extend the lead to two prior to Meath
finishing the stronger with points from Bennett with two free’s. The
sides went in locked at 0-07 a piece at the midway point. The high
tempo pace continued after the resumption. Five minutes into the second
period saw the Royals edge in front for the first time with yet another
Bennett free. It was short lived when substitute Mary O’Connor levelled
matter. Creedon and Bennett exchanged points as both sides matched
each other move for move. A pinpoint pass from Breige Corkery picked
out Mulcahy who pointed.


As we entered the final quarter a further free from Bennett levelled
matters for the fifth time. Mulcahy and Bennett were again on target
before Nulty edged Meath into the lead ten minutes from time. That
was to be the last score for the Royal county as the Rebels finished
the stronger. Cork pushed full back Walsh into a more advanced position
around the middle. The Inch Rovers All Star almost levelled matters
but her attempt drifted wide. The leveller wasn’t far away and it
came off the boot of Mulcahy with a free. We were now into the final
six minutes and it was Cork getting more and more on top. The issue
and the title was sealed by substitute Geraldine O’Flynn as she
fired over the two winning points to secure the crown.

A cracking game between two great sides and while the title was
won by Cork, the real winner was ladies football. Meath will look
back at the number of wasted opportunities and with 15 wides at
this level they were made pay. Cork used their experience and their
composure and ability to pick off the vital scores at the end was
the telling factor.

Cork: E Harte, B Stack, A Walsh, L Power, B Corkery, R Buckley
(0-01), S O’Reilly (0-01), J Murphy, N Kelly, N Cleary, D O’Reilly
(0-01), A O’Connor (0-01), V Mulcahy (0-04, 3f), A Murphy, C Creedon
(0-03) Subs: M O’Connor (0-01), M Kelly, G O’Flynn (0-02, 1f),

Meath: I Munnelly, S Dooley, J Burke, S McCormack, J Rispen, L McKeever,
E McGrane, E Lynch, L Keenan, M Sheridan, K O’Brien, G Nulty (0-03),
G Doherty, G Bennett (0-07, 6f), E Duffy (0-02) Subs: C O’Shaughnessy,
C McAuley, A Thompson


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