EMMA Spillane will make her return for the Cork ladies footballers in Friday night’s Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 1B opener against Tipperary at Páirc Uí Chaoimh (7.30pm throw-in).
The Bantry Blues footballer – a two-time All-Star – has been named at corner back in the Rebels’ first game of the season. Spillane took a year out from inter-county in 2020, telling The Southern Star: 'I wanted to take a break for the year, for no particular reason. I just wanted to step back for a year.' Her return will boost Cork's defensive options.
There’s plenty of West Cork interest in this Cork team as Ballinascarthy’s Martina O’Brien, who plays her club football with Clonakilty, is named in goal and is also Cork captain this season. Dohenys’ Melissa Duggan is named in the half-back line, Rosscarbery’s Sarah Hayes is selected in midfield, while Kinsale attackers Orla Finn and Sadhbh O'Leary will speared the attack.
Cork: Martina O'Brien; Shauna Kelly, Roisin Phelan, Emma Spillane; Erika O'Shea, Aisling Kelleher, Melissa Duggan; Maire O'Callaghan, Sarah Hayes; Orla Finn, Ciara O'Sullivan, Hannah Looney; Sadhbh O'Leary, Brid O'Sullivan, Emma Cleary.
Subs: Sarah Murphy, Eimear Meaney, Meabh Cahalane, Chloe Collins, Caoimh O’Callaghan, Ellie Jack, Orlagh Farmer, Abbie O’Mahony, Eve Murphy, Libby Coppinger, Daire Kiely, Katie Quirke, Laura Cleary, Eve Mullins, Isobel Sheehan.