GER McCARTHY REPORTS
KATE O’Sullivan’s goal proved crucial as Clonakilty edged Kinsale in Group 1 of the Cork LGFA senior football championship at Ahamilla on Friday evening.
Kinsale led 0-6 to 0-5 late in the opening half when O’Sullivan’s long-range point attempt drifted into the net off the crossbar.
Changing ends 1-6 to 0-8 ahead, a dominant third quarter, in which Kinsale lost three key players to injury, saw Clonakilty stretch their advantage to five. Jennifer Murphy’s late goal offered Kinsale hope but their opponents saw out five minutes of injury-time to seal a deserved win.
‘I am delighted with our performance, delighted with everything they gave, the go-forward, the support play,’ Clonakilty manager Joe Moloney beamed. ‘It was everything we look for in a team sport, in football, it was all there.
‘Kate’s goal was very important but I’ve been saying to them all along, if you don’t take the shot, you don’t get the score. Lucky (goal) but you make your own luck.
‘It has to be borne in mind that we were beaten finalists in last year’s senior B county final and felt we left that a little bit behind us.’
Katie O’Driscoll, Moira Barrett, Orla Lowney, Kate O’Donovan and Sinead O’Donovan stood out for the winners. Kinsale’s Sadhbh O’Leary was a threat whenever in possession before retiring injured. Emma O’Brien, Caoimhe Horgan, Lorraine Copithorne and Tracy McCarthy also toiled hard on Kinsale’s behalf.
Clonakilty were coming off a morale-boosting victory away to Inch Rovers while their opponent’s search for a first SFC win continued following consecutive losses to Éire Óg and St Val’s.
Incessant rain and a strong wind rendered playing conditions difficult throughout much of a floodlit tie.
Scores came thick and fast during a frantic opening 15 minutes in which the sides were level on four occasions. The host’s Kate O’Donovan opened the scoring only for Sadhbh O’Leary to respond within 60 seconds. Sinead O’Donovan and Caoimhe Horgan exchanged frees prior to Lorraine Copithorne handing the visitors their first lead.
Sinead O’Donovan’s second score levelled matters before Kinsale took advantage of poor Clon approach play to move 0-5 to 0-3 ahead. Sadhbh O’Leary and Caoimhe Horgan (free) scores were quickly answered however, as Moira Barrett and Sinead O’Donovan (free) floated over consecutive points.
Horgan (free) restored Kinsale’s lead but a major turning point occurred soon after. Kate O’Donovan’s point-attempt slipped under the Kinsale crossbar to make it 1-5 to 0-6 in Clon’s favour. Sadhbh O’Leary’s third score left the bare minimum between the sides ahead of Sinead O’Donovan (free) and Lorraine Copithorne scoring at either end.
1-6 to 0-8 ahead at the break, Clonakilty completely dominated the third quarter.
Moira Barrett, Áine O’Leary, Sinead O’Donovan and Clare O’Leary scores made it 1-10 to 0-8, a timeframe Kinsale lost Sadhbh O’Leary, Caoimhe Heffernan and Lorraine Copithorne to injury.
Clon were dominant in every sector of the pitch, Millie Condon rattled Kinsale’s crossbar before Sinead O’Donovan (free) and Kate O’Donovan efforts made it 1-12 to 0-8. Jennifer Murphy’s late goal and Kinsale’s solitary score of the second half offered late hope. Clonakilty were not to be denied, however.
Next up, Clonakilty will take on Éire Óg in their final group game knowing victory could seal a surprise county semi-final berth. In all likelihood, a county senior B semi-final awaits the in-form West Cork club. As for Kinsale, victory over Inch Rovers in their last Group 1 outing is an absolute must if an unwanted senior relegation play-off is to be avoided.
Clonakilty: Sinead O’Donovan 0-6 (3f); Kate O’Donovan 1-2; Moira Barrett 0-2; Áine O’Leary, Clare O’Leary 0-1 each.
Kinsale: Caoimhe Horgan (3f), Sadhbh O’Leary 0-3 each; Jennifer Murphy 1-0; Lorraine Copithorne 0-2.
Clonakilty: Martina O’Brien; Ruth Shanley, Siobhan Callanan, Meabh O’Donovan (captain); Meabh Deasy, Ciara Ryan, Katie O’Driscoll; Clare O’Leary, Áine O’Leary; Moira Barrett, Kate O’Donovan, Orla Lowney; Caoimhe McEvoy, Sinead O’Donovan, Millie Condon.
Subs: Aoife O’Flynn Meade for C McEvoy (38), Niamh Desmond Collins for K O’Driscoll (45).
Kinsale: Grainne Cowhig; Caoimhe Heffernan, Emma O’Brien (captain), Amy Casey, Caoimhe O’Callaghan; Tracy McCarthy, Maisie O’Callaghan; Faye Aherne, Dara Tyner; Lorraine Copithorne, Sophie Collins, Caoimhe Horgan; Aoife Keating, Jennifer Murphy, Sadhbh O’Leary.
Subs: Nicole Buckley for S O’Leary (36, inj), Meadbh Hurley for C Heffernan (48, inj), Lisa Copithorne for Lorraine Copithorne (48, inj).
Referee: Conor McCarthy (Rosscarbery).