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Reeling Rebels are in relegation scrap after Déise debacle

February 23rd, 2024 9:30 AM

By Ger McCarthy

Cork ladies senior football manager Shane Ronayne. (Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile)

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CORK 1-6


WATERFORD routed an out-of-sorts Cork in their Lidl Ladies NFL Division 1 must-win clash at Páirc Uí Rinn on Sunday.

The Déise, without a point heading into this Munster derby, had nine points to spare over the reeling Rebels who have now lost three games in a row and are in a relegation scrap.

The Cork senior set-up may be missing eight first-team regulars for this league campaign and lost another couple of players to injury, including top scorer Katie Quirke, but that shouldn’t detract from what was an unacceptable performance by the Rebels’ high standards.

Where did it all go wrong? Well, it never got going and that’s the honest truth.

Down 1-9 to 0-1 at the interval and 2-12 to 0-3 behind after 34 minutes, the emptying of Cork’s entire substitutes bench meant this game was over with 26 minutes remaining.

No Cork management team members or players were made available to the media after the final whistle. 

As two counties will drop down to Division 2 for the 2025 campaign, Cork require a minor miracle to retain their top-flight status. Shane Ronayne’s side has three remaining league games against Mayo this Saturday in Mallow (2.30pm), Dublin (away) and Meath (away) and must pick up at least two victories to have any chance of staving off relegation. 

Áine O’Neill (two) and Kellyann Hogan efforts handed Waterford an early lead.

Cork struggled to get anything going in the final third until Daire Kiely scored after nine minutes. Unbelievably, that would be the Rebels’ only score of a hugely disappointing first-half display. Instead, Waterford took over, and Áine O’Neill’s helped the visitors into a commanding half-time lead, 1-9 to 0-1.

Daire Kiely (free) and Sadhbh O’Leary scores briefly raised Cork hopes shortly after the restart. That hope was quickly extinguished by a Clare Walsh goal and two Kellyann Hogan points. A fortuitous Lydia McDonagh goal put a gloss on the final score, but this was a day to forget for Cork.


Scorers - Cork: A Ring 0-3 (3f); L McDonagh 1-0; D Kiely 0-2 (2f); S O’Leary 0-1. Waterford: K Hogan 0-5 (1f); C Walsh, A O’Neill 1-2 each; K Murray, L McGregor, B McMaugh (1f) 0-1 each.


Cork: S Murphy; M Duggan, S Leahy, D Kiniry; K Redmond, A Healy, A Ryan; M O’Callaghan, S Cronin; E Jack, L Coppinger, L O’Mahony; S O’Leary, H Looney, D Kiely.

Subs: E Cleary for A Ryan (19), A Ring for L O’Mahony, E Twomey for D Kiniry, K O’Driscoll for L O’Mahony, L McDonagh for L Coppinger (all ht), A McDonagh for S Cronin, L Hallihan for S O’Leary (both 35), A Corcoran for H Looney (41), E Hurley for K Redmond (41), K Smith for D Kiely (45), R Corkery for A Healy (46), A O’Mahony for M O’Callaghan (47).

Waterford: E O’Brien; H Power, E Power, A Murray; C Walsh, A McNulty, A O’Neill; E Murray, K Hogan; K McGrath, C Carroll, M O’Brien; B McMaugh, K Murray, L McGregor.

Subs: C Murray for C Carroll (35), L O’Shea for M O’Brien (45), C McCarthy for B McMaugh (48), A Brazil for L McGregor (48), M Comeford for C Walsh (52), O Kennedy for A O’Neill (56), N Power for A McNulty (56), D Shanley for E Power (57), E Bolger for K Murray (59), A Reynolds for K Hogan, N Whelan for A Murray (62), K Brazil for H Power (62).

Referee: Jonathan Murphy (Carlow).

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