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Dublin 2-11 Cork 2-8

Cork ladies Football. Sponsors Castlelands

Dublin 2-11 Cork 2-8

Cork shocked by Dublin’s intensity in league encounter at Mallow By Fr Liam Kelleher

On all known form, coming into this game, Cork were expected to have a stroll in the park, against the underachieving Dubs, but the glorious uncertainty of sport was graphically illustrated once again when Dublin took the game by the scruff of the neck and dominated from start to finish. Cork had defeated the Dubs in last years All-Ireland semi’s by 3-17 to 1-4, Dublin were without a win in the league in their 3 games, interestingly they had not lost either, they had drawn 3 times and had a mere 3 points to their credit and bar a miracle out of the play off stages, which this year begin at the Semi-final stage, with just 2 teams to qualify for from each of the 2 sections. Cork on the other hand had full points 9, this year its 3 points for a win and were virtually assured of a Semi-final place. They are still in a good position with a draw sufficing for a Semi place, they play Monaghan away on Sunday next. No team likes to lose and particularly Cork, this was their first loss at the qualifying stage in 3 years and ironically it happened at home against Galway. If there was ever a time to lose without severe consequences than Sunday last was the day to do it and knowing how much the loss was etched on the faces of the players as they came off the field and afforded a guard of honour by the triumphant Dubs, that loss could prove the catalyst for the remainder of the season and it will. The major worry when Cork were drawn in this section was, they appeared to have easy games, with Galway the only perceived team to test them, but how wrong one can be. There is a perception can sometimes you can learn more from defeat than victory and the Cork management surely learned a lot on Sunday. It is good for the sport, that Dublin are a force to be reckoned with again, under Gerry McGill. They have had like Cork huge underage success in recent years winning the under 16 title 2 years ago and losing out to Cork in the Minor decider. While they have been slow in introducing some of these players to a higher level their gradual infusion was evident on Sunday. Such has been the high powered performances of the Cork players, in virtually every game for the last 3 years, it would be a trifle unfair to dwell on the shortcomings of the team on Sunday and a team does not suddenly go backwards in a week. It was simply a bad day at the office, particularly for a beleaguered defence minus Rena Buckley Ciara Walsh, and Briege Corkery, and they were run ragged, for most of the hour. There were a few times during the game when Cork urged on by the biggest crowd of the 3 Sundays at home looked like they had a chance when they led by a point 20 minutes through the first half and 8 minutes into the 2nd half and right at the death, when a smashing Juliet Murphy goal brought them to within a goal. It would have been a travesty of justice if Cork had managed a draw and they could, in the 4th minute of added time, which was well justified, have slotted an equaliser when an Amy O’Shea screamer, went so close. Credit the referee Keith Delahunty for his excellent interpretation of the rules and that contributed to an open exciting game and sent the punters home in a positive mood, after getting excellent value for money although the only charge for the 3 Sundays was the nominal charge for the programme.

Laid down marker.

From the outset Dublin set the trend for the game they opened full of vim and life and their passing and running off the ball was intelligent and effective. The bulk of the scoring was done by a very impressive full forward line of, Niamh Hurley, Lyndsey Davey and Sinead Ahern and if the truth were told they could have bagged a hatful of goals in the first half, such was their dominance. The warning signs were there when each of the trio had notched a point by the 9th minute. Cork on the other hand depended a lot Juliet Murphy and Deirdre O’Reilly who were winning good possession by could not link up with the forwards with the usual efficiency this was as much due to the hard working Dublin defenders. Deirdre O’Reilly shot Cork’s first point in the 6th minute and a trademark goal from Rhona Buckley in the 11th minute should have been the incentive that Cork needed. How the Dubs must have viewed this early goal from Buckley, they were surely aware that she had scored 4 goals against them in last years All-Ireland Minor Final and 4 the year before in the Minor Semi That was nearly as good as it got. Although a Valerie Mulcahy point on the 20th minute gave Cork the lead for the first and only time after Deirdre O’Reilly had fired over a levelling point, it was only a brief respite, Dublin to their credit upped the ante again and after some glaring misses an inrushing Ann Marie Murphy deflected a cross to the net, giving Elaine Harte no chance. Dublin dominated the remainder of the half firing over some excellent points with Cork’s solitary one coming from Amanda Murphy. Dublin were full value for their 1-7 to 1-4 lead.

Expected resurgence.

After the dressing room encounter, one expected a huge resurgence from Cork in the 2nd half but it never came, but it was more of the same for the Dubs after Cork early flurry, which yielded points from Ciara O’Sullivan, who was introduced at the break, Amanda Murphy who saw her shot from point blank range, graze the bar and what should have been a morale boosting levelling point by Juliet Murphy, all this by the 8th minute. Dublin then took over and scored 1-3 without reply in the next 7 minutes, the goal coming from Niamh Hurley. They withstood all Cork pressure until time was up on the clock and the Rebelettes did get a glimmer of hope, when after intense pressure Juliet Murphy finished to the net. Cork did have a final chance, but it was not to be and while Cork were down but certainly not out. As usual pragmatic coach Eamon Ryan was frank noting Cork were not just good on the day and credited Dublin for their well merited win. Sunday next sees the team make the long journey to Monaghan and no doubt they should do what is necessary to bring them to the league Semi Final. Cork Elaine Harte, Fiona Crowley, Angela Walsh, Linda Barrett. Sinead O’Reilly, Brid Stack, Geraldine O’Flynn, Deirdre O’Reilly Juliet Murphy.Nollaig Cleary, Laura McMahon, Amanda Murphy Valerie Mulcahy, Amy O’Shea, Rhona Buckley Caoimhe Creedon, Ciara O’Sullivan, Anne-Marie Walsh, Regina Curtin, Claire O’Donoghue Roisin O’Sullivan.

Once again the host club had everything in order for the 3rd Sunday in a row and it must have been a huge source of pride to this fledgling club to have 30 under 12 girls on the pitch fro a mini game at half time. They also afforded a guard of honour to both teams on to the field it will be a day they will not forget for a while.


Co Minor B Semi Final

Glanworth 2-13 Kilmeen 1-9

Congratulations to Amanda Murphy Beara who received the Irish Examiner Youth award for Ladies Football for the 2nd year in a row in Dublin last week. The awards were presented by Sir Alex Ferguson.

Unique Final.

· On This Thursday at Mallow GAA Complex the first Pat the Baker Munster Senior Schools final between 2 Cork schools takes place at 12.30. The 2 Schools Loretto Fermoy the holders and St Mary’s Mallow have a host of Cork players in their ranks and it should be a cracking game.

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