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‘It’s our old failings up front – we just can’t score’

March 21st, 2024 2:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

‘It’s our old failings up front – we just can’t score’ Image
Cork ladies senior football manager Shane Ronayne. (Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile)

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CORK are hanging on to their Lidl National Football League Division 1 status by their fingertips, as relegation looms.

Last weekend’s 2-11 to 0-6 loss away to Dublin was the Rebels’ fifth league defeat in a row and leaves them hovering over the relegation trapdoor ahead of their final game – Shane Ronayne’s struggling side is away to Meath this Sunday in Páirc Tailteann (2pm).

Both Waterford and Galway, like Cork, are on three points, and two of this trio will be relegated. The clash between Waterford and Galway last weekend was postponed, adding to the uncertainty around the various permutations ahead of this weekend’s action, but Ronayne knows Cork are no longer in control of their own destiny.

‘We’re depending on other results,’ he admitted ahead of a Sunday that will also see Galway play Kerry, and Waterford travel to Mayo.

‘Even if we won the game (against Meath), we’d still be dependent on results in the next couple of games. We’re in this situation, we know we are. We’re hoping now against Meath that we can be a little bit better defensively, but we definitely have to be better offensively and hopefully we can do that.’ 

Ronayne saw positives in the loss to All-Ireland champions Dublin last weekend, but Cork’s poor scoring return was evident against; they kicked only six points and have averaged less than 0-8 per game in this league campaign.

‘It’s our old failings up front – we just can’t score,’ Ronayne admitted.

‘We are creating more opportunities, more than we did in the first three games, but in the last two games we left so many opportunities behind us, and you can’t at this level.

‘We had a very good 20 minutes (against Dublin), we were three points all and we were defending very well. The same thing that happened last week again, we played very well against Mayo for long periods, but our scoring rate is very, very poor. We’ve lost a lot of scoring forwards, but the forwards that are there now are going to have to step up to the plate.’

While the Leesiders opened the scoring against Dublin courtesy of a sixth-minute point from wing-forward Emma Cleary, Dublin responded with unanswered scores by Orlagh Nolan, Carla Rowe and Hannah Tyrrell (free).

 Pointed frees from Ellie Jack and Abigail Ring brought Cork back on level terms just shy of the first-quarter mark, but Dublin created significant daylight when Caoimhe O’Connor fired clinically beyond the reach of Caoimhe Richmond for a goal on 19 minutes. Marauding half-back Kate Murray and Rowe also found the range either side of another Ring free to propel Dublin towards a 1-5 to 0-4 interval cushion.

Dublin bossed the second half, and when Caoimhe Sullivan rattled the net from close range in the 47th minute, it effectively placed the outcome beyond doubt. Cork finally responded with a Sadhbh McGoldrick point on 56 minutes. Lydia McDonagh also split the uprights for the visitors late on, but Dublin finished with 11 points to spare.


Scorers - Dublin: K Sullivan 1-1; H Tyrrell 0-3 (2f); C O’Connor 1-0; C Rowe 0-2 (1f); K Murray, O Nolan, A Timothy, S Aherne, C Darby 0-1 each. Cork: A Ring 0-2 (2f); L McDonagh (1f), E Jack (1f), E Cleary, S McGoldrick 0-1 each.


Dublin: R Fleming; L Caffrey, M Byrne, J Tobin; H McGinnis, O Carey, K Murray; G Kos, J Dunne; K Owens, O Nolan, C O’Connor; C Rowe, H Tyrrell, N Hetherton. Subs: S Aherne for Murray, N Owens for K Owens, K Sullivan for Rowe, N Donlon for Tobin (all h-t), J Egan for Kos, A Timothy for Aherne, C Darby for N Owens (all 49), C Coffey for Dunne, E Deeley for O’Connor (both 54), A Nyhan for Byrne, G Fitzsimons for McGinnis (both 55).

Cork: C Richmond; M Duggan, S Leahy, E Twomey; E Jack, A Healy, K O’Driscoll; M O’Callaghan, A O’Mahony; A McDonagh, L Coppinger, E Cleary; A Ring, H Looney, E Hurley. Subs: A Ryan for Jack, S O’Leary for Hurley (both h-t), S Cronin for O’Mahony, L McDonagh for Ring, D Kiniry for Twomey (both 42), K Redmond for A McDonagh (both 46), S McGoldrick for Duggan, K Smith for O’Driscoll (both 53), M Burke for Coppinger (58).

Referee: Kevin Phelan (Laois).

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