Thrilling All-Ireland Semi-Final ends all square

By Mary White




A sensational sideline free from Donoughmore’s Mary O’Connor
ensured her side of a replay against the reigning champions
Ballybodens of Dublin in the AIB All-Ireland senior club
semi-final. This game was jam-packed with end to end action
with both teams exhibiting great fitness battling against
heavy pitch conditions for 80 minutes. Both also fell
victim to two sin-binnings, which paved the way for tense
moments and a cracking finale with Donoughmore down to
14. (Gemma Fay and Sarah Denvir of Ballybodens and Rena
Buckley and Catriona O’Connell of Donoughmore).

Ballybodens won the toss and chose to play against the
wind for the first, a decision that could have been costly
but the Dublin side had the ability to secure two vital

The first arriving on seven minutes by Louise Kelly when
her free kick deceived the keeper. The second came against
the run of play also but was the result of a well-worked
attack, which was again finished by Kelly.

Despite being still in the game, Donoughmore at times
over-used the hand pass instead of utilising their advantage
of a strong gale. The sin-binning of Gemma Fay did give
the mid Cork side the opportunity they needed to reduce
the deficit and they did just that through points from
Ashling O’Connor, Juliet Murphy and Mary O’Connor.

Resuming after the break 2-0 0-3 in front the visitors
didn’t capitalise on their lead.

Defensively Donoughmore did well, despite the absence
of resident full back Edel O’Sullivan due to tonsillitis
with the ever flexible Rena Buckley slotting in perfectly.
Vera Sheehan and Sarah O’Connell were consistent throughout
with keeper Norita Duggan making a vital save in the second.

Gradually Donoughmore found their rhythm and on the 50minute
rattled the net with a superb goal from Catriona O’Connell
to level the contest. From here on exchanges were made
with Buckley and Scollard, and Murphy and Kelly trading
points but it was Linda O’Connell who got the final equaliser
to see the game go to extra time. With Donoughmore’s come
back it was hard not to see predict them to come out trumps
but Dublin star Louise Kelly again stepped up to the plate
and notched two great points aided by the wind. But again
leaders Juliet Murphy and Mary O’Connor rallied the troops
cancelling out Kelly’s scores and at half time of the
extra period it was again all square.

With five minutes remaining Catriona O’Connell was sin-binned
for the home side and Gemma Fay fired over a point to
put Ballybodens in front with three minutes on the clock.
But with the last kick of the game it was Mary O’Connor
who shot over a sideline free to finally level proceedings
and bring this AIB Senior All-Ireland semi-final into

Scorers for Donoughmore: M O’Connor 0-4 (0-3 frees),
C O’Connell 1-0, J Murphy (0-3 frees), R Buckley, A O’Connor
and L O’Connell 0-1 each.
Scorers for Ballyboden/St Endas: L Kelly 2-3 (1-1frees),
O Scollard and G Fay 0-2 each.
DONOUGHMORE: N Duggan, E Walsh, R Buckley, S O’Connell,
L Barrett, V Sheehan, R Cogan, H Kelleher, J Murphy, A
O’Connor, L O’Connell, C O’Connell, M O’Connor, L Murphy,
A Barrett. Sin Bin: R Buckley (22min) and C O’Connell
BALLYBODEN/ST ENDAS: S hughes, A Farrelly, N Comyn,
T Allen, S Farrelly, G Fay, S White, F Ni Corcoain, M
Farrell, C Butterly, L Kelly, N Hyland, O Scollard, J
O’Sullivan, S Denvir. Subs: D Kelly for N Hyland, L Smith
for S Denvir, S Denvir for L Smith, N Hyland for S Denvir.
Sin Bin: G Fay (10min), S Denvir (36mins).
Referee: D Corcoran (Mayo)

Mary White (PRO, Cork Ladies Football) 086-3398780


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