Finn's 2-6 inspires six-in-a-row chasing Cork back to winning ways

Lidl NFL Division 1 Round 4

Cork 2-13

Westmeath 1-6

CORK got back to winning ways as they were too strong for Westmeath at Mallow.

They weren’t helped though as there were four changes from the team announced, with injuries and illness seeing Martina O’Brien, Maria Ambrose, Emma Spillane and Beatrice Casey all unable to start.

But impressive displays from the likes of Orla Finn, Doireann O’Sullivan and Melissa Duggan saw the Rebels take the points.

Conditions made it difficult for either side to play decent football, with the strong wind swirling around the pitch, but slightly in favour of Cork in the first-half.

Playing with the wind, Cork were soon in front when Ciara O’Sullivan pointed just 30 seconds in, with Orla Finn adding a second from a free a minute later.

Cork could have had their first goal after seven minutes, but Karen Walsh saved superbly to deny Ciara O’Sullivan.

Doireann O’Sullivan and another Finn free made it 0-4 to no score in favour of Cork with 19 minutes gone, but in reality they could just as easily have been behind.

At this stage Westmeath had five wides, four from frees, all of which were relatively easy chances,

They eventually got their first score, in the 20th minute, when Laura Brennan set up Fiona Claffey for the opening goal of the game.

Karen Hegarty added a point from the restart, to make it 1-1 , to 0-4.

Cork responded in style with Eimear Scally pointing to put them bacj in front. With two minutes to half-time, Doireann O’Sullivan was sin-binned and Westmeath took advantage, with Hegarty pointing.

But Cork finished the half strongly, with Finn starting and finishing, a move for their second goal and in injury-time Libby Coppinger added a point to see Cork lead 2-6 to 1-2 at the break.

Claffey got the first point of the second-half, with Finn replying at the other end from a free. Brid O’Sullivan increased Cork’s lead as she hit two, with Hegarty replying from two frees for Westmeath to make it 2-9 to 1-5 with 45 minutes gone.

Cork were unlucky not to get a third goal when Maire O’Callaghan burst forward out of defence and beat several players, only to see her shot go just wide.

At the other end it took a great block from Orlagh Farmer to deny Claffey a second goal for Westmeath.

Two points from Finn kept Cork well in control, as she made it 2-10 to 1-5, with five minutes to go. Amie Giles was then sin-binned for Westmeath, which saw them finish the game with 14 players.

Hegarty pulled a point back, but late points from Ciara O’Sullivan and Finn saw Cork run out deserving winners by 2-13 to 1-6.

Scorers for Cork: O Finn 2-6 (4f), B O’Sullivan, C O’Sullivan 0-2 each, D O’Sullivan, E Scally, L Coppinger 0-1 each.

Westmeath: K Hegarty 0-5 (3f), F Claffey 1-1.

CORK: C Moore; A Kelleher, E Meaney, A Barrett; M O’Callaghan, M Duggan, S Kelly; B O’Sullivan, A Hutchings; C O’Sullivan, D O’Sullivan, O Farmer; L Coppinger, E Scally, O Finn.

Subs: A O’Sullivan for A Kelleher, N Quinn for B O’Sullivan, B Casey for A Barrett, L Cleary for O Farmer, C Collins for E Scally.

WESTMEATH: K Walsh; R Dillon, A Giles, N Feery; F Coyle, J Rogers, L Brennan; K McDermott, F Claffey; J Maher, M A Foley, K Boyce-Jordan; L McCartan, L Lee-Walsh, K Hegarty.

Subs: A Jones for K Boyce-Jordan, S Dolan for M A Foley, A Alford for L Lee Walsh.

Ref: S McNulty, Wicklow.

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