NOEL HORGAN REPORTS
A SEASON of unprecedented achievement for Kinsale continued when they advanced to the Munster club ladies junior football final for the first time by virtue of a convincing victory over Dungarvan at Mallow last Saturday.
It was a pillar-to-post win for the Cork kingpins, with an early strike from Sadhbh O’Leary setting the pattern for a sparkling exhibition of attacking football, which yielded seven goals over the hour.
With Orla Finn, Faye Aherne and Jenny Murphy also finding the net, they finished the first half 4-6 to 2-3 to the good, but they came under pressure from a spirited Dungarvan side in the early stages of the second half
With 40 minutes gone, Dungarvan, aided by goals from Dawn Power and Kaisha Tobin, had got back within striking range, 4-8 to 4-5, before the outstanding Sadhbh O’Leary steadied the Kinsale ship.
After winning a penalty, which Orla Finn slotted over the bar, O’Leary tacked on a string of excellent points, and the deal was done and dusted when substitute Georgina Goold goaled to make it 5-13 to 4-5 in the 53rd minute.
O’Leary and substitute Christina Broderick completed Kinsale’s goal-haul before the finish.
‘We know we have good forwards, and they gave a brilliant display today,’ commented Kinsale mentor Eugene O’Callaghan, who admitted it was a little disappointing that their defence conceded four goals.
‘I wouldn’t be too worried about it at the same time, because our backs have been very solid all year, and the important thing was we were always able to pull out a bit extra when the pressure came on.
‘We’re obviously delighted with the win, and, having already brought a first county title to the club, I’m satisfied after this display our girls will be able to represent Cork well in the Munster final, and hopefully come out on the right side of it.’
Dungarvan’s Ciara Hurley posed the main problems for the Kinsale rearguard in the first half, doing the spadework for goals from Becky Hurley and Lauren McGregor, which helped to keep the Waterford champions in touch.
After Ciara Hurley was switched to midfield for the second half, Dawn Power and impressive substitute Kaisha Tobin stepped up to the plate in attack for Dungarvan, and the latter’s goal from a penalty appeared to throw the issue wide open with 20 minutes remaining.
That was as good as it got, however, for the losers, who simply had no answer to what Kinsale brought to the table up front where Sadhbh O’Leary, Orla Finn and Jenny Murphy where particularly sharp.
Elsewhere, Ellen Murphy and Lorraine Copithorne put in a solid shift at midfield, Georgina Buckley regularly caught the eye at wing back, while goalkeeper Aisling Judge proved her worth when making a splendid save to deny Dawn Power a goal in the first half.
Kinsale: S O’Leary 2-5; O Finn 1-7 (1f, 0-1 pen); J Murphy 1-1; F Ahern, G Gould, C Broderick 1-0 each.
Dungarvan: D Power, L McGregor 1-3 each; B Hurley 1-1; K Tobin 1-0 pen; C Hurley 0-2 (1f).
Kinsale: A Judge; C Keohane, E O’Brien, A Lee; G Buckley, C O’Callaghan, T McCarthy; E Murphy, L Copithorne; J Cronin, J Murphy, A Keating; F Ahern, O Finn, S O’Leary.
Subs: R Murphy for Lee (ht), G Gould for Ahern (36), C Tyner for E Murphy (57), C Broderick for Keating (59).
Dungarvan: K Ferncombe; C Curran, K Hayes, AM Tutty; A Nagle, E Gildea, S Coakley; A Baumann, L McGregor; B Hurley, D Power, L O’Shea; S Ferncombe, C Hurley, ZB Ferncombe.
Sub: K Tobin for ZB Ferncombe (24).
Referee: T Fox (Tipperary).