Munster Ladies Football Finals

Cork 2-15

Kerry 0-12

CORK made it eight Munster senior ladies football titles in a row as they saw off the challenge of Kerry in front of a crowd in excess of 1,200 at Dr Crokes GAA Grounds in Killarney on Saturday afternoon.

Never being forced to play to their optimum, Eamonn Ryan’s side did more than enough, the lack of a real cutting edge in attack hampering Kerry.

Despite playing against the wind in the first half and suffering the loss of Mairéad Kelly for 10 minutes to a yellow card, Cork were still well on top in the first half, which featured a long hold-up due to an injury suffered by Kerry’s Breda Lane.

While Kerry went ahead through a Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh free early on, they would only add two more, failing to score from play.

With Valerie Mulcahy excellent from frees and Annie Walsh and Juliet Murphy bossing midfield, Cork soon got on top and had moved 0-3 to 0-1 ahead by the time of Lane’s injury, which necessitated her removal from the field by ambulance.

When play restarted, the Rebels augmented their advantage as Mulcahy pointed another free before Annie Walsh sent a great pass into Rhona Ní Bhuachalla’s hands and she produced a fine finish.

By half-time it was 1-7 to 0-3, and within 40 seconds Mulcahy had added another goal, rounding off a good move involving Ní Bhuachalla and Cleary.

Kerry persisted with their tactic of bringing a player deep to provide extra coverage in the middle, but this only allowed Angela Walsh and Bríd Stack at the heart of the Cork defence to sweep with ease, despite Kerry subs Sarah Houlihan and Patrice Dennehy providing a bit more impetus for them.

Wing-back Áíne Sheehan was another who shone for Cork going forward, and they continued to open up the Kerry defence, only outstanding saves from netminder Edel Murphy keeping out efforts from Amy O’Shea, Ní Bhuachalla and Nollaig Cleary.

Cleary and Mulcahy both had good scores as the end neared, Houlihan’s frees keeping Kerry in touch but even when they did get behind the Cork defence, goalkeeper Elaine Harte couldn’t be beaten, ensuring Cork retained the title.

Scorers – Cork: V Mulcahy 1-7 (0-4f), R Ní Bhuachalla 1-2, J Murphy 0-2f, A O’Shea 0-2, N Cleary, O Farmer 0-1 each.

Kerry: L Ní Mhuircheartaigh 0-5f, S Houlihan 0-3f, L Galvin 0-2, P Dennehy, L Cronin 0-1 each.

CORK: E Harte; AM Walsh, Angela Walsh, D O’Reilly; A Sheehan, B Stack, G O’Flynn; Annie Walsh, J Murphy; N Cleary, M Kelly, G Kearney; V Mulcahy, R Ní Bhuachalla, A O’Shea.

Subs: L MacMahon for Kearney (45), O Farmer for Ní BHuachalla (49), R Buckley for Annie Walsh (53), N Kelly for M Kelly (57).

KERRY: E Murphy; B Lane, A Leonard, A Lyons; C Kelly, A Desmond, G Crowley; L Cronin, B Breen; M O’Donoghue, D Corridan, L Galvin; S Corkery, L Scanlon, L Ní Mhuircheartaigh.

Subs: D Hallissey for Lane (11, injured), SJ Joy for Crowley (30), S Houlihan for O’Donoghue, L O’Sullivan for Desmond (both half-time), P Dennehy for Corkery (41).

Referee: M Duffy (Tipperary).

Waterford 1-18

Cork 0-14

WATERFORD recovered from a poor start to overcome Cork and claim the Munster intermediate ladies football title at Dr Crokes on Saturday.

Despite Cork beginning brightly, moving into a 0-3 to 0-1 lead inside six minutes, once Waterford got on top they proved stronger than the Rebels’ second team.

Early on, Cork threatened to run away with things, captain Shelly Twohig only denied a goal by a wonderful save from Waterford goalkeeper Aimee Jordan, but soon after that, Waterford’s Trish Fitzgerald went close, rattling the crossbar with a fine shot and from there they powered on.

Excellent points from Aileen Wall and Michelle Ryan had them level, and then three between the 18th and 21st minutes, from Sinead Ryan, Linda Wall and Michelle Ryan made it 0-6 to 0-3.

A good Clare Keohane free ended Cork’s drought but it was only brief respite as Linda Wall, Michelle Ryan and Sinead Ryan (two) made it 0-10 to 0-4 before Sinead Ryan’s handpass in injury time put Michelle McGrath in on goal and the joint-captain produced a cool finish to leave nine points between the sides at the break.

Cork applied plenty of pressure early in the second half, but Jordan in the Waterford goal – who won player of the match – was proving unbeatable, making a number of good saves, including two super stops for Orla Finn.

Finn was the main threat in the Cork attack, with Roisin O’Sullivan and Clare Keohane also impressing, but there was always daylight between the sides as McGrath, Sinead Ryan and Linda Wall all popped up with valuable Waterford points. As the game moved into injury time there were four points between the sides by two from Sinead Ryan and one from McGrath ensured that Waterford had seven to spare by the end.

Scorers – Waterford: S Ryan 0-7, M McGrath 1-2, L Wall, A Wall, M Ryan (0-2f) 0-3 each.

Cork: C Keohane 0-5 (0-4f), R O’Sullivan, L Cronin, O Finn 0-2 each, S Twohig, J Luddy, E Ryan 0-1 each.

WATERFORD: A Jordan; N Dunphy, G Kenneally, G Enright; M Wall, M Foley, L Ryan; E Power, M McGrath; M Liston, M Ryan, T Fitzgerald; L Wall, S Ryan, A Wall.

Subs: K Hannon for Liston (49), F Morrissey for Fitzgerald, L Hogan for Foley (both 57).

CORK: M O’Brien; S O’Reilly, N O’Keeffe, E Harrington; P Murphy, R O’Mahony, R O’Sullivan; A Hutching, J Luddy; S Twohig, E Ahern, L Cronin; O Finn, E Ryan, C Keohane

Subs: L Curtin for Murphy (25), D Downey for Ahern (half-time), K Coakley for Ryan (53).

Referee: J Mullins (Limerick)

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