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Inch Rovers and Mourneabbey reach VHI All-Ireland finals

Inch Rovers and Mourneabbey reach VHI All-Ireland finals.

By Fr Liam Kelleher


The continued dominance of Cork in the Ladies Football
arena was again graphically illustrated when Inch Rovers and Mourneabbey
had convincing victories in their respective All-Ireland Senior
and Intermediate Semi-Final on Sunday last. Inch were victorious
at home while Mourneabbey made the long journey to Sligo a winning

Senior Semi. Inch Rovers 2-10 Errigal Ciaran 1-5.

Inch Rovers winners of their first Co and Munster Senior titles
in the past month, continued their upward spiral, when they had
a comprehensive victory over, Ulster Champions Errigal Ciaran, in
a rough and tumble, free ridden encounter, at Killeagh on Sunday.
There is a saying that a good start is half the battle and nothing
could be truer on Sunday when the home girls shot out the blocks
with a frightening vengeance and had 1-2 on the scoreboard within
a few minutes.

That scoring burst while it did set the basis for the ultimate victory,
it did not set the standard or tone for what followed for the next
57 minutes. The swarming containing tactics of the Ulster girls,
certainly did not do their cause any good and it was only in the
last 12 minutes when they had registered their first score, that
they used the direct route, became positive and stretched the Inch
Rovers for the first time. By that time Inch had the game wrapped
up, but to the credit of Errigal Ciaran and the joy, of their sizeable
following, they did not throw in the towel and showed they could
play football and if they had taken the numerous chances that came
their way earlier they would have been much closer in the end.

In the opening period their defence was stretched to the limit,
as the Inch forwards, particularly Claire Keohane a medallist with
the Cork under 16 All-Ireland winning team and Amy O’Shea a Senior
panellist, ran riot. Claire scored the goal with Amy chipping in
with points, indeed but for some desperate defending and dragging
down the score could have been doubled. Having weather the early
blitz Errigal came more into the game they strung a few good passes
and movements together but found the outstanding fullback line of,
Angela Walsh who was a rock and Sandra Smiddy and a fast tackling
and tenacious Mairead Kennedy were impregnable. After the initial
scoring burst and despite enjoying a huge advantage from the mid
field pairing of Annie Walsh and Orla Cotter, Inch appeared to be
poor value for their interval lead of 1-5. Pressure on With the
change of ends, Errigal applied huge pressure, but again they could
not make an impression on the Inch defence. Then enter 13 year old
super sub, Jessica O’Shea and her pace and tenacity made a difference.
She showed her positional sense to take an exquisite pass from namesake
and near neighbour, but no relation Amy to billow the back of the
net, giving Inch a 13 point cushion.

Apart form the opening 3 minutes that was the most defining moment
of the game. So far ahead with a quarter of the game to go one would
forgive Inch for losing a little focus. The scoring of their first
point in the 46th minute was greeted with the loudest cheer of the
day and signalled an Errigal revival. Laura Mc Cann used her strength
to win some good ball and Niamh McGarvey took her goal well, but
it was too little too late. The busiest person on the day was referee
Tony Lennon who must have tooted on the whistle over 50 times and
while he did not lose control of the game at any stage, a few stern
warnings on dangerous tackles, on both sides, would not have been
out of order.. I suppose you could say there were mitigating circumstances
with the light drizzle contributing to difficult underfoot conditions.
While Inch finished comfortable winners, they must be under no illusions
about the task they face in the final against Carnacon, who defeated
Ballyboden/St Enda’s with consummate ease in the other Semi Final.
Full marks to Noel O’Connor for bringing his squad to such heights
in such a short time, Intermediate Champions last year they are
on the threshold of the “Impossible dream” I for one would not bet
against them. Having little interest in the Sport when I was curate
in the parish for 5 years, I helped many of the current players
winning all Ireland medals for cross-country. Credit to Michael
Slattery and Hugie O’Neill and Co for keeping the show on the road
in difficult times.

My interest grew when I left Inch for Whitechurch and Rockban and
ultimately Cok took off. Things have progressed quite a lot since
and I know now what Ladies football means to Inch Rovers in the
parish of Killeagh. It may be a small place, but they have inched
their way to the National stage with giant steps. The dream cannot
die now. Inch Rovers scorers. Claire Keohane 1-4 Amy O’Shea 0-3,
Angela Walsh 0-1 , Annie Walsh 0-1 Orla Cotter 0-1. Inch. Emma Fogarty
Mairead Kennedy, Angela Walsh, Sandra Smiddy, Ciara Walsh, Jenny
Duffy, Fiona Walsh, Annie Walsh, Orla Cotter Elaine Walsh, Anne
Marie Walsh, Ella Ryan, Amy O’Shea, Jill Horan, Claire Keohane.
Subs Jessica O’Shea, Aisling Fitzgerald, Siobhan Downing Mourenabbey
0-20. St Nathys Sligo 2-5 Mourneabbey my present neighbouring parish,
is a small one. Like Inch they too know what it takes to win an
All-Ireland having triumphed in the All-Ireland Junior final 2 years
ago. Inch put an end to their hopes last year, but they are back
again for another crack at a title, this time at Intermediate level.

This too is a real family club, committed and united in a common
bond and a common cause, they simply love their football. Their
trademark play of passing flowing football, moving the ball quickly
has stood them in good stead. In the first round of the Senior Co
championship they gave an indication of their resolve, by inflicting
the championship first defeat on Donoughmore in 12 years. They bowed
out of the Co Senior race subsequently, but there were no tears
shed in regret, since then it has been tears of joy all the way.
They made the long journey to Sligo to take on the Connaught champions
St Nathy’s and despite the long haul, they remained focussed on
the job in hand to fashion an utterly convincing triumph. To run
a score of 20 points at this level is remarkable and after conceding
the first score they answered with a vengeance scoring 7 in a row
during a ten minute spell, this gave them the impetus to build on,
from there and they were never in any real danger after that of
defeat. Thee short whistle was reached with a formidable cushion
of 0-10 to 0-3 the points tally coming from Laura Harrington, Ciara
O’Sullivan, Jenny McCarthy, Siobhan Forde and Sheila O’Callaghan.
but you never know if this is going to be enough. They answered
all the questions posed of them in the 2nd half they conceded two
goals one from a penalty and this must be a cause of worry. However
their point scoring spree continued with regular monotony until
they reached the 20 point , magical figure, Con and Jerry’s babes
had done it again and now they know they have just one more step
to go, roll on the 25th

Scorers. Jenny McCarthy 0-7 Ciara O’Sullivan 0-5 Kathleen O’Brien
0-3, Sheila O’Callaghan and Laura Harrington 0-2 each Siobhan Forde
0-1 Team Emma Forde Rebecca Larkin, KathyAnn Stack, Eimear Harrington,
Ciara Harrington, Catherine Coakley, Patricia Murphy, Sheila O’Callaghan,
Roisin O’Sullivan, Siobhan Forde, Laura Harrington, Ciara O’Sullivan,
Eva O’Donoghue, Kathleen O’Brien, Jenny Mccarthy. Subs Sandra Conroy,
Leona Behan, Niamh O’Regan Co Premier under 16 title for Erins Own.
Erins Own 5-3 Liscarroll 3-7 Erins Own ladies footballers won their
third Under-16 county final in a row, defeating Liscarroll in an
exciting premier county final on Sunday 11th November, in a game
played in excellent conditions in Grenagh. These two teams have
clashed several times at county level since 2004 when the team met
in the under-12 county final, and in 2005 in the under-14 final,
with Liscarroll coming out on top in both of those occasions. In
more recent years however the girls from East Cork have had the
upper hand, beating their North Cork rivals to win the Under-14
title in 2006 and now the Under-16 title in 2007. In Sunday’s game
Liscarroll started the stronger but didn’t manage to get scores
on the board, and Erins Own, playing with the wind, began to come
into the game after six minutes when corner forward Emily O Callaghan
finished off a break away attack with a goal. After twenty minutes
Erins Own held a narrow lead of 1-1 to 0-3, after points for Liscarroll
from Vicky Hallihan and Yvonne O Callaghan, but the girls from East
Cork added another goal from midfielder Diane O Regan after a great
move involving Caoimhe O Callaghan, Niamh O Keeffe and Aisling Wall.

Emily O Callaghan added a second point to leave the half time score
at 2-2 to 0-3. The second half proved to be a titanic struggle between
these two evenly matched teams. Liscarroll added two quick points
to their tally through Rebecca Sheehy and Ciara Sherlock, but Erins
Own showed their ability to get goals at crucial stages through
Lisa Dennehy and Niamh O Keeffe to retain a five point lead in spite
of a neat goal by Brid Crowley for Liscarroll. The North Cork girls
then hit a purple path and added several points and a goal in quick
succession to close the gap to two points, and looked to be in the
ascendancy until Erins Own’s Emma O Keeffe won the ball 40m from
goal, carried it forward past her marker and slammed the ball to
the roof of the net, to leave five points between the teams with
five minutes to go. Liscarroll weren’t finished however, and in
a last throw of the dice moved outstanding full back Denise Cronin
to full forward where she quickly made her presence felt by scoring
a third Liscarroll goal to leave the score at 5:3 to 3:7, a two
point gap. In spite of a gallant effort however by the North Cork
girls, the Erins Own backs held out under fierce pressure, and Alison
Barry, goalkeeper Andrea Carry, full back Ciara Murphy and centre
back Amy Riordan were prominent in keeping the Liscarroll forwards
at bay until the final whistle blew and Erins Own had retained their
Under-16 premier title, by a winning margin of two points with scoreline
of 5:3 to 3:7.

Erins Own: A. Carry, R. Barry, A.Barry, C. Murphy, A. Riordan, S.Dooley,
K.O Carroll, D Regan, C O Callaghan, E O Keeffe, A.Wall, L. Dennehy,
E O Callaghan, J Cronin, N O Keeffe. Subs : C. Lane, J. Eivers,
E.Wall, M O Sullivan, C O Driscoll Liscarroll: L. Crowley, N O Brien,
D. Cronin, E. Browne, L O Flynn, S O Flynn, J O Regan, E. Murphy,
V. Hallihan, R. Sheehy, C. Sherlock, B. Crowley, L. Mullane, Y O
Callaghan, D O Connell

Referee : Gene Buckley

Going to the dogs. On Thursday the 22nd of Novemeber, Curraheen
Park is the place to be, when a sponsorship meet is being held in
aid of the Cork ladies Football. Despite substantial Sponsorship
from Castlelands the Board is still trying to claw back the huge
deficit from last YEAR. Hopefully every club will support the night.
Tickets including admission and a draw fro super prizes are just

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