Donoughmore and Rockchapel match report



It should have been a classic. This third round encounter in the
Evening Echo senior ladies football championship was to be laced
with individual battles but that failed to materialise last night
in Dromtariffe. With Rockchapel knocking hard on the door last season,
many thought they could end Donoughmore’s nine year winning streak,
but the optimists were left wondering.

It was obvious from the go there was a gaping void in the Rock’s
offence with sharpshooters Deirdre O’Reilly, Mairead Kelly, Deirdre
O’Sullivan, Gillian Foley and Regina Curtain amiss, and competing
with the Munster champions was always going to be a tall order.
The ability to finish was the defining difference and Donoughmore
had an impressive nine on the score sheet. Whilst the score-line
suggests otherwise Rockchapel did well to stunt their opponents
from gaining any major momentum at crucial stages of the game. Norma
Kelly and Mairead McCarthy were solid throughout while keeper Cathy
Forrest showed great composure under high ball. The battle for midfield
was an intriguing one with the intercounty pairing of Juliet Murphy
and Norita Kelly but both faired evenly throughout the 60 minutes.
Rockchapel went ahead with two points in as many minutes from Brid
Stack but Juliet Murphy kept her side in tow with a number of frees.
The champions did well to contain Sinead O’Reilly at centre forward
who was causing huge problems running at the defence but with no
target woman to hit inside, they couldn’t respond effectively. A
chance did fall to Norita Kelly following a perfectly placed pass
from Brid Stack but a leg save from Niamh Duggan denied the Rock
levelling the contest. But when questions were asked of Donoughmore
they answered them in style and when Ashling Barrett found herself
unmarked on the edge of the square, she made no mistake where the
ball would end up. It appeared they were motoring comfortably but
scores had to be well worked with the Rockchapel defence battling
hard and they led 1-9 0-5 at the half.

What was said at the break worked a treat for the champions and
they launched out of the blocks in the second. Linda Barrett and
Vera Sheehan began to take charge in the half back line and as a
unit held the contenders scoreless for 21minutes. Fitness began
to tell for Rockchapel and defensively they couldn’t seem to get
to grips with top scorer Aisling O’Connor.

The Rockchapel management needed an injection of strength and called
upon the injured Regina Curtain to come to the fore. The impact
needed was achieved as Curtain notched three points to reduce the
deficit. Stack began to dominate in midfield and Christine O’Gorman
and Caramel O’Reilly added further scores before Norita Kelly produced
a top-drawer goal. But it was too little too late and it didn’t
phase Donoughmore who weren’t even in full swing. There were flashes
of economic brilliance from the mid Cork outfit but improvements
will have to be made if they’re to retain the title.

Despite poor entertainment value, I shudder to think of the epic
we would have on our hands if both clubs had a full deck of cards
to chose from. Both still look destined for the final but Inch of
course are capable of throwing a spanner in the works. But for now
Donoughmore have yet to learn who their opponents are in the semi-final
while Rockchapel sit tight to see who they face in the quarter-finals.

Scorers for Donoughmore: A O’Connor 1-5, A Barrett 2-0, J
Murphy 0-6 (0-4f), C O’Connell 0-3, L Murphy 0-2, O McSweeney, V
Sheehan, L O’Connell and S O’Connell 0-1 each.
Scorers for Rockchapel: B Stack 0-3 (0-1free), R Curtain
0-3 (frees), N Kelly 1-0, S O’Reilly, T O’Sullivan, C O’Gorman and
C O’Reilly 0-1 each.
DONOUGHMORE: N Duggan, E Walsh, E O’Sullivan, S O’Connell,
V Sheehan, R Cogan, L Barrett, H Kelleher, J Murphy (c), A Barrett,
L O’Connell, C O’Connell, O McSweeney, L Murphy and A O’Connor.
ROCKCHAPEL: C Forrest, M McCarthy, C Kelly, M O’Connor, G
McNamara, N Kelly, M Stack, N Kelly, B Stack, E Daly, S O’Reilly,
C O’Gorman, M Kelly, C O’Reilly, T O’Sullivan.
Subs: R Curtain for M Stack (44min).
Referee: MJ O’Keeffe (Dromtariffe)

Thomas Barrett (Donoughmore Selector)
For Donoughmore selector Thomas Barrett, the Evening Echo senior
championship starts from the next round on due to the back door
system for all contenders.

“To be honest, the championship will start from the next round on.
We were missing some very good players – Rena Buckley and Mary O’Connor
and with those girls it might have been a different story”. But
Barrett is well aware his team weren’t firing on all cylinders and
that improvements will have to be made if they are to reach their
tenth county final. “We can play a lot better than we did. We played
about 85% of our best. If we are to win the county and go further
we need to up our game by a further 15%. But I believe the team
are well capable of improving by that 15%. Rockchapel are a very
good side and I expect to see them go very far in the championship

Donal Kelly (Rockchapel Selector)
With the majority of his usual offensive unit missing, Rockchapel
selector Donal Kelly was reasonably content with his teams performance.
“We didn’t do too bad in the first half. We were missing a lot of
our top players through injury and work commitments and that cost
us in the second half. “That aside we’re happy with the overall
performance. Donoughmore are a class outfit. “Everyone did well
out there in fairness and gave a 110%. That’s all we asked. We knew
we were up against it tonight but they’re county and Munster champions
for a reason. “Hopefully we’ll meet them again and hopefully it’ll
be in a county final and we’ll see how things go at that stage”.

PLAYER OF THE MATCH Aisling O’Connor (Donoughmore) Caused
huge problems for the Rockchapel defence. She was extremely accurate
between the posts finishing top-scorer with 1-5 while also assisting
others. Characteristically Aisling hounded the out-coming defence
causing a number of Rockchapel turnovers.

Mary White (PRO, Cork Ladies Football)

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