Cork’s All-Ireland Minor win, no Minor achievement

Cork’s All-Ireland Minor win, no Minor achievement By
Fr. Liam Kelleher

Cork 1-15 Mayo 3-5.

When the history of Ladies football is being written
in years to come the winning of the All-Ireland minor
Championship by Cork will rank very high in the list
of achievements In Perfect conditions at Birr on Saturday
last in magnificent game of football Cork scored an
exciting 4 point win over Mayo in the All-Ireland Minor
final. Cork had to do it the hard way after dominating
the opening 15 minutes they missed several scoring opportunities
and had just 4 points on the scoreboard while Mayo scored
a point with the their only attack Perhaps the main
reason for this was 3 players were drafted into the
forward line and they had not played together for any
of the games leading up to the final. A good team shows
its true colours in times of adversity, Cork forced
to line out without 3 of their top forwards, two members
of the camogie panel, Briege Corkery and Catriona Foley
were not released, while Kareina Richards travelled
that day to Macedonia to play with the Irish under 18
soccer team.

Player of the match receives her award from Geraldine Giles

Captain Brid Stack with the cup
The strong tackling Mayo defence snuffed
the main danger in the Cork attack and with Paula Fitzgerald
at fullback and Heather Jordan in the corner dominating
the scene the usually prolific scorer Sheila Burns was
held scoreless. The strength of Aisling Barrett won
her a lot of possession and was very unlucky when she
burst clean through and it took a timely goal line clearance
to deny her. Marie O’Neill missing her regular partners
did not function as she normally does, so Cork looked
in a bit of trouble. Laura Power did show flashes of
her undoubted ability which would later blossom in an
intriguing 2nd period. In the 2nd quarter the game changed
around dramatically when Mayo ran at the Cork defence
and scored 2 stunning goals through Emma Mullin and
Maeve Ann 0’Reilly before the break to give them a goal
Tremendous courage

Cork showed tremendous courage in the 2nd half, the
teams traded points early on through Emma Mullan and
Geraldine O’Flynn, O’Flynn added another with her midfield
partner Norita Kelly doing likewise, then Marie O’Neill
struck for a point Fourteen minutes into the half came
the vital goal came for Cork when through sheer tenacity
Laura Power won back possession and sent it to the net,
after a mistake by the keeper. Cork were now ahead and
points from Marie O’Neill, Angela Walsh and Geraldine
O’Flynn increased that lead to 4 points. Mayo struck
again for another goal from Anette Gallagher when the
Cork defence was caught napping and it was all to play
for again.

The Cork Management team

Slowly but surely Cork ground out the
vital points and despite intense Mayo pressure held
out for a tremendous win. Cork can thank their capt
Brid Stack, their outstanding half back line of Rena
Buckley, Angela Walsh later named player of the match,
and Niamh Keohane. Norita Kelly and Geraldine O’Flynn
got the better of the midfield exchanges, while the
forward line who failed to function in the first half
came more into the game in the 2nd half with Laura Power,
Marie O’Neill finding their form, The tenacious defending
of Mayo kept Cork at bay for long periods. But indeed
every member of the panel played their part in this
huge performance. It came as a huge relief when efficient
ref Christy Haughney blew the final whistle, there were
joyous scenes with all involved with this committed
bunch delighted that they had triumphed in such exciting
The team Line-up
Since the new Millennium has begun Cork
have taken 4 All-Ireland under 14 titles in a row, the
under 16 tile last year and now the Minor title with
the same 4 mentors involved in all the successes. Fr
Liam Kelleher Manager, Charlie McLaughlin Coach, Sheila
Quinlan and Christy O’Sullivan Selectors. The main topic
of conversation in Cork Ladies Football now centres
on the fact that Cork have never won a Munster title
not alone an All-Ireland title. With 12 of the Minors
actually playing on the senior team that lost to eventual
Munster title winners Kerry in the Munster Semi-Final,
Senior success should be imminent but it cannot be guaranteed.
Hopefully those who have guided Corks fortunes in those
amazing successes will be given a vote of confidence
to continue. The one disappointing feature of last Saturdays
game was that Cork supporters were outnumbered by Mayo
by at least 4 to one. The general public in Cork must
get behind this gifted and talented bunch of players
who are keeping Cork football at the forefront at National
level. They have shown huge commitment down through
the years and during the current campaign training for
which began way back in December

Action from the game

Cork scorers: Geraldine 0’Flynn 0-6
,4f. Marie O’Neill 1-4. Laura Power 1-1 Angela Walsh 0-1,
Rena Buckley o-1. Norita Kelly 0-1
Mayo Scorers: Emma Mullin 1-2, Maeve Ann O’Reilly
1-1 Anette Gallagher 1-0 Edel Colleran 0-2

Cork: Claire O’Donoghue, Edel O’Sullivan, Brid Stack
capt, Elaine O’Riordan, Rena Buckley, Angela Walsh, Niamh
Keohane, Geraldine O’Flynn, Norita Kelly, Laura Power, Marie
O’Neill, Tara Galvin, Laura O’Mahony, Sile Burns, Aisling
Barrett, Louise Holland, Aine Murphy, Gearoidin Kearney,
Ciara O’Sullivan, Claire Conway. Niamh Canty Orla Murphy.
Lisa McSweeny.

Mayo: Aisling Concannon, Heather Jordan, Paula Fitzgerald,
Aisling Farrell, Caroline McGing, Patricia Moran, Crea Rouse,
Rachel Nolan, Edel Colleran, Trina McNicholas, Maeve Ann
O’Reilly, Annette Gallagher, Emma Mullin, Kelly Colleran,
Sharon Mahon. Emma Galligan, Aine Clarke, Louis Collins,
Patricia Jordan, Caroline McAndrew, Marie McGing, Fiona
McHale, Aileen McNicholas, Therese Omelette, Lisa O’Brien,
Michelle Ruane, Noelle Tierney.

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