Cork under 16's on fire, in 7 in a row title romp

Cork under 16’s on fire, in 7 in a row title romp by
Fr Liam Kelleher


Cork 7-8 Kerry 2-10

Whatever it is about Cork underage football they seem to reserve
their best form and ruthless efficiency when they come up against
Kerry. The Rebelettes struggled big-time against Clare in the Munster
under 16, Semi Final, they looked anything but potential champions.
But what a turnaround in 2 weeks, the performance in annexing their
7th Munster title on the trot bore no resemble to that of the Clare
game. Cork tore into this game, played at Nemo Rangers, from the
outset and after missing a few early chances, they really ripped
Kerry apart in the space of 10 minutes, the scoring damage was done
by Ciara Sherlock who bagged 3 peaches of goals, but it was the
manner in which the scores were executed which was breathtaking.
Cork started with just 2 up front Yvonne Cahill and Ciara, with
Claire Keohane returning after a long injury employed as sweeper.
Claire took to her new role like a duck to water and while apprehensive
about being given the roll in the beginning, her massive display
will give her huge confidence.

Every player raised their game a number of notches. But it was the
defence that held Kerry in a vice like grip not giving them an inch.
Captain Caoimhe O’Callaghan kept a clean sheet until late in the
game. Maureen O’Sullivan gave the player of the match performance
and found her way up from the corner to score a goal and a point.
Niamh O’Keefe was very solid at fullback while the O’Connor twins
Claire and Caroline gave thundering displays. Sinead O’Reilly was
solid as a rock in the pivotal position and outsider her Beulah
McManus in her first season with Cork has been a revelation. The
midfield pairing of Julie McCarthy and Aine O’Leary worked their
socks off in the opening half but tired in the 2nd half. The introduction
of Orla Finn who won 3 National medals for athletics recently added
extra pace to the attack. The half line of Leanne Kearney, Aoife
Scally and Marie O’Donovan tried very hard and played lovely football
but lacked strength and the scoring punch and their best work was
when they left the ball inside quickly.

Cork enjoyed a 7 point advantage at the break 3-3 to 0-5 and when
Ciara Sherlock hit the net again in the 2nd minute Kerry had a mountain
to climb. To be fair to them they never gave up and came back for
2 opportunist goals, when the Cork backs had come too far forward,
to reduce a 13 point margin to 7, that was as close as they got.
Cork upped the ante again, Marie O’Donovan got her just reward for
her committed play by hitting the net. Ciara Sherlock’s predatory
instincts saw her hit the net a 5th time, she scored 4 in last years
under 14 All-Ireland win, and her 5th definitely sealed the deal.
With the game heading into added time Maureen O’Sullivan still full
of running came forward to add Cork’s 7th.

Cork will take great heart from this display, but they know that
it will take a continuation of their dedication and the forceful
play they displayed, to progress further. They play the quarter
final on August the 11th. The pattern of their display was similar
to that which annihilated Dublin in the All-Ireland Minor final,
yet 10 of those Dublin players made the Senior panel and helped
to beat Kerry Seniors last week-end. From what we saw in the Minor
and under 16 displays augurs well for the future and I have no doubt
that a few are very near a call up to Senior level. There is no
doubt that many players came of age on Wednesday evening at Nemo.

The referee Keith Delahunty, who had a car breakdown on the way
to the game and arrived 30 minutes late, handled the game well and
used the advantage rule to the limit but the fact that both teams
went out to play football, made his task easier.

Cork Scorers Ciara Sherlock 5-0, Maureen O’Sullivan 1-1 Orla Finn
0-3 Yvonne Cahill 0-2 Aoife Scally 0-2.

Cork Caoimhe O’Callaghan Claire O’Connor, Niamh O’Keefe, Maureen
O’Sullivan. Caroline O’Connor, Sinead O’Reilly, Beulah McManus,
Julie McCarthy, Aine O’Leary, Orlaith Farmer, Aoife Scally, Marie
O’Donovan, Leanne Kearney, Ciara Sherlock, Yvonne Cahill, Claire
Keohane, Niamh O’Regan, Donna Smyth, Orla Finn, Jessica O’Shea,
Joanne O’Brien, Kate Harrington, Sarah Harrington, Ciara Harrington,
Deirdre O’Driscoll, Patricia Dunne, Niamh Crowley, Sinead O’Neill
,Denise Cronin

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