CORK will be hoping that Orla Finn can continue her red-hot scoring form this Saturday evening.
In the last two Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 1 games, the Kinsale attacker has racked up 2-15 as she continues to impress.
Coming on as a half-time sub in the third round game in Mallow, Finn scored a whopping 1-9 in the second half alone as she tormented Tyrone in a facile win, while last Sunday she scored 1-6 as Cork lost away to Dublin, 3-10 to 1-13, at Parnell Park.
While she finished as Cork’s top scorer, again, of more pressing concern to Finn was the defending league champions’ third loss in four matches in this campaign, which leaves them sixth in the table with three matches left.
The top four qualify for the Division 1 semi-finals so the pressure is on Cork to get back to winning ways, fast, starting at home to Monaghan this Saturday evening in Mournabbey.
Monaghan, like Cork, have only one win from four games, so both teams need a victory this weekend.
‘We need to win our next three games if we are to have any chance of qualifying for the semi-final, starting this weekend. Even if we do that, we will be relying on the teams above us to drop points but this is such a competitive league, anything is possible,’ Finn said.
‘All we can focus on is our games. It’s really important that we beat Monaghan this Sunday, especially it being at home. If we don’t win this game, then our chances of qualifying for the semi-finals will be almost over. That’s motivation for us on Sunday.’
After this home game against Monaghan, there is a break until Cork travel to play Galway on April 3rd, and a week later, on April 10th, they host Armagh in the final group-stage match.
Cork have won nine of the last 11 Division 1 league titles, and the last three in a row, so the pedigree is there, with the one change this year being a new manager, Ephie Fitzgerald, has come in, taking over from ten-time All-Ireland winning boss Eamonn Ryan.
‘We have all adapted well to the change. Ephie has come in with his ideas and approach, and it’s been really good so far. We’re enjoying it,’ Finn said.
On a personal note, Finn’s 1-6 sees her continue her fine early-season form, and she puts this down to the fierce competition for places on the panel.