GER McCARTHY REPORTS
CLONAKILTY overcame their rivals Rosscarbery to reach the 2020 Cork LGFA IFC county final following a pulsating contest in Rosscarbery on Saturday night.
A terrific game from start to finish, Clon upset the form book and avenged a 2019 semi-final loss to the same opponents. Playing an attractive brand of football, the winners led 2-7 to 2-2 at the conclusion of a breathless first half before holding Rosscarbery to a single point (from a free) during a tight second period.
The half-back line of Jenny Quinn, Sinead O’Neill and Meabh Deasy was the foundation Clonakilty built their victory on. Add in full-back Meabh O’Donovan’s player of the match performance, Clare and Áine O’Leary’s midfield dominance plus Ciara Ryan, Millie Condon and Orla Fahy’s work rate and Clonakilty were deserving winners.
Naturally, Rosscarbery were crestfallen at the final whistle but should take heart from another positive campaign. Failing to reach an IFC county decider is disappointing but Sarah Hayes, Fiona O’Callaghan, Laura MacMahon, Hannah O’Hea and Áine Kelly played their hearts out and there is another championship tilt within the squad.
It was 1-1 to 0-4 at the conclusion of the opening quarter following Hannah O’Hea’s goal for the hosts. Ciara Ryan (two frees), Orla Lowney and Moira Barrett replied for a Clonakilty side that fell behind when Sarah Hayes thundered the ball in off the crossbar to make it 2-1 to 0-5 after 23 minutes.
That was the eventual winners to move up through the gears however and an Aine O’Leary goal was quickly followed by Ryan and Lowney points. Then, on the stroke of half time, Millie Condon was brought down en route to goal and Orlaith Deasy expertly dispatched the resulting penalty.
A much tighter third quarter ended with Clonakilty 2-8 to2-3 in front but Sarah Hayes’ converted 36th minute free would be the losers only second half score. Although they hit the post, Rosscarbery couldn’t find a way past Clon’s diligent defence.
The eventual winners kicked for home with Ciara Ryan splitting the posts and Millie Condon rounding off a memorable Clonakilty performance to seal a 2-10 to 2-3 victory in the final minute.
Clonakilty: C Ryan 0-5 (3f), A O’Leary 1-0, O Deasy 1-0 pen, O Lowney 0-2, M Condon, M Barrett, M O’Donovan 0-1 each.
Rosscarbery: S Hayes 1-2 (1f), H O’Hea 1-0, T Maguire 0-1.
Clonakilty: M O’Brien; S Calnan, M O’Donovan, A O’Neill; J Quinn, S O’Neill, M Deasy; C O’Leary, A O’Leary; O Lowney, M Barrett, O Fahy; M Condon, O Deasy, C Ryan. Subs: E Hall for O Fahy (45), K O’Driscoll for O Lowney (55).
Rosscarbery: A Kelly; C O’Mahony, E O’Brien, S Lane; C Kingston, M O’Brien, M Hayes; F O’Callaghan, S Hayes; H O’Hea, L MacMahon, E Jennings; E O’Hea, C Mennis, C Whooley. Subs: T Maguire for E Jennings (24), T Maguire for E O’Hea (24), N Hayes for C Mennis (42), R Collins for C O’Mahony (44), C O’Rourke for M O’Brien (45).
Referee: P O’Leary (Inch Rovers).