West Cork 5-12
JOHN MURPHY REPORTS
WEST Cork ladies fired an early warning shot in this year’s Cork ladies senior football championship with an impressive 14-point dismantling of reigning champions Mourneabbey.
The north-Cork side was shell-shocked as five-goal West Cork left them reeling after this opening group encounter at Kinsale last Thursday.
Both teams still have to play Inch Rovers and St Vals to decide who advances to the semi-finals.
When the teams met in last year’s championship semi-final, Mourneabbey came out on top but an impressive West Cork turned the tables in some style, showing a clinical edge that the champions couldn’t match.
West Cork goalkeeper Martina O’Brien, also the county number one, reflected: ‘We are just happy to go out and get a good result, it is difficult to get together as players are involved with their clubs over a wide area.
‘I thought Eimear (Kiely)at wing back was excellent, she scored 1-2 and she is just-17-years old, her pace is dynamic; all the minors were so energetic and committed, they did really well.’
Cork senior Ciara O’Sullivan drew first blood for Mourneabbey, pointing a free in the opening minute, but it was the only time they led.
Buoyed by the stunning runs of the dynamic Eimear Kiely of Valley Rovers, and with a strong spine of Siobhan Courtney, Dohenys’ Melissa Duggan and the midfield pairing of Niamh Cotter and Áine Hayes, a dangerous West Cork attack soon had the scoreboard operator in overdrive.
Claire O’Shea, Ciara Ryan and Duggan dovetailed neatly as Cork senior Cotter hit the post in the fourth minute.
Mourneabbey’s Cork seniors, Aisling O’Sullivan, Maura O’Callaghan and Ciara O’Sullivan, were working hard for their cause, but Orla Finn, Nicole Quinn, Sadhbh O’Leary, Claire O’Leary and Lorraine O’Neill were all looking dangerous, while Áine Terry O’Sullivan was proving a revelation on the mark.
Áine Terry hit the first goal of her hat-trick in the 18th minute and with Orla Finn splitting the posts regularly from acute angles, West Cork had stretched their advantage to 1-6 to 0-3 by the 23rd minute.
In their next attack Kiely left a bevy of defenders trailing in her wake to billow the Mourneabbey rigging for a goal right out of the top drawer.
While Mourneabbey’s Laura Fitzgerald was doing her bit to keep the current champions in touch, it was token resistance, West Cork taking a commanding 2-9 to 0-6 advantage into the interval, albeit having to face the strong wind.
It was only natural that the champions would come out with all guns blazing on the resumption. They introduced Cork’s Doireann O’Sullivan (unable to start because of injury) into an ailing attack and reorganised their forces. O’Sullivan did make a difference picking off a few scores, but unfortunately had to go off again towards the end.
It was now we saw the class of Cork senior shot-stopper Martina O’Brien shine through, making two superb point-blank saves from Ellie Jack in the 33rd and 41st minutes, as Mourneabbey upped the ante to no avail.
Meanwhile, West Cork kept up an incessant attacking barrage with Áine Terry O’Sullivan and Niamh Cotter raising further green flags in the 36th and 42nd minutes stretching West Cork’s lead to 4-10 to 0-8 at the close of the third quarter.
It was done and dusted well before Áine Terry applied the coup-de-grace, her third goal to seal a superb win for a well-organised West Cork outfit.
West Cork: Áine Terry O’Sullivan 3-2, Orla Finn 0-6, Eimear Kiely 1-2, Niamh Cotter 1-0, Áine Hayes, Sadhbh O’Leary 0-1 each.
Mourneabbey: Doireann O’Sullivan 0-3 (2f), Ellie Jack 0-3f, Ciara O’Sullivan 0-3 (2f), Laura Fitzgerald 0-2, Aileen Buckley, Brid O’Sullivan 0-1 (f) each.
West Cork: Martina O’Brien (Clonakilty); Claire O’Shea (Beara), Siobhan Courtney (Castlehaven), Tracy McCarthy (Kinsale); Eimear Kiely (Valley Rovers), Melissa Duggan (Dohenys), Ciara Ryan (Clonakilty); Niamh Cotter (Beara), Áine Hayes (Rosscarbery); Nicole Quinn (Kinsale), Sadhbh O’Leary (Kinsale), Claire O’Leary (Clonakilty); Lorraine O’Neill (Clann na nGael), Áine Terry O’Sullivan (Beara), Orla Finn (Kinsale).
Subs: Aileen Murphy (Dohenys) for O’Neill (50), Maggie Coppinger (St Colum’s) for Duggan (51), Michelle Duggan (Dohenys) for Kiely (53), Catriona Moloney (Dohenys) for Sadhbh O’Leary (55).
Mourneabbey: Róisín Duffy; Aisling O’Callaghan, Cathy Ann Stack, Ciara Lawlee; Emma Coakley, Aisling O’Sullivan, Eimear Meaney; Maura O’Callaghan, Niamh O’Sullivan; Ciara O’Sullivan, Brid O’Sullivan, Catherine Coakley; Aileen Buckley, Laura Fitzgerald, Ellie Jack.
Subs: Doireann O’Sullivan for Aisling O’Sullivan (ht), Ciara O’Callaghan for Aisling O’Callaghan (42), Aisling O’Callaghan for Doireann O’Sullivan (inj, 53).
Referee: Peter O’Leary (Inch Rovers).