BY KIERAN McCARTHY
WEST Cork won’t alter their attacking principles for Sunday’s county ladies senior football championship semi-final against Mourneabbey in Kimurry, at 4pm.
The West Cork divisional team are the story of this season’s ladies SFC as, in their first-ever season, this new side has entertained and impressed en route to a last-four game against the reigning champions.
Managed by Brian McCarthy of Clann na nGael, West Cork have defeated North Cork (3-8 to 0-15), East Cork (3-22 to 0-9) and Beara (4-14 to 1-7), scoring ten goals in three games.
Cork seniors Orla Finn, Áine Hayes and Libby Coppinger (who only played against East Cork) are key players on this divisional team that won’t change its style for its biggest test to date.
‘We have no other choice to stick to our attacking style because if you look at our players, we have very attacking players, from the goalkeeper out to the forward line,’ explained Brian McCarthy, who is joined on the management team by Ger Finn, Anne O’Grady and Denis Enright.
‘When you have players like Áine Hayes, Aideen Lynch, Melissa Duggan, Emma Spillane, Sophie Hurley, Orla Finn, Amy Dineen, Myra O’Sullivan, Sadbhb O’Leary and the rest, you have a naturally attack-minded team. All these players have been brought up on attacking football so we knew we had to lay out our stall as an attacking team, and we will look to do the same on Sunday. That’s the only way we know how to play football.
‘When we got together at the start, we said that we wanted to play attacking, flowing football as much as possible. We have done that, the girls have bought into it, and we will look to do the same on Sunday, knowing that this will be another level up from what we have played so far.
‘Anyone who knows us knows that when they come to watch us they will be entertained because we play an open, fast, exciting brand.’
As impressive as West Cork have been, McCarthy knows they are up against it against Mourneabbey – but these are the games that the divisional team wants to play in.
‘Mourneabbey are the benchmark for Cork ladies football, they are the team to beat, and when we entered this competition we knew that if we progressed that we would meet them at some stage,’ McCarthy said.
‘It’s a game we are looking forward to because we want to come up against the best and see how we fare against them, and they don’t come much better and tougher than Mourneabbey.’
Considering that Bantry Blues won the recent county intermediate title, they will be playing at senior level next year, so they won’t be with West Cork. Emma Spillane, Myra O’Sullivan, Amy Dineen, Ann Coakley and Rachel Murphy, from Bantry, all featured in the quarter-final win against Beara, and Libby Coppinger will be added on Sunday, so West Cork will lose a huge chunk of its team, making it even more important to make the most of this season.
But West Cork management also have to deal with Bantry Blues playing a Munster IFC quarter-final on Saturday where they beat Rathmore, while Kinsale ladies, who won the county junior title on Tuesday night, were also in Munster action earlier on Saturday, beating Austin Stacks in Dromtarriff.