Val’s strikes, copper fastens Cork’s, 4 in a row

Val’s strikes, copper fastens Cork’s, 4 in a row by Fr Liam Kelleher

Cork 4-13 Monaghan 0-11

The predatory instincts and clinical finishing of Valerie Mulcahy, made the major difference, on the scoreboard at the end of this extremely intense all-Ireland final. Played in ideal conditions at head quarters, the final scoreline does scant justice to the efforts of this, at times exciting and always competitive Monaghan outfit. Mulcahys’ goals at vital junctures., certainly the first two, did made a huge difference. The opening goal, came as early as the third minute, that settled the Cork nerves, but did not deflect Monaghan from their game plan, so highly effective against Mayo, in the semi-final. The plan was simple, spread the ball wide and try and outrun the Cork defence, but while they were stretched to the limit on occasions and conceded points the Cork goal, was always difficult to breach. Monaghan did score some excellent points, through Catriona McConnell and Edel Byrne from long range, which kept them in touch and placed them in a reasonable position at half time trailing, 1-8 to 0-8. Cork got their points from Juliet Murphy frees, Amanda Murphy, and Nollaig Cleary. Rena Buckley introduced just before the break for Ciara Walsh made her presence felt with a crunching tackle on CiaraMcEnespie, as she was bearing down on goal. Rena always a very fair and committed player, could count herself lucky on this occasion, not to be sin binned. Cork just about deserved their 3 point interval lead after a few wayward shots missed the target.

Opportunistic Strike

The opening sequence of the second half, was defined, by an audacious piece of opportunism, from Valerie Mulcahy. A ball played in from Geraldine O’ Flynn, was met by a deft touch and while Val was in the square, when the touch came, she appeared to have sprung the “offside trap” and ref Keith Tighe had no hesitation in allowing the goal, without even consulting the umpire. This score left Monaghan with a mountain to climb and they never really recovered from this blow, while Cork were in full flow. They began to play with their renowned flair and Monaghan had no answer to that. Elaine Harte got little to do and fronted by her inspiring fullback and capt Angela Walsh, she was well protected. Linda Barrett was solid all through and the experienced Rena Buckley showed her class when introduced. The half back line with Brid Stack in commanding form, in her pivotal role, got huge support from workaholic, Breige Corkery and Geraldine O’ Flynn. Brid made a fantastic dash of 60 metres to set up a point at a vital time for Cork. Juliet Murphy as we have come to expect and appreciate, played her usual cool refined visionary role, and had a great ally in Norita Kelly. Nollaig Cleary playing deep at times, did a tremendous amount of grafting and took her 2 points well. Deirdre O Reilly moved from the full line to half forward looked out of position, but tried hard, while Mary O Connor who missed out on last years final through injury, displayed all her guile and experience. The full forward line gave the Monaghan last line of defence a torrid time throughout and in addition to Miss Mulcahy’s 3-2, which earned her player of the match. Her last goal again coming from the penalty spot and helping her to tie, Cora Staunton’s tally in the quest for the title, of the golden boot. Amanda Murphy shot 2 points and saw a terrific angled shot cannon off the butt of the post, in the opening half. Amy O Shea who has come back from two cruciate knee operations, and doubtful from this game because of an ankle injury, used her pace to good effect. Ciara O Sullivan and Rhona Buckley members of Cork’s Munster Minor winning team, made their move from the bench telling ones Ciara shooting a smashing goal on her introduction. Rhona chipped in with two beauties with either foot, while Roisin O’Sullivan and Sinead O Reilly completed Cork’s action panel. Those who did not make it on the field of play, deserve immense credit too, as of course do the management team. Jim McEvoy made his first year as manager a winning one, while coaching supremo Eamonn Ryan who has made a huge contribution to GAA at every level, has copper fastened his legendary status. Frankie Honohan from Donoughmore has been by his side for the 4 in a row. New kids on the block Noel O’Connor Inch Rovers and Justin McCarthy Ballingeary/Inchigeelagh, came in with good credentials as did the back room staff particularly keeper coach Kieran Dwyer and physios Carol O Mahony and Eleanor Lucey.

Sad loss

Statistician Tim Murphy, Eamonn’s brother in law, has played a huge part in Cork’s success had been ill and sent a text to the management at noon on Sunday wishing them well, sadly news came through on Monday at 3pm that Tim, had lost his battle with illness and had passed to his eternal reward, our sincere sympathy to his wife family relatives and friends. His untimely passing, has put a huge dent in Cork’s celebrations and puts everything in life into perspective.


Cork’s success has given great mileage to sponsors and lolly providers Castlelands. Cork can now bask in the glory of 4 in a row still behind Kerrys tally of 9 on the trot in a less competitive era, is now in sight.

Cork received a huge welcome home in the city on Monday evening, before travelling on to Inch near Killeagh the home club of Capt Angela Walsh and her colleagues sister Ciara, Ann Marie Walsh, Amy O’Shea and Annie Walsh, for a rapturous reception.

Cork Elaine Harte, Ciara Walsh Angela Walsh, Linda Barrett, Briege Corkey, Brid Stack, Geraldine O’Flynn, Norita Kelly, Juliet Murphy. Nollaig Cleary Mary O’Connor Amanda Murphy Valerie Mulcahy, Amy O’Shea, Deirdre O’Reilly, Sinead O’Reilly Claire O’Donoghue, Rhona Buckley , Ciara O’Sullivan, Mairead Kelly, Anne-Marie Walsh, Louise Coholan, Fiona Crowley Roisin O’Sullivan Annie Walsh, Aine Sheehan. Sile Johnson

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