WEST Cork Sports Star Paudie Palmer Youth Award winner Millie Condon has added another trophy to her incredible collection.
The Ballinascarthy teenager, who plays her club football with Clonakilty, captained Cork to Munster LGFA Minor A championship final victory over Clare at Mallow.
Amy McKennedy (Tadhg MacCarthaigh), Niamh O’Sullivan (Castlehaven), Leah Carey and Meabh Collins (Ilen Rovers), Síofra Pattwell and Katie O’Driscoll (Clonakilty) were the other West Cork players to pick up Munster medals following a narrow Cork win.
Leading by nine with time almost up, Clare struck for two late goals to set up a nervy finale. Jamie Cronin’s Cork side held their nerve to win 1-13 to 2-7 and progress to an All-Ireland minor semi-final.
‘We started well but took our foot off (the gas) near the end,’ Cork captain Millie Condon told The Southern Star.
‘Clare came back at us but it was a good match throughout. I was a bit worried when they got those two late goals. Anything could have happened. They popped in two goals and could easily have popped in a third.
‘It is really good to win a Munster championship otherwise our season would have been over today. We have a good bit of time to prepare for an All-Ireland semi-final now.’
Cork dominated the opening half and restricted their opponents to three points, all from Abby Downes. Amy Sheppard took advantage of a point attempt that was parried by Clare goalkeeper Jenna Murphy and fired the rebound into the net after 16 minutes.
That increased Cork’s total to 1-8 after earlier Niamh McNabola, Amy Sheppard, Kate Williamson, Ciara Morrison and four Deirdre Cronin (three frees) efforts. Another Cronin free concluded a terrific first period.
Deirdre Cronin helped Cork extend their advantage before a Clare side temporarily down to 14 players – following Eilis O’Flaherty’s sin-binning – began a comeback. Abby Downes kicked two points prior to Cork’s Caoimhe Redmond missing a penalty.
Cork looked set for a comfortable win until a resurgent Clare struck for two late goals. Caoimhe Cahill and Lauren Conway each found the net to leave three between the sides.
Patiently retaining possession, Cork held on for a 1-13 to 2-7 win, much to the relief of the Rebels team including Tadhg Mac Carthaigh’s Amy McKennedy.
‘We were put under a huge amount of pressure there at the end,’ McKennedy said.‘Clare got two very fast goals. We had to hold on to possession for a good four or five minutes. We were lucky to have practised that once before. There is a lot of work to do before the All-Ireland semi-final but at least we got a good test from Clare.’
Meanwhile, despite the best efforts of Carla O’Regan, Cork lost out to Kerry in the Munster LGFA U14A final in Mallow. The Ilen Rovers star was Cork’s top scorer with six points in a heart-breaking 1-16 to 2-11 defeat. JJ Deasy, from Ibane Ladies, was in charge of a Cork team that started Kinsale’s Hannah Deasy and Anna Kelleher, Ilen Rovers’ Carla O’Regan and Courcey Rovers’ Caoimhe Foley. Rosscarbery Ladies’ Gemma O’Sullivan, Ibane Ladies’ Cliona Harte, Castlehaven’s Amy McCarthy and Courcey Rovers’ Katie Crowley were included amongst the Cork substitutes.