Éire Óg 0-9
PLAYING some tremendous football and displaying enormous work rate, West Cork qualified for the county senior football semi-final when they scored a comprehensive win over Éire Óg in splendid conditions in Kealkill on Tuesday evening.
Scoring hero on the night was local county footballer Libby Coppinger whose two goals laid the foundation for this impressive victory. The first came in the tenth minute when the sides were level at 0-2 each and West Cork were never to be caught subsequently. The second, in the 41st minute, when she touched in a high ball from Áine Terry O’Sullivan, finished the game as a contest, putting nine points between the sides.
The big mystery to emerge, despite West Cork’s supremacy, was that the winners managed only two goals.
‘I suppose we were a slow off the mark,’ said a satisfied manager Brian McCarthy, ‘But the game against Mourneabbey was our first serious game of the year and we have found it almost impossible to get the panel together for training. In the circumstances they are playing remarkably well. Libby’s goals were vital but we did miss a handful. However, we are creating the chances and that is a great sign of the team. Some day those chances will go in and then we’ll see how good this team really is.’
The main difference between the teams was undoubtedly in the scoring department. Whereas nine West Cork players shared in scoring 2-15, with 2-12 coming from play, the only Éire Óg player to score was outstanding full forward Emma Cleary, who kicked six of her nine points from frees.
Cleary’s two pointed frees in the opening ten minutes were answered by two from Áine Terry O’Sullivan before Coppinger’s scrambled goal in the tenth minute set West Cork on their way. Éire Óg were limited to another two frees from Cleary for the remainder of the half as West Cork took control while the winners had two superb points from Fiona Keating and one each from raiding wing back Melissa Duggan and Daire Kiely. The goal misses were also mounting up with O’Sullivan missing two in as many minutes and Keating striking the crossbar. It was 1-7 to 0-4 at half time.
The second half saw Emma Cleary kicking Éire Óg’s first score from play in the 38th minute and, having moved to the half forward line, she added four more during the half, two from play. But there was no holding a flying West Cork who introduced a number of very effective substitutes, which augurs well for the rest of the championship.
Coppinger’s second goal may have finished the game as a contest but the points also flowed from Claire O’Shea, Leah Harte, Rachel Murphy (2), Fiona Keating, Eve Murphy and Áine Terry O’Sullivan (play and free).
‘When you come off the field having won a game but knowing there’s plenty to work on, you’d have to be reasonably happy,” said McCarthy. ‘Now we’ll move on to the next game. This group of girls definitely have it in them to go all the way.’
West Cork: Libby Coppinger 2-0; Áine Terry O’Sullivan 0-5 (3f); Fiona Keating 0-3; Rachel Murphy 0-2; Clare O’Shea, Melissa Duggan, Eve Murphy, Leah Harte, Daire Kiely 0-1 each. Éire Óg: Emma Cleary 0-9 (6f).
West Cork: Martina O’Brien (Clonakilty); Siobhán Courtney (Castlehaven), Sarah Hayes (Carbery Rangers), Christina O’Sullivan (Beara); Emma Spillane (Bantry Blues), Clare O’Shea (Beara), Melissa Duggan (Dohenys); Eve Murphy (Bantry), Emer Kiely (Valley Rovers); Leah Harte (O’Donovan Rossa), Rachel Murphy (Bantry), Áine Terry O’Sullivan (Beara); Fiona Keating (Courcey Rovers), Libby Coppinger (St Colum’s), Daire Kiely (Valley Rovers). Subs: Maeve O’Donovan (Clonakilty) for C O’Sullivan (35), Moira Barrett (Clonakilty) for E Kiely (48), Laura Barr (Bandon) for L Harte (55), Lucy Coakley (Bantry Blues) for S Courtney (55), Maggie Coppinger (St Colum’s) for C O’Shea (58).
Éire Óg: Lisa Crowley; Aobha Hickey, Aisling O’Connell, Aoife Nic an Bháird; Alannah Hickey, Breda Feeney, Sadbh McGoldrick; Isobel Sheehan, Clodagh O’Connor; Shauna Cronin, Laura Cleary, Orlaith Cahalane; Ruth Murphy, Emma Cleary, Grace Collins. Subs: Rebecca Sheehan for A Hickey (ht), Elaine Crowley for R Murphy (ht).
Referee: Kieran Creed (Naomh Abán).