Champions were full value for county final win
West Cork 1-9
KIERAN McCARTHY REPORTS
MOURNEABBEY rubber-stamped their dominance of Cork ladies’ football with a convincing win over West Cork in Saturday’s county senior final at CIT.
The reigning All-Ireland and Munster senior club champions raced out of the blocks to rack up four goals inside 23 first-half minutes and shell-shocked West Cork were always chasing the game after this.
Last year's county final between these two needed a replay before Mourneabbey emerged as winners, but the north-Cork side were in ominus form from the start here and West Cork struggled to keep pace with them. The divisional side was second best all through the first half and they couldn’t cope with Mourneabbey’s speed in attack with Doireann O’Sullivan and Dublin star Noelle Healy causing plenty of problems, and West Cork were dealt a further blow when full back Sarah Hayes had to go off injured in the opening half.
Doireann O’Sullivan scored the first goal in the second minute, Noelle Healy added a second in the 12th minute before Doireann, again, and Brid O’Sullivan made it 4-2 to 0-3. Three points in a row from Aine O’Sullivan, Libby Coppinger and Daire Kiely for West Cork narrowed the gap at the break, 4-2 to 0-6.
West Cork needed a good start to the second half but instead Mourneabbey scored the first four points with the superb Doireann O’Sullivan on target with three frees and Laura Fitzgerald adding the other. The divisional side were much improved in the second half but they couldn’t get the goals that they needed, despite plenty of chances - Áine O’Sullivan, Niamh Cotter and Daire Kiely all saw goal-bound efforts saved and blocked as Mourneabbey’s defence held tough and withstood everything thrown at them.
Points from Eimear Kiely and Melissa Duggan were followed by an Áine O’Sullivan penalty for West Cork to narrow the lead to 4-6 to 1-8 with 12 minutes left. But Mourneabbey went up the other end to tag on two quick points from Doireann O’Sullivan to stop any West Cork momentum.
There’s no denying that the best team won here as Mourneabbey clinched the six-in-a-row in style and they look stronger this year than last season when they went all the way in Munster and then the All-Ireland.
Mourneabbey: Doireann O’Sullivan 2-7 (5f); Noelle Healy 1-1; Brid O’Sullivan 1-0; Laura Fitzgerald 0-1.
West Cork: Áine O’Sullivan 1-4 (1-0 pen, 3f), Eimear Kiely 0-2; Libby Coppinger, Daire Kiely, Melissa Duggan 0-1 each.
Mourneabbey: Meabh O’Sullivan; Aisling O’Sullivan, Eimear Meaney, Sandra Conroy; Kathyrn Coakley, Roisin O’Sullivan, Anna Ryan; Maire O’Callaghan, Niamh O’Sullivan; Ciara O’Sullivan, Brid O’Sullivan, Sile O’Callaghan; Ellie Jack, Doireann O’Sullivan, Noelle Healy.
Subs: Laura Fitzgerald for N O’Sullivan (ht); A Cronin for B O’Sullivan (42); E Harrington for S O’Callaghan (51).
West Cork: Martina O’Brien (Clonakilty); Siobhan Courtney (Castlehaven), Sarah Hayes (Rosscarbery), Clare O’Shea (Beara); Eimear Kiely (Valley Rovers), Emma Spillane (Bantry Blues), Cliona Maguire (Rosscarbery); Niamh Cotter (Beara), Melissa Duggan (Dohenys); Laura O’Mahony (O’Donovan Rossa), Clare O’Leary (Clonakilty), Daire Kiely (Valley Rovers); Libby Coppinger (St Colum’s), Áine O’Sullivan (Beara), Fiona Keating (Courcey Rovers).
Subs: Christina O’Sullivan (Beara) for Hayes (23, inj); Eve Murphy (Bantry Blues) for E Kiely (42), Rachel Murphy (Bantry Blues) for Keating (42); Michelle O’Regan for D Kiely (60).
Referee: Maurice Mulcahy.