Cork delivered their best performance of the season so far as they brushed aside Donegal in their Lidl NFL Division 1 clash at Pairc Ui Rinn on Saturday.
Having lost their previous two home games the Cork side were determined not to lose this one as they were far too strong for the table-toppers.
With most of their established stars, including the likes of the Ciara and Doireann O’Sullivan, and Eimear Meaney back in the side, Cork impressed. This was Ciara O’Sullivan’s first start and she showed her importance to the side, with an emphatic display, scoring 1-3 along the way.
The Rebels dominated this one from start to finish, with Donegal’s four points all coming from frees. In a low-scoring start, the first chance came five minutes in when Eimear Scally beat several players, but her effort was well saved by Donegal keeper, Aoife McColgan. Two minutes later and the home side were in front when Orlagh Farmer pointed, with Niamh Cotter adding a second for them.
Ten minutes in Karen Guthrie got Donegal off the mark from a free, with Orla Finn responding at the other end from a free as well. Cork were well in control at this stage and Guthrie’s point was Donegal’s only score of the first-half. Finn increased the Rebels’ lead from another free, as they pushed up on the Donegal kick-outs, making it difficult for their opponents to get out of their own half.
Farmer got Cork’s fourth point, in the 17th minute as it was all too easy for the Rebels at this stage. Two from Finn made it 0-6 to 0-1, before Katy Herron missed a great chance from a free to get their second point. Late points from Aine O’Sullivan and Finn, another free, had Cork well in control at half-time, 0-8 to 0-1, leaving Donegal with a lot to do in the second-half.
The second half was again dominated by Cork, with an early goal from Ashling Hutchings setting the tone. Two from Finn, along with scores from Daire Kiely and Melissa Duggan extended their lead. It took until the 16th minute of this half for Donegal to get their second point, with Guthrie on target again.
Cotter added another goal, with Ciara O’Sullivan hitting two-in-a-row to make it 2-16 to 0-2.
Two frees from Guthrie, late on, doubled Donegal’s score, with a late goal from O’Sullivan rounding off the scoring as Cork ran out comfortable winners.
Cork: C O’Sullivan 1-3, N Cotter 1-1, A Hutchings 1-0, O Finn 0-6 (4f), O Farmer 0-2, A O’Sullivan, E Kiely, D Kiely, M Duggan 0-1 each.
Donegal: K Guthrie 0-4 (4f).
CORK: M O’Brien; S Kelly, H Looney, M Duggan; D Kiely, A Hutchings, E Kiely; N Cotter, M O’Callaghan; Á O’Sullivan, O Farmer, C O’Sullivan; E Scally, L Coppinger, O Finn. Subs: E Meaney for Kelly (36), L O’Mahony for Farmer (40), D O’Sullivan for Finn (44), R Ni Bhuachalla for Coppinger (44), L Cleary for Cotter (51), E Spillane for E Kiely (51), C O’Shea for Hutchings (51), M Cahalane for D Kiely (51).
DONEGAL: A McColgan; A.M. McGlynn, E Gallagher, E McGinley; T Doherty, N McLaughlin, N Carr; K Herron, N Boyle; K Guthrie, S McLaughlin, A Boyle Carr; S McGroddy, M Ryan, R Friel. Subs: A Flanagan for Friel (h-t), J Treaty for S McLaughlin (45), S McGinty for McGlynn (47), E Melaugh for McGroddy (51), K McKinney for Gallagher (55), L Carr for Ryan (55), A Nee for Boyle Carr (56).
Referee: S Mulvihill, Kerry.