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Clinical Keating scores five goals as West Cork power into county senior football final

August 29th, 2020 9:51 PM

By Kieran McCarthy

West Cork's Fiona Keating breaks past Aghada's full back Katie O'Farrell to score her second goal during the Cork ladies' SFC semi-final at Cloughduv on Saturday evening. (Photo: Paddy Feen)

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West Cork 9-15

Aghada 1-9

KIERAN McCARTHY REPORTS

WEST Cork blitzed their way to a third successive Cork senior football final on Saturday evening – but manager Brian McCarthy knows they have it all to do in the decider on Sepember 12th.

Before throw-in in Cloughduv, everyone involved in the West Cork set-up had heard of Mourneabbey’s 40-point hammering of Éire Óg (11-12 to 0-5) in their semi-final earlier in the afternoon, but West Cork’s response to that statement of intent was impressive.

Within 12 minutes of this semi-final against Aghada, rising dual star Fiona Keating had bagged an impressive hat-trick and the divisional side led 3-5 to 0-1. At half time they led 4-10 to 1-4, and were moving nicely. West Cork did lapse in the third quarter though, not enough to allow Aghada a glimmer of hope, but it highlights they have plenty to work on in the next two weeks.

‘We did okay, we played well but switched off for 15 minutes and we know that won’t be good enough against Mourneabbey – but we’re there and that’s the main thing,’ Brian McCarthy said.

Heading into this semi-final McCarthy had called on his team to be more clinical, and they were, but while they scored nine goals they left at least four more behind them. They’ll need to be more ruthless against a Mourneabbey team that are favourites to complete the seven-in-a-row.

Fiona Keating was ruthless though. She finished with 5-0 and her direct running and pace ripped the Aghada full-back line apart, while Rachel Murphy, Áine Terry O’Sullivan and Daire Kiely all had their moments in attack too. Wing back Emma Spillane was very influential in the opening half, and the work-rate throughout the team was impressive.

By the first-half water break West Cork led 3-5 to 0-2 thanks to Keating’s hat-trick and points from Áine Terry O’Sullivan (3), Daire Kiely and All-Star footballer Melissa Duggan, the former slotting into midfield for the injured Eve Murphy.

West Cork kept on the front foot in the second quarter with Keating adding a fourth goal while Áine Terry O’Sullivan (2), Libby Coppinger and Daire Kiely were on target, though Aghada did come into the game more with Amanda Bennett grabbing a goal and West Cork goalkeeper Martina O’Brien smothered a Christine Moran effort. At the break, West Cork were in command, up 16 points.

The opening ten minutes of the third quarter will be a concern for West Cork as they dropped their intensity and Aghada enjoyed their best spell with their big two, Emma Farmer and Hannah Looney, sharing three unanswered points.

Normal service soon resumed. Two points from the powerful Áine Terry O’Sullivan were followed by a Melissa Duggan goal to send West Cork 5-13 to 1-7 clear by the second water break.

In the final quarter West Cork added four more goals, another by the clinical Keating, and two from Áine Terry O’Sullivan – the first a powerful screamer into the corner of the net, the second a deft finish after a super move started by an Emma Spillane catch before she passed to Daire Kiely who set-up O’Sullivan. There was still time for Coppinger, set-up by Keating, to get a goal and crown an impressive performance that will send them into the county final with spirits high. But they know the challenge that lies ahead. Mourneabbey have beaten them in the last two county finals. Will it be third time lucky for West Cork? Perhaps, but only if they improve and play for the full 60 minutes.

 

Scorers – West Cork: F Keating 5-0; AT O’Sullivan 2-8 (2f); L Coppinger 1-4; M Duggan 1-1; D Kiely 0-2. Aghada: E Farmer 0-5 (2f); A Bennett 1-1; H Looney 0-2; C Moran 0-1.

West Cork: Martina O’Brien (Clonakilty); Siobhan Courtney (Castlehaven), Sarah Hayes (Rosscarbery), Christina O’Sullivan (Beara); Emma Spillane (Bantry Blues), Clare O’Shea (Beara), Meabh O’Donovan (Clonakilty); Melissa Duggan (Dohenys), Eimear Kiely (Valley Rovers); Áine Terry O’Sullivan (Beara), Rachel Murphy (Bantry Blues), Lisa Harte (O’Donovan Rossa); Fiona Keating (Courcey Rovers), Libby Coppinger (St Colum’s), Daire Kiely (Valley Rovers). Subs: Moira Barrett (Clonakilty) for E Kiely (ht), Cliona Maguire (Rosscarbery) for M O’Donovan (39), Emma Tarrant (Bandon) for D Kiely (57).

Aghada: Sarah Walsh; Cassie Tynan, Katie O’Farrell, Sinead O’Driscoll; Sally McAllister, Clare Walsh, Mary Leahy; Sarah Leahy, Hannah Looney; Aileen McGrath, Emma Farmer, Rachel Leahy; Amanda Bennett, Miah Phelan-Sweeney, Christine Moran. Subs: Kaithlin Smith for A McGrath (29), Sorcha Phelan for A Bennett (ht), Cecelia McInnes for C Tynan (45), Lauren Linehan for M Phelan-Sweeney (48), Sinead McCarthy for C Moran (48).

Referee: D Taffe (Passage West).

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