Suzuki Ladies NFL

Suzuki Ladies NFL, Division 1A, Round 3

Sharper Mayo get back on track

Mayo 2-13

Cork 1-8

By Denise Horan

This was more like it – a workmanlike performance embued
with no shortage of skill and plenty of heart – the kind
of thing we have come to expect from the Mayo ladies. And
with it the All-Ireland champions got their league campaign
back on track, at Ballyline on Sunday. Whereas the previous
Sunday, Cora Staunton ploughed a lonely furrow up front,
on this occasion she was more than ably assisted by her
colleagues, with Emma Mullin, speedster Ciara McDermott
– back at wing forward after a sojourn at midfield – , Diane
O’Hora and second half substitute Marcella Heffernan warming
a cold afternoon with delightful scores.

At midfield the combination of Claire Egan’s power and Christina
Heffernan’s boundless energy and willingness to take the
ball forward did untold damage, not only to Cork’s morale
but to their effectiveness as a team. In defence, the champions,
boosted by the return of Helena Lohan at full-back, settled
well after a shaky start, curbing the triple threat of Briege
Corkery, Regina Curtin and Valerie Mulcahy with conviction.

Claire O’Hara was particularly impressive at wing-back,
cutting out numerous Cork attempts to thread the ball through
to the full-forward line. Mayo’s mission was two-fold on
Sunday: to get back to winning ways and to quell the challenge
of a Rebel team eager to take scalps at senior level. They
succeeded on both fronts and they can now go into their
two-week break from action secure in the knowledge that
they are still at the top of the heap.

The intent of the champions was signalled clearly from the
first minute. A Christina Heffernan attempt at a point fell
into the arms of Cork ‘keeper Elaine Harte, who had the
misfortune of dropping it into the path of full-forward
Emma Mullin, who needed no encouragement to blast to the
back of the net. Cork responded with a point from Regina
Curtin, but a trio of points followed for the winners, from
Ciara McDermott, Cora Staunton and Diane O’Hora (free).
Each time Mayo surged ahead, Cork hit back, but Mayo were
always assured and never looked like relinquishing control.

Their forward movement was sublime at times, while Cork,
on the other hand, were more laboured in their build-ups
and found the Mayo defence difficult to outwit. Their first
three points came from frees, two from the boot of Juliette
Murphy and the third from Mary O’Connor.

A Ciara McDermott rasper from 14 yards, after a clever build-up
involving Mullin and Martha Carter, finished in the back
of the net on 27 minutes, to give Mayo a greater cushion,
and though Cork hit back with two late points, Mayo led
by 2-4 to 0-6 at the interval. The second half was vintage
Mayo. Cora got proceedings underway with two points straight
from the top drawer, to push them six clear. Another team
might have capitulated at this point, but Cork are out to
impress this year.

A goalbound effort by Mulcahy was kept out by Linda Connolly
in the 47th minute, but Aisling O’Connor was on hand to
tap the rebound to the back of the net, to bring them back
into contention. It was then that Mayo dug deep. One felt
they were never going to lose anyway, but the 15 on the
field made sure of it. A wave of determination spread through
the team and in the final 12 minutes they outscored the
losers by seven points to one, to wrap up the tie.


Mayo: C. Staunton 0-7 (0-2f), C. McDermott 1-1, D. O’Hora
0-3 (0-1f), E. Mullin 1-0, M. Carter and M. Heffernan 0-1
each. Cork: A. O’Connor 1-0, J. Murphy (0-2f) and V. Mulcahy
(0-1f) 0-2 each, R. Curtin, M. O’Connor, G. O’Flynn and
A. Murphy 0-1 each.

Mayo: L. Connolly; M.A. O’Reilly, H. Lohan, N. O’Shea; M.T.
Garvey, Y. Byrne, C. O’Hara; C. Egan, C. Heffernan; D. Ryan,
M. Carter, D. O’Hora; C. McDermott, E. Mullin, C. Staunton.
Subs: C. McGing for M.T. Garvey (21st min), M. Heffernan
for D. Ryan (h/t), E. Reilly for N. O’Shea (38th min, inj),
N. O’Shea for Y. Byrne (45th min, inj), E. Colleran for
C. McDermott (54th min).

Cork: E. Harte; E. Walsh, F. O’Sullivan, B. Stack; D. Foley,
H. Kelleher, N. Kelly; J. Murphy, R. Buckley; A. O’Connor,
V. Mulcahy, G. O’Flynn; M. O’Connor, R. Curtin, B. Corkery.
Subs: A. Murphy for D. Foley, N. Keohane for E. Walsh (37th

Referee: Gerry Guinan (Galway).

Sign up to our email newsletter


Partners & Supporters





See all LGFAClubs