GER McCARTHY REPORTS
KINSALE had to withstand a second-half Rosscarbery comeback before claiming the Cork ladies intermediate football county championship at Newcestown last Saturday week.
A pulsating intermediate county decider that also doubled as a West Cork senior final saw Kinsale overcome a poor start and hold off their opponents down the closing stretch thanks to a Sadhbh O’Leary hat-trick.
Rosscarbery’s third final defeat will be hard to take on an evening Laura McMahon also found the net three times. How Ross will rue their slow start and an opening quarter where they twice struck an upright.
Take nothing away from Kinsale’s deserved victory on an evening the newly crowned intermediate champions possessed the greater attacking threat.
Spearheaded by Jenny Murphy, Nicole Quinn, Faye Ahern, Orla Finn and Sadhbh O’Leary, Kinsale ran out worthy winners despite Ross’s gutsy second-half efforts.
A delighted winning manager Eugene O’Callaghan outlined why becoming a senior club is just reward for all his club’s Trojan off-field efforts in recent times.
‘I’m speechless at the moment but it is teamwork, from start to finish, that has gotten us here,’ the Kinsale manager commented.
‘Yes, we have the firepower up front but our defence and midfielders were superb tonight. We couldn’t have asked for any more.
‘This means so much because we have so many young girls coming through who want to play football for Kinsale and now we are able to provide a senior club set-up for them. We are over the moon but Rosscarbery really put it up to us and everybody knows what a great club they are too.’
In front of a large attendance, a nervy start from both sides resulted in multiple missed opportunities before a superb Orla Finn effort opened the scoring on 11 minutes.
Prior to that, Máire O’Brien struck a post and Rosscarbery missed two other scoring chances as they struggled to find their feet. Worse was to follow when Laura McMahon saw another effort cannon back off a post and Ellen Murphy split the posts to double Kinsale’s advantage.
Finn added a third from a free ahead of Kinsale putting the seal on an impressive first quarter when a seven-player move ended with Sadhbh O’Leary side-stepping a defender and firing low into the net. O’Leary popped over another point shortly after and both goalkeepers, Aisling Judge and Áine Kelly, produced excellent saves prior to Orla Finn making it 1-5 to 0-0 from a free.
Marian Murphy scorched an effort inches over the crossbar to get Rosscarbery on the scoreboard after 27 minutes before a Laura McMahon free further reduced the deficit on the stroke of half time.
Six points down and in danger of letting the final slip away, Rosscarbery were much improved after the break, thanks to their standout performer Máire O’Brien driving her team forward at every opportunity.
The sides exchanged scores during a quality third quarter with Laura McMahon and Marian Murphy (two frees) efforts matched by Faye Ahern, Orla Finn (two free), Sadhbh O’Leary to leave Kinsale up 1-9 to 0-5 after 40 minutes. A superb solo effort from Finn stretched Kinsale’s advantage ahead of a rip-roaring closing quarter.
Sadhbh O’Leary pounced on a Rosscarbery defensive error to drill the ball beyond a stranded Áine Kelly and seemingly decide the outcome after 44 minutes. But O’Leary popped over another point before Rosscarbery tore into their opponents and staged a remarkable comeback.
Down 2-11 to 0-5, Áine Hayes and Sineád O’Brien raised white flags either side of Laura McMahon netting a hat-trick of goals during a devastating ten-minute spell to leave the bare minimum between the teams.
Alas, Rosscarbery’s renaissance ended abruptly when a turnover permitted Sadhbh O’Leary to gain possession and complete her hat-trick, the Cork forward cementing a 3-11 to 3-7 Kinsale victory in the final minute of a memorable final.
Kinsale: Sadhbh O’Leary 3-3, Orla Finn 0-6 (4f), Ellen Murphy, Faye Ahern 0-1 each.
Rosscarbery: Laura McMahon 3-2 (1f), Marian Murphy 0-3 (2f), Áine Hayes, Sineád O’Brien 0-1 each.
Kinsale: Aisling Judge; Emma O’Brien, Tracy McCarthy, Aisling Lee; Aileen Lynch, Caoimhe O’Callaghan, Christine Keohane; Nicole Quinn, Lorraine Copithorne; Ellen Murphy, Jenny Murphy, Faye Ahern; Orla Finn, Aoife Keating (captain), Sadhbh O’Leary.
Subs: Georgina Buckley for A Keating (ht), Georgia Gould for A Lee (ht), Dara Tyner for N Quinn (42), Cara O’Dwyer for E O’Brien (47), Lisa Copithorne for E Murphy (60)
Rosscarbery: Áine Kelly; Sineád Lane, Cliona Maguire, Megan Hayes; Gráinne O’Sullivan, Niamh O’Sullivan, Máire O’Brien; Áine Hayes, Hannah O’Hea; Fiona O’Callaghan, Eilís O’Brien, Sinead O’Regan; Marian Murphy, Laura McMahon (captain), Orla O’Sullivan.
Subs: Sarah Hayes for G O’Sullivan (25), Sineád O’Brien for E O’Brien (45), Nadine Hayes for H O’Hea (45), Gráinne O’Sullivan for N O’Sullivan (60).
Referee: Kieran Creed.