Suzuki National Ladies Football League.

Suzuki National Ladies Football league.

Stronger Mayo too good for Cork.
Mayo 2-13
Cork 1-08.

The eagerly awaited first meeting at Senior
level of All-Ireland Champions for 4 of the the last five
years Mayo and Cork, turned out to be a very competitive
game at Ballyline Co Clare on Sunday. The strength and craft
of Mayo saw them prevail over a Cork side that promised
much, but were outthought and outmanoeuvred by a much more
street wise Mayo.
Cork got off to terrible start after an otherwise outstanding
keeper Elaine Harte dropped the ball in the very first minute,
allowing Emma Mullin in for a killer goal. Cork were facing
an uphill struggle after that and were always chasing the
game. To their credit they did fight back and with a series
of constructive moves, Regina Curtin opened their account
and 2 points from frees from Julie Murphy settled the nerves.

At the other end the Cork backs were stretched to the limit
to contain the free moving Mayo attack . Hanora Kelleher,
Brid Stack, and Fiona O’Sullivan in particular played solidly
but despite the best efforts of Julie Murphy and Rena Buckley
were overshadowed at midfield by Claire Egan and Christina
Points from All-Ireland heroine Diane O’Hora and Cora Staunton,
who was Cork’s chief tormentor over the hour, and goal and
a point from Ciara McDermott put Cork in trouble again.

They reduced the gap to a manageable amount
before the break with points from Mary O’Connor Geraldine
O’Flynn and Valerie Mulcahy levain the halftime score Mayo
1-4 Cork 0-6 In the 2nd half Mayo put up the shutters and
never allowed Cork develop their free flowing game,Cork
on the other hand contributed as well because they persisted
with taking on Mayo, when a more direct approach could have
had more effect. With new keeper Linda Connoly superb and
All Star backs Nuala O’ Shea and Helena Lohan dominant Cork
were living off scraps, after Cora Staunton had shot 3 unanswered
Martha Carter who was very impressive at centre forward
and Diane O’Hora added 2 more, but a goal from Aisling O’Connor
who sent to the net after the ball ran loose in the square
on the 17th minute started a mini revival. Cork introduced
14 year old Amanda Murphy who has 4 under 14 All-Ireland
medals to her credit, she showed class in an electrifying
run from halfway but shot wide, she made amends shortly
afterwards with a fine point Corks mini revival was short
lived as Mayo again upped the ante and further points from
Cora, Martha Carter and sub Marcella Heffernan and a final
one from Miss Staunton sealed Cork’s fate.

Overall it was avery entertaining game handled
well by referee Gerry Guinan. Cork’s new back room team
know now where they stand as well as the players, but they
can move forward from here and be a match for the best when
championship time comes round. Mayo on the other hand got
their league campaign back on track and they showed they
have strength in depth with the players they introduced.

Linda Connolly, Maeve Ann O’Reilly, Helena Lohan Nuala O’Shea
capt, Mary T Garvey, Yvonne Byrne, Claire O’Hara, Claire
Egan, Christina Heffernan, Deirdre Ryan, Martha Carter,
Dianne O’Hora, Ciara McDermott Emma Mullin, Cora Staunton
subs Marcella Heffernan, Caroline McGing, Edel Colleran.

Elaine Harte, Emer Walsh, Fiona O’Sullivan, Brid Stack,
Deirdre Foley, Hanora Kelleher, Norita Kelly, Juliet Murphy,
Rena Buckley, Aisling O’Connor, Valerie Mulcahy, Geraldine
O’Flynn Mary O’Connor, Regina Curtin, Briege Corkery, Subs
Amanda Murphy, Niamh Keohane. Claire O’Donoghue, Angela
Walsh Louise Murphy.

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